NHL Grind Down: Monday, March 12th

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The RotoGrinders NHL Grind Down article will give you an in-depth analysis into the NHL schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy hockey there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, salaries, and more.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. Hockey is an extremely high variance sport. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.

Remember, these writeups are done prior to lineups being released, so make sure to check our Starting Lineups page to ensure the recommended options are playing.

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Vegas Golden Knights at Philadelphia Flyers

Vegas Golden Knights Philadelphia Flyers
Marc-Andre Fleury Petr Mrazek
Record Record
44-19-5 35-23-11
Team Stats 3.35 2.69 20.77 80.51 Team Stats 2.91 2.84 20.00 75.51

The Golden Knights only problem would seem to be staying healthy as they are on top of the Pacific Division by 12 points with 14 games left on the schedule. Both James Neal and Reilly Smith missed the festivities in Buffalo on Saturday due to injuries and as of now it isn’t clear as to whether they will be back in the line-up tonight or not. As you can imagine this has put a crimp in the top two lines as Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson skated with both Tomas Tatar and David Perron as their wingers last game while Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter. Karlsson leads the team with 35 goals while Perron’s 45 assisst leads the team. Marchessault has the most points however as he has found the score sheet 65 times so far this season. Karlsson, Marchessault, tatar and Tuch were joined by defenseman Shea Theodore on the team’s top power play line that has scored just two goals in the last seven games. Colin Miller can also be looked at as a viable option on the back line as he has collected 35 points so far this season. The Golden Knights may be short-handed but that’s what the critics have been saying all year.

The Flyers have been one of the streakiest teams of the season and if last game is any indication of what will happen tonight then they should be starting another big winning streak. Their 81 points is good enough for third place in the Metropolitan Division for now as they set their sights on the top spot that is currently occupied by the Washington Capitals. Philadelphia is pretty cut and dried as Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny make up a strong forts line while Jakub Voracek and Nolan Patrick skate with Oskar Lindblom on the team’s second line. This basically leaves Wayne Simmonds as a one-off here as he grabs the extra power play time while skating on the third line with Michael Raffl and Valtteri Filppula. The Flyers have seemed to move to a two line power play system which has all but Raffl participating on the two lines the Flyers have assembled. Giroux leads the team with 81 points while Couturier’s 29 goals lads the team. Meanwhile Voracek has been setting up goals left and right as his 58 assists is tied with Blake Wheeler for the most in the league. Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov are both playable here at home with Gostisbehere having the edge by virtue of his 50 points versus the 32 that Provorov has tallied so far this season. Look for Philadelphia to come out feisty and improve on the home record of 17-11-6 this evening.

Top Plays

VGS: Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson
PHL: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek

Secondary Plays

VGS: David Perron, Tomas Tatar, Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, Colin Miller
PHL: Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Nolan Patrick, Wayne Simmonds

Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals

Winnipeg Jets Washington Capitals
Connor Hellebuyck Braden Holtby
Record Record
41-18-9 38-23-7
Team Stats 3.31 2.60 24.45 82.89 Team Stats 2.99 2.93 21.83 79.73

Here we have one of the better games of the night as both teams in this one are either first or second in their respective divisions. The Jets actually have more points than Washington but find themselves in second place in the Central Division. Paul Stastny has fit in well on the top line with Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers as Blake Wheeler is holding down the fort on the second line with Kyle Connor and Bryan Little. Mathieu Perreault had a few shifts in Connor’s place last game as the Jets are still without Mark Scheifele who is normally on that line with Wheeler. All seven forwards along with Joel Armia and defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers saw extensive power play time last game as the Jets try to use two even lines when they have the extra attacker. To say that Laine has been on fire of late would be a sever understatement as he has lit the lamp 12 times to go along with three assists over the last eight games. You can imagine what his line mates are doing with that kind of production. Byfuglien is the safest choice on the back line as he has grabbed 37 points so far this season while Myers has notched a very respectable 34 points. Look for Winnipeg to battle until the final whistle this evening.

Washington has a slim one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Their 23-9-2 home record should serve them well tonight as they entertain one of the top teams in the league. Alexander Ovechkin is the go-to guy here as he leads the team with 40 goals and 72 points while skating with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson on the team’s top line. This is a different approach than Washington usually uses as now Nicklas Backstrom was skating with Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly while T.J. Oshie slipped to the third line. It all worked out well as the Capitals beat the Sharks in their own building on Saturday afternoon. One has to assume that they will continue to use Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Oshie and Backstrom as the top power play line with John Carlson manning the back line with the extra attacker. Carlson has notched 25 of his 54 points with the man advantage and there’s no reason to think that that kind of production will stop on home ice this evening. Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen are decent salary savers here as they are separated by just one point with Orlov on top with 25 points. The only cautionary tale here is that this is Washington’s first game since returning from their west coast trip Saturday evening.

Top Plays

WIN: Patrik Laine
WSH: Alexander Ovechkin

Secondary Plays

WIN: Paul Stastny, Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor, Dustin Byfuglien
WSH: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson

Montreal Canadiens at Columbus Blue Jackets

Montreal Canadiens Columbus Blue Jackets
Charlie Lindgren Sergei Bobrovsky
Record Record
25-31-12 36-28-5
Team Stats 2.51 3.06 20.10 76.26 Team Stats 2.64 2.74 14.51 77.40

The Canadiens season did not turn out as it was planned as it looks like their 62 points will fall way short of having any shot of making the playoffs come mid-April. Montreal will try and win their first game since beating the Islanders five games ago by a score of 6-3. Max Pacioretty has been on the shelf for a few games and will not be ready to return anytime soon while Phillip Danault no sooner got back on the ice to take a few regular shifts until he was injured yet again. His status is day-to-day but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t suit up for this one. Brendan Gallagher leads the team with 24 goals and 41 points as he was spotted skating with Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron last game while Alex Galchenyuk was skating with Charles Hudon and Jacob De La Rose. Fun times there for the talented Galchenyuk for sure. Defenseman Mike Reilly saw a lot of power play time last game as he had Gallagher, Galchenyuk and Drouin up front to feed the puck to. Normally Jeff Petry soaks up most of the power play time but with Montreal out of playoff contention it’s become obvious that they want to see what else they have going into next year. Montreal has scored just seven goals in their last four games and should look a bit ragged as they finish up their current six-game road trip.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have come off the deck to win seven of their last 10 games to currently hold the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Their home record of 22-11-2 should serve them well tonight against a Montreal team that has struggled to light the lamp over the last 10 days. Artemi Panarin is the obvious leader here as he not only leads the team with 12 points over the last nine games he also has 21 goals and 39 assists which leads the team as well. Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc DuBois are his line mates on the top line which should be one of the higher owned lines of the night just based on their production over the last two weeks. Alexander Wennberg and Boone Jenner skate with Thomas Vanek on the team’s second line while Nick Foligno and Oliver Bjorkstrand skate on the team’s third line. Defenseman Seth Jones has surpassed Zachary Werenski as the safest defensive play as he has grabbed 10 of his 46 points over the last two weeks. Werenski is also a decent play here as he has registered 14 goals and 18 assists on 180 shots so far this season. The Blue Jackets are on a roll so hop aboard and win some money.

Top Plays

MTL: Brendan Gallagher
CBJ: Artemi Panarin

Secondary Plays

MTL: Jonathan Drouin, Alex Galchenyuk, Jeff Petry
CBJ: Cam Atkinson, Seth Jones, Alexander Wennberg, Pierre-Luc DuBois, Thomas Vanek, Oliver Bjorkstrand

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers

Carolina Hurricanes New York Rangers
Scott Darling Alexandar Georgiev
Record Record
30-27-11 30-32-7
Team Stats 2.62 2.99 19.23 78.26 Team Stats 2.77 3.13 20.20 82.86

Carolina has hung in there pretty well up until this point but the window of opportunity is closing as they are six points away from the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just 14 games remaining. The good news is that the team is keeping Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal together on the top line while the bad news is that the Hurricanes are still trying to make three scoring lines when they only have enough talent for two. Elias Lindholm comes up from the second line to play on the top power play unit while he skates with Justin Williams and Brock McGinn in the 5×5 situations. This leaves Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask to skate with Phil Di Giuseppe on the team’s third line. Teravainen leads the team with 34 assists and 53 points while Aho’s team leading 24 goals has helped him to be the second leading scorer on the team with 52 points. Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin are the choices from the blue line as Faulk is doing a lot better lately after a horrendous start. He has grabbed five of his 27 points over the last eight games while Hanifin’s next point will be his 30th. Carolina will look to even up their road record with a win here tonight as they are 14-15-5 away from the home crowd.

The Rangers come into this one as a team in turmoil as they have won just three of their last 13 games that has helped plummet the team into last place in the Metropolitan Division. We already know about the fire sale they had at the trade deadline so concentrating on what they can do with the remaining players that they have is the optimal thing to do here. Ryan Spooner, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello seem to be the line to target here as Spooner has racked up 12 points in his first seven games in a New York sweater while Zuccarello leads the team with 34 assists and 46 points so far this season. Jimmy Vesey and defenseman John Gilmour joined the top line on the power play the other night so I would expect to see more of the same this evening. Vesey skates with Pavel Buchnevich and Vladislav Namestnikov while Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad skate with Jesper Fast on the team’s third line. Beside Gilmour the Rangers will look to Brady Skjei and Anthony DeAngelo for the extra support from the back line. With Ryan McDonagh traded away and Kevin Shattenkirk on the shelf you can see why the rangers blue line is starving for a little offensive punch. New York has been pretty solid at home as they are 18-13-4 in front of the home crowd.

Top Plays

CAR: Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho
NYR: Ryan Spooner, Mats Zuccarello

Secondary Plays

CAR: Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, Justin Faulk, Jeff Skinner
NYR: Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Vladislav Namestnikov

Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers

Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Craig Anderson Roberto Luongo
Record Record
23-33-11 34-25-7
Team Stats 2.67 3.37 16.27 76.29 Team Stats 3.02 3.09 20.00 79.79

The Senators continue to look for answers as they have just won two games over the last 10 and are yet another team that is playing for next year. They are another team that had the talent but didn’t seem to know what to do with it. It’s too late now however as their leading scorer in Mark Stone suffered an injury last game and didn’t make the trip to Florida this evening. Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Mike Hoffman will skate on the top line and give this team the best shot at scoring a goal. Hoffman’s 217 shots on goal has yielded 19 goals and 26 assists so far while Duchene has registered 33 points in the 53 games he has worn the Ottawa sweater. Marian Gaborik, Magnus Paajarvi and Jean-Gabriel Pageau skate on the second line while Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith and Tom Pyatt skate on the third line. With the way these lines are constructed it’s no wonder this team was doomed from the get-go. Erik Karlsson is the consistent from the back line as he has notched nine of his 50 points over the last eight games. He anchors the top power play unit along with Duchene, Hoffman, Ryan and Pageau. Thomas Chabot is the next closest usable defenseman that the Senators have and although he has garnered three points in the last two weeks his total of 18 points is still a bit weak for cash game play here this evening.

Florida has won eight of their last 10 games which has enabled the team to climb within two points of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers use two solid lines to do most of their scoring while pulling two players from each line to assemble their top power play unit. Aleksander Barkov leads the team with 68 points while his line mate in Evgenii Dadonov has grabbed 51 points in the 58 games he has suited up for. Nick Bjugstad joins them on the second line while Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck welcomed Frank Vatrano to the top line the other night by feeding him his first goal in a Panther sweater the other night in their 4-3 shootout win against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Defenseman Keith Yandle gets the tap on the shoulder to quarterback the team’s top power play unit that is comprised of Barkov, Trocheck, Huberdeau and Dadonov. Both Trocheck and huberdeau have eclipsed the 60 point barrier over the last week so pairing any two of these guys together for your cash game plays would seem to be the optimal thing to do this evening. While Yandle and his 46 points is the safest bet on the back line Aaron Ekblad brings some fantasy value with him if you were to roster him tonight as he has seen five of his 29 points come over the last nine games. Florida should win this one going away provided they come out focused and do not look ahead to the game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Top Plays

OTT: Erik Karlsson
FLA: Aleksander Barkov

Secondary Plays

OTT: Matt Duchene, Mike Hoffman, Ryan Dzingel, Bobby Ryan
FLA: Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadonov, Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad, Nick Bjugstad

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About the Author

  • Tom Woollam (elctrceye)

  • Tom Woollam is a freelance DFS writer and has been a member here at RotoGrinders.com since December 2011. He has played Fantasy Sports for the last 30 years and has been in the daily fantasy sports game for the last four. You can find him on twitter @elctrceye.


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