Pepsi7's NHL Core Plays: Wednesday, March 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, March 14th
It is another typically quiet Wednesday night in the National Hockey League with just five games on the docket. The Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vegas Golden Knights are tonight’s biggest favorites, and we have two teams (Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars) 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.
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks – The Vancouver Canucks have struggled to score goals all season long (27th overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game), and now they are without both Brock Boeser and Sven Baertschi, which certainly won’t help them tonight at the Honda Center. The Canucks have lost four straight games, scoring just three goals in total and I would not be surprised to see them put up a goose egg tonight in Anaheim. John Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks should cruise to an easy victory on this Wednesday evening and Gibson is our best shot at a shutout.
Pittsburgh Penguins Offense – The New York Rangers have been a poor defensive team throughout the 2017-18 season, but they have fallen off a cliff since the trade deadline, and they are once again the top team to attack tonight on this five-game slate. The Pittsburgh Penguins have a lethal offense and they have been on an offensive tear this month, leading the National Hockey League in goals per game by a large margin, averaging a ridiculous 4.33 per contest, and I cannot see the Blue Shirts slowing them down this evening at Madison Square Garden. In cash games I would recommend any of the big four (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist), with Evgeni Malkin being my top choice and Patric Hornqvist being the top point-per-dollar play of the Penguins forwards. On defense, both Kris Letang and the moderately priced Justin Schultz are cash game worthy as well. In tournament play, all three of the Penguins scoring lines are stackable, with Malkin and the Penguins’ second line leading the way.
Anaheim Ducks Top Line – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be very popular tonight and for good reason, but the Anaheim Ducks’ offense is not far behind, and their top line has big game upside in this plus matchup on home ice. The Vancouver Canucks have really struggled of late, losing nine of their last 11 games, while surrendering the sixth-most goals against per game in the National Hockey League this month, and I expect the Ducks’ number one line to make them pay tonight. In cash games, I would strongly suggest you get a piece of this dangerous trio, with Rickard Rakell being my preferred option, and Brandon Montour is just too cheap to pass on. As far as tourneys go, I will have heavy exposure to the Ducks’ number one line, while mixing in both Cam Fowler and Montour wherever possible.
Alex Tuch, Vegas Golden Knights – With Reilly Smith out tonight due to an upper body injury, value play Alex Tuch will replace him on the Vegas Golden Knights’ top line, while also remaining on their number one power play unit. Despite spending most of the season on the Golden Knights third line, the 21-year-old former first round pick has steadily produced and he should be able to elevate his game tonight playing with much better linemates in a very favorable matchup at the T-Mobile Arena. At just $4,700 on DraftKings and $3800 on FanDuel, Tuch is easily one of the top value plays on the slate.
Options on the Blue Line – Despite the short-slate, we have plenty of great options in all pricing tiers tonight on defense. Kris Letang certainly leads the way in a plus matchup against a New York Rangers, but if you prefer to load up on forwards, you do not have to pay up tonight. If you want exposure to the Penguins explosive offense without paying up, Justin Schultz is moderately priced and he continues to see big minutes at both even strength and on the Penguins’ second power play unit. The Anaheim Ducks have the second highest projected goal total on the night and they should have no problem running over a banged up and weak Vancouver Canucks squad tonight, putting both Cam Fowler and the inexpensive Brandon Montour in play for all formats. The Vegas Golden Knights are another offense we want to target this evening. The Vegas power play has been insanely hot of late and value defenseman Shea Theodore continues to lead them from the back end. Lastly, Ethan Bear may be the top punt option on the board tonight, as he continues to quarterback the Edmonton Oilers’ number one power play unit in place of the injured Oscar Klefbom.
Update – Oscar Klefbom will return to the lineup tonight, leaving Bear’s role undetermined, however, he is still a fine punt play.
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