NHL Grind Down: Tuesday, March 13th

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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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Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes

Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes
Tuukka Rask Cam Ward
Record Record
43-16-8 30-28-11
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 3.33 2.54 21.96 82.44 Team Stats 2.62 2.99 19.23 78.26

We have seen Boston add scoring depth at the trade deadline, which has been a key component to their recent success, as they have been dealing with injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, along with the suspension to David Backes. While Backes is back in the lineup after serving his suspension, Bergeron remains out of the lineup tonight. Brad Marchand participated in morning skate and being listed as a game-time decision.

With both team’s respective solid possession numbers, and injuries plaguing the Bruins, we may see spread out scoring in this contest. While injuries have opened up some interesting value, both teams will likely miss the cut for me while making GPP lineups.

Top Plays:

CAR: Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk
BOS: None

Secondary Plays:

CAR: Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho, Noah Hanifin
BOS: Rick Nash, Riley Nash, David Krejci, David Backes, David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk

Dallas Stars at Montreal Canadiens

Dallas Stars Montreal Canadiens
Kari Lehtonen Antti Niemi
Record Record
38-25-6 25-32-12
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.81 2.58 19.81 83.26 Team Stats 2.51 3.06 20.10 76.26

The Canadiens are another team playing their second game in as many nights. Fresh off a 5-2 loss to Columbus, things don’t get any easier tonight as they host a Dallas Stars team featuring Tyler Seguin. With goaltender Ben Bishop on the shelf still with a knee injury, look for Kari Lehtonen to defend the cage for the Stars. While his GAA sits at 2.23, this is more of a product of the team’s defensive system. Surprisingly Lehtonen’s numbers are better on the road this year (GAA 1.83). That being said, we can expect some regression with his career GAA of 2.70. With Hab’s captain Max Pacioretty still out due to injury, we can focus solely on the top line of Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, and Jonathan Drouin for DFS purposes. All three forwards skate on the top power play unit with defenseman Jeff Petry, who make an interesting stack in GPPs tonight.

This game features more fantasy goodness on the Dallas Stars side of things. Former Dallas Star Antti Niemi will draw the start tonight for Montreal. With superstars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin being reunited in morning skate, I will be looking to this potent top line in cash games, as well as GPPs. The main attraction being Tyler Seguin, with Alexander Radulov and Jamie Benn rounding out the top line at a slight discount. John Klingberg makes for an elite play as he mans the blue line on the top power play unit, and has logged an average of 25 minutes of ice time over the past four games. The Stars’ secondary lines are less than appealing tonight from a fantasy perspective, with the Stars’ loading up their top line.

Top Plays:

MON: None
DAL: Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, Jamie Benn John Klingberg

Secondary Plays:

MON: Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry
DAL: None

Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning

Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning
Mike Condon Andrei Vasilevskiy
Record Record
24-33-11 48-17-4
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.67 3.37 16.27 76.29 Team Stats 3.58 2.74 23.83 77.53

The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning will have the Ottawa Senators in town this evening. This bodes well for Tampa’s lethal power play (23.8%) against Ottawa’s dismal penalty kill (76.4%). Tampa Bay have the night’s highest implied goal total, sitting at 3.91. J.T. Miller was promoted to the team’s first line last game, resulting in an assist. Skating along Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov, this trio makes for an elite play in all formats this evening. It makes sense to gain exposure to the second line featuring Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point, and Yanni Gourde in cash games, as well as stacking them up in GPPs. On defense, you’ll want to fit in Victor Hedman with the first line, and Mikhail Sergachev on the second line wherever salary allows you too. If salary restrictions don’t allow you to fit the entire top line in GPPs, you can look to Alex Killorn for value as he sees minutes on the top power play unit. 

We saw Ottawa score five goals last night as they visited the Florida Panthers. In an ultra contrarian GPP, one could look at the top line of Mike Hoffman, Ryan Dzingel, and Matt Duchene, as they had a multi-point night against a solid Panthers squad. Andrei Vasilevskiy has also mentioned he is dealing with some fatigue as of late, so there may be sneaky upside with Ottawa if he comes out flat. Pairing Ottawa’s top line with Erik Karlsson makes sense whenever possible this evening.

I will have plenty of exposure to Tampa Bays’ top six in cash games and GPPs tonight, as I expect them to dominate this game from puck drop. Although Ottawa has some potential against a tired goaltender in Vasilevskiy, they will likely miss the cut for me in GPPs.

Top Plays:

TB: Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, J.T. Miller, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman
OTT: None

Secondary Plays:

TB: Mikhail Sergachev, Alex Killorn
OTT: Mike Hoffman, Matt Duchene, Erik Karlsson

Winnipeg Jets at Nashville Predators

Winnipeg Jets Nashville Predators
Michael Hutchinson Pekka Rinne
Record Record
41-18-10 44-14-10
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 3.31 2.60 24.45 82.89 Team Stats 3.19 2.46 21.83 82.23

The central division leading Nashville Predators (98 points in 68 games) play host to the Winnipeg Jets, whom currently sit at second in the Central Division (91 points in 68 games). Mark Scheifele is expected to miss another game with an upper-body injury. Rising star Patrik Laine has been on a tear recently, skating alongside Paul Stastny, and Nikolaj Ehlers. Laine has posted 11 points (10 G/1 A) in his past six games, earning him the NHL’s first star of the week. While Laine has garnered much-deserved attention, Scheifele’s injury has given Bryan Little an opportunity on the Jet’s top line, centering Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor. While Little has been quiet lately, he is playing around 20 minutes per game at a discounted price across the industry. If you are stacking either of these top two lines in GPPs, Dustin Byfuglien continues to be a solid option on the blue line. He is logging huge minutes, and skating on the Jets’ top power play unit.

The Nashville Predators also have two potent lines, with Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson making up the Predators’ top line. They all skate on Nashville’s top powerplay unit, with P.K. Subban manning the point on the man advantage. Kevin Fiala, Craig Smith, and Kyle Turris make up the second Line. While Smith sees minutes on the team’s top powerplay unit, Fiala and Turris are on the second unit with defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi. The Predators’ second line also comes with a modest price tag across the industry, and are also stackable in GPPs. The team has given several players “days off” in the past two weeks, so be sure to check updated lines before game time.

This game should play at a fast pace, and it will be a fun game to watch. With shootout potential (these two combined for 11 goals in Winnipeg a couple weeks ago), there is merit to stacking both teams’ top two lines in GPPs.

Top Plays:

NSH: Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson
WPG: Patrik Laine

Secondary Plays:

NSH: Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala, Roman Josi, P.K. Subban
WPG: Bryan Little, Paul Stastny, Nikolaj Ehlers

Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild

Colorado Avalanche Minnesota Wild
Semyon Varlamov Devan Dubnyk
Record Record
36-24-8 39-23-7
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 3.15 2.96 20.47 83.40 Team Stats 3.09 2.84 21.36 79.91

The Minnesota Wild are now back home after a trip out west, to host the division rival Colorado Avalanche. Look for Mikko Koivu and the Wild’s second line to matchup against red-hot Nathan MacKinnon, who is riding an eight-game point streak into St. Paul. Minnesota’s’ first line of Jason Zucker, Eric Staal, and Mikael Granlund will see a juicy matchup against the Avs’ secondary lines. This bodes well for the trio, who have combined for eight points over the past four games. Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon are the guys you want on the blue line, as they both correlate on the top power play unit. Suter provides a nice floor for cash games with the amount of ice time he sees, while Spurgeon can make a great GPP play.

UPDATE: Colorado line changes: Tyson Jost back on the second line, still on top PP unit. Gabriel Landeskog reunited on top line with MacKinnon.

The Colorado Avalanche currently hold the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference, while they try to gain some ground on the Wild whom sit at third in the Central Division. Tyson Jost has been bumped up to the first line, resulting in a goal last time out. He brings down the overall cost of the complete line stack, including the talented Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. However, the Wild are a solid team at home, and do their best to limit high danger scoring chances in front of solid goaltending, by Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock. Even with Koivu doing his best to slow down Mackinnon and company, they are bordering matchup proof and have to be in consideration for GPPs. You’ll want to add power play quarterback Tyson Barrie with the Avs’ top line.

Top Plays:

MN: Eric Staal, Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund, Ryan Suter,
Col: Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Tyson Barrie

Secondary Plays:

MN: Jared Spurgeon
COL: Tyson Jost

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About the Author

  • Justin Miron (WildDawg)

  • Justin Miron (WildDawg) @mnwild4lifedfs is a Bemidji State University graduate and die-hard Minnesota Wild fan/NHL enthusiast. Justin has been competing in high stakes fantasy hockey leagues for many years and he has recently burst onto the RotoGrinders scene. Since beginning to play DFS in the past several years he has climbed into the top 150 NHL rankings, currently sitting at 135th. He is a cash game/single entry GPP specialist, and recently has taken down the FanDuel NHL Monster twice along with other top three finishes, including the DraftKings Sniper Tournament (2-26-2018).

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