NHL Grind Down: Thursday, March 10th

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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Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins – 07:00 PM EST

Carolina Hurricanes Boston Bruins
Cam Ward Tuukka Rask
Record Record
30-26-11 38-23-7
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.45 2.66 17.20% 83.10% Team Stats 3.00 2.69 20.90% 82.40%

The Hurricanes kick off a five-game road trip in Boston tonight after alternating wins and losses over the past week. They currently sit just four points behind the Red Wings for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and could pull a little closer with a win over the Bruins. That will be a tough test however with Boston playing very good hockey these days, including wins in the past week over Chicago, Florida and Tampa Bay. The Bruins have been a strong offensive club this season, with a balanced scoring attack across three lines, and they currently rank third in goals per game and fourth in shots per game. Carolina is a below average scoring team, but they do control puck possession well and they’ve allowed the fewest shots per game in the league (and rank fourth overall for Corsi-For percentage). However, lately they’ve been playing poorer defensively, including 20 goals allowed over their past six games.

For daily fantasy tonight, Boston is one the teams to target in both cash game and GPP tournament play. Either of their top lines will make for a good tournament stack, and the top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Lee Stempniak will be especially popular. Bergeron and Marchand have been a very consistent duo all season long; Marchand is having a career year, while Bergeron hasn’t put up numbers like this in nearly a decade. The addition of Stempniak has been a positive one for the line, and he’s been a great value play for daily fantasy purposes. The second line with David Krejci, Loui Eriksson and David Pastrnak is also a possible stack.

The Carolina Hurricanes are definitely a team to avoid tonight as there is no line that’s a threat to go off for multiple goals. Winger Jeff Skinner is the only real Hurricanes player worth considering for a one-off tournament play. His line with Victor Rask and Phillip Di Giuseppe is a deep option as a contrarian tournament stack, but even for those looking for a low-owned line that could possibly score multiple goals, there are better choices to target tonight. With Carolina’s lack of scoring punch, this does put Tuukka Rask on our radar screen as a strong goaltender play in all game formats.

Elite Plays

CAR: None

BOS: Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand

Secondary Plays

CAR: Jeff Skinner

BOS: Torey Krug, David Krejci, Ryan Spooner, Loui Eriksson, Lee Stempniak, Matt Beleskey

Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers – 07:30 PM EST

Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
Craig Anderson Roberto Luongo
Record Record
31-29-8 36-21-9
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.79 3.03 17.40% 74.00% Team Stats 2.65 2.39 16.60% 81.40%

This is the fourth meeting this season for these two Atlantic division rivals, and Florida leads the season series 2-1. Ottawa had made a nice run in the second half of February, winning five of six games to climb back into the playoff race. They were then hit by bad luck though when goaltender Craig Anderson went down with an injury, and backup Andrew Hammond has not played well, losing three of his four starts. They might be getting Florida at the right time however, with the Panthers losing three straight themselves and giving up 13 goals in those losses. The Sens could get a boost with the return Anderson in goal tonight. That said, he’s a risky play in daily fantasy hockey, and the same could be said of Luongo for the Panthers, considering the team’s recent losses, and Ottawa’s ability to score.

This is a very interesting game for DFS purposes. The Senators rank near the bottom of the league in goals against per game, shots against per game, and penalty killing, which automatically puts several Panthers players on our radar. This is especially true for all players on the top power play unit – Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad. The Panthers have been getting offensive contributions from three forward lines though, and any of them could be stacked for tournaments. For most of this season Florida has been one of the strongest defensive clubs and not a team that you target players against. That said, with their latest struggles, the Senators line of Mark Stone, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau is in play and could make for a nice contrarian stack in tournaments. On defense for the Senators, Erik Karlsson continues to be a monster, leading all blueliners in points by a large margin (and second in shots on goal), and he’s someone to look at on most nights (including this evening), if you can afford his high price tag.

Elite Plays

OTT: Erik Karlsson

FLA: Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov

Secondary Plays

OTT: Mark Stone, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Bobby Ryan

FLA: Aaron Ekblad, Jaromir Jagr, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck, Jiri Hudler, Jussi Jokinen

Winnipeg Jets at Detroit Red Wings – 07:30 PM EST

Winnipeg Jets Detroit Red Wings
Michael Hutchinson Petr Mrazek
Record Record
27-34-5 32-23-11
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.56 2.95 15.60% 78.20% Team Stats 2.50 2.61 17.30% 80.40%

This game has the highest total on the board today (5.5) and the Red Wings are the team with the highest projected goal total. The main reason for that is because the Jets have been an awful team lately, with just two wins in their past 11 games, and 37 goals against in that stretch. Winnipeg dealt away their captain (Andrew Ladd) a couple weeks ago at the trade deadline and they’ve continued their downward spiral and plunging in the league standings ever since. The Red Wings have had their own struggles, while losing three straight games and seven of their past 10 (and they’re now at risk of falling out of a playoff spot). The goaltending for both teams has been sub-par lately and they are a GPP-only consideration.

For the Jets, Mark Scheifele is on fire right now, with a five-game point streak and 15 points over his past 10 games, and with a very good shot total. He can be used as a single player from the Jets for a lineup, or combined with his linemates Blake Wheeler and Drew Stafford for a stack. On defense, Dustin Byfuglien is worth considering any given night as he fills the score sheet for all stats, including penalty minutes for some sites, and blocked shots for others. On the Wings side, their offense has been struggling lately overall (including Henrik Zetterberg who is without a point in eight games), although they’ve had some bright spots with Nyquist on a five-game point streak and Mike Green potentially finding his rhythm finally on the blueline. Either of their top lines could be stacked and should not be that popular, and if head coach Jeff Blashill chooses to combine Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk on the top line again, they are always a good pair to target.

Elite Plays

WPG: Mark Scheifele, Dustin Byfuglien

DET: Pavel Datsyuk

Secondary Plays

WPG: Blake Wheeler, Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers

DET: Mike Green, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader

Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens – 07:30 PM EST

Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens
Robin Lehner Carey Price
Record Record
27-32-9 31-30-6
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.35 2.63 19.40% 81.60% Team Stats 2.66 2.76 17.10% 84.20%

It is looking very much like both Buffalo and Montréal will miss the postseason, as they both sit well out of the playoff picture at the moment. The Canadiens were crushed by the loss of (defending league M.V.P.) Carey Price who has played just 12 games this season, while the Sabres are still a building team and are at least a year away from making an impact. Despite Montréal’s struggles this year, they’ve still been a very good team on home ice, including a 5-0-1 record in their past six games at the Bell Centre.

With the six-game slate today, there is a definite theme – all six home teams are decent-sized favorites and are the teams to focus on for both cash games and tournaments in daily fantasy, while the scoring lines on the road underdog teams are more for GPP stack options. That is the case in this particular game, with Habs players Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov being good cash game plays (or a tournament stack) and the dynamic line of Evander Kane, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart as a GPP option. That line has the distinction of having the highest drafted picks in the league (and possibly highest in recent memory overall), with Eichel and Reinhart both being 2nd overall picks, and Kane drafted 4th overall. Since being formed, this Sabres top line has really played well together, with several multi-goal games, and the potential to go off for a big game and to lead DFS players to GPP success. Like the Wings-Jets game mentioned above, both goaltenders in this game are GPP-only options, but should be considered due to their relative inexpensive prices and ability to steal a game.

Elite Plays

BUF: None

MTL: Alex Galchenyuk, P.K. Subban

Secondary Plays

BUF: Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Evander Kane, Rasmus Ristolainen

MTL: Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, Sven Andrighetto

Edmonton Oilers at Minnesota Wild – 08:00 PM EST

Edmonton Oilers Minnesota Wild
Cam Talbot Devan Dubnyk
Record Record
26-36-7 31-26-10
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.36 2.93 16.80% 80.80% Team Stats 2.63 2.49 18.90% 75.90%

The Minnesota Wild may very well be the streakiest team in the league this season, with multiple prolonged winning and losing streaks. They are currently in one of their good stretches, while winning four out of five games and they’ve been getting very good goaltending from Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper. Minnesota has handled Edmonton twice already this season with 4-3 and 5-2 wins, and they’ll look to complete the season sweep at home tonight.

Edmonton is having another bad season and will be poised to add to their collection of high draft pick players in June. The Oilers rank near the bottom of the league in goals against per game and shots against per game, and the whole team is playing poor defensively from the forwards down to the weak defensive core to their inconsistent goaltending. That said, they do have a dynamic offense (led by phenom Connor McDavid) that can break out for big games, so in daily fantasy their top line is always a potential deep stack option in GPPs, and possibly the second line also as they’ve been scoring over the past week. Overall though, the Oilers are a team to fade tonight.

For the Wild, defenseman Ryan Suter has been their most consistent player lately (six game point streak) and he and fellow blueliner Mathew Dumba pair up on the team’s top power play unit, and both are good targets today. Up front, the Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle line is the one to look at for a tournament stack, and one of them could be inserted into a cash game lineup. The Wild’s third line with Erik Haula, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville (questionable for tonight’s game) did have a good scoring stretch, however they’ve been quiet over the past week.

Elite Plays

EDM: None

MIN: Darcy Kuemper, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise

Secondary Plays

EDM: Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall

MIN: Mikko Koivu, Mathew Dumba, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula

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About the Author

  • Sean Chard (maxdout)

  • Sean Chard (maxdout) is a Daily Fantasy Sports veteran, starting back during the 2011/12 NHL season. He lives in the Toronto area so naturally he is a fan of the Blue Jays, Raptors and Maple Leafs. maxdout is a grinder for all DFS sports and most notably NHL and MLB. His biggest DFS result to date is a 7th place finish in the FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship in 2013. He can be found on twitter at @maxdoutDFS.

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