Pepsi7's NHL Core Plays: Wednesday, February 14th
Each day, one of our NHL experts will be providing recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you build the optimal cash game (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) lineup.
Wednesday, February 14th
Happy Valentine’s Day Grinders! Let’s celebrate with three games of National Hockey League action. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers are tonight’s favorites, and the Columbus Blue Jackets are the only team playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs – The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only big favorite on the board tonight, and with the games in Colorado and Vancouver being coin flips, Frederik Andersen easily becomes the number one option in goal tonight in all formats. The Columbus Blue Jackets have struggled to score goals throughout the 2017-18 season, ranking 28th overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game, and I do not see them busting out tonight at the Air Canada Centre while playing their second game in as many nights. Look for Andersen to lock up his 29th win of the season, while making 30-plus saves in the process.
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs – With the highest projected goal total on this three-game slate, the Toronto Maple Leafs become the top offense to target as they host a Columbus Blue Jackets squad playing on a road back-to-back, which means Auston Matthews is once again the main attraction. The 20-year-old phenom has racked up three goals and seven points in his last four contests, including a three-point performance last time out, and I think we see another multi-point effort from Matthews this evening at the Air Canada Centre.
Other Offensive Options – With just three games of National Hockey League action on deck, we are lacking offensive options, with no team outside of the Toronto Maple Leafs having a projected goal total higher than 2.82. This means we should expect the other five teams to be relatively quiet in terms of goals for this evening, and that also means a multi-goal game from any line could result in taking down a tournament tonight. With Nathan MacKinnon out due to injury, the Colorado Avalanche are no longer an offense we need to target, and with Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog playing on separate lines, this should be an easy fade tonight. The Avs don’t look good offensively, but they have still been playing solid defensive hockey, and I really do not need to pick on them with a Montreal Canadiens team that struggles to score, and has very little power play correlation. So that brings me to the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks. Neither of these teams are strong defensively and I think this is where we see some goals, despite this game likely playing at a slower pace. Both of the Panthers’ top two lines are stackable, with Keith Yandle being the play on defense. The Canucks’ top line also piques my interest tonight, whether you are looking to stack the entire line or use Brock Boeser as a one off, there is multi-goal potential here. Alexander Edler is expensive and overrated, but if you are stacking Vancouver’s number one line, I would still suggest adding Edler where you can, and I doubt we see him highly owned.
Jake Gardiner & Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs – I am heading back to the Air Canada Centre tonight for my top defensemen. The Toronto Maple Leafs should be the highest scoring team on the night, which means both Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly have multi-point potential in this favorable matchup. In cash games, I would look to roster one or both of the Maple Leafs’ offensive rearguards, and as for GPPs, you will want to pair Gardiner with Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs’ top line, and Rielly with Mitch Marner and Nazem Kadri on Toronto’s second power play unit.
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