2013 Fantasy Hockey Daily Fantasy Sports Fix: Saturday December 28th
After a day of hockey that saw a 7-2 drubbing by the Blackhawks against the Colorado Avalanche, pretty much everyone who didn’t have Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews in their lineup, had a lot of trouble cashing last night. Also, Tuukka Rask supplied a shutout, though we of course did highly recommend him (and Sharp). But not Toews. We simply underestimated the effect of the Avalanche’s decision to not have a morning skate.
We did well in our overall predictions yesterday, but our official lineup was a disaster – an extreme rarity for us.
*Authors Note: For all that don’t already follow me, (@JoshKayNHL) make sure you do, because I tweeted two hours before the start of the games, that I was having second thoughts about Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots in the first period. I switched him out for Philipp Grubauer, while switching out Taylor Hall for the aforementioned Sharp. That move brought my lineup an extra 24 points alone — a move that everyone following me on twitter, saw.*
Before we get to the games tonight, there are important updates on the injury front.
John Tavares will not play tonight. The super-star captain of the New York Islanders has a “lower-body” injury, which snaps his 246 consecutive games played streak. For those interested, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester holds the longest current such streak. He hasn’t missed a game since 2004.
Also, Blues leading scorer Alex Steen was placed on injured reserve with a concussion. Obviously, he is out tonight as well.
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Ottawa Senators- Craig Anderson (10-9-4, 3.27 GAA, .901 Save Pct.) (vs. Boston: DFS price is $8,100)
Detroit Red Wings- Jonas Gustavsson (10-3-2, 2.35 GAA, .915 Save Pct.) (@ FLA: DFS price is $6,200)
Florida Panthers- Scott Clemmensen (4-3-1, 3.00 GAA, .892 Save Pct.) (vs. DET: DFS price is $6,400)
Montreal Canadiens- Carey Price (17-11-2, 2.10 GAA, .932 Save Pct.) (@ TB: DFS price is $9,600)
Tampa Bay Lightning- Ben Bishop (20-5-2, 1.93 GAA, .935 Save Pct.) (vs. MTL: DFS price is $10,000)
New Jersey Devils- Cory Schneider (4-8-5, 2.20 GAA, .910 Save Pct.) (@ NYI: DFS price is $6,200)
New York Islanders- Evgeni Nabokov (7-6-5, 2.93 GAA, .901 Save Pct.) (vs. NJ: DFS price is $7,300)
Chicago Blackhawks- Antti Raanta (9-1-2, 2.18 GAA, .915 Save Pct.) (@ STL: DFS price is $6,400)
St. Louis Blues- Jaroslav Halak (17-6-3, 2.32 GAA, .909 Save Pct.) (vs. CHI: DFS price is $7,000)
Los Angeles Kings- Ben Scrivens (7-3-4, 1.66 GAA, .941 Save Pct.) (@ NSH: DFS price is $7,300)
Nashville Predators- Marek Mazanec (5-8-1, 2.73 GAA, .910 Save Pct.) (vs. LA: DFS price is $6,200)
Phoenix Coyotes- Thomas Greiss (4-2-0, 2.20 GAA, .926 Save Pct.) (@ ANA: DFS price is $6,800)
Anaheim Ducks- Jonas Hiller (16-4-4, 2.41 GAA, .913 Save Pct.) (vs. PHX: DFS price is $8,500)
Philadelphia Flyers- Steve Mason (14-9-4, 2.35 GAA, .923 Save Pct.) (@ EDM: DFS price is $8,400)
Edmonton Oilers- Ilya Bryzgalov (2-4-0, 2.80 GAA, .915 Save Pct.) (vs. PHI: DFS price is $6,200)
Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins is unconfirmed at this point. There were rumblings that new call-up Niklas Svedberg would start today, but Rask was the first goaltender off during optional skate this morning (which is usually an indicator of starting goalie). But it was an optional skate, thus allowing for the cloudy picture. Follow my twitter (@JoshKayNHL) for up to the minute announcements regarding this. It’s important to note that Svedberg is NOT in the Draft Kings player pool at the moment.
*UPDATE* As of 3:13 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was diagnosed with a torn ACL/MCL, causing the Bruins to make an emergency call-up. The call-up was defenseman Zach Trotman, and since the Bruins needed to send a player down, Niklas Svedberg was the casualty. Rask is now a virtual lock tonight to start.
Thoughts and Musings
The Boston Bruins downed the Ottawa Senators 5-0 last night. It might stand to reason that the Bruins would be a lock to dominate again, since they are so hot. There may be some truth in that statement, but the Bruins have a distinct advantage when they are at home. They get to select the line combination matchups by way of the “last change” rule. The rule states that the home team is allowed (before a face-off) to see who the away team is putting on the ice, thus allowing them to respond with the matchup they desire most. Now that Ottawa has that advantage, expect Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan – and Clarke MacArthur to be kept away from the Patrice Bergeron line (which is excellent defensively). We are approaching this game with a bit of caution since it’s a back-to-back. The Bruins are by far the better team, but this game could be much closer. Daily Fantasy Hockey is about percentage plays. There is enough concern (especially if Svedberg starts in net for the Bruins) to not “load up” on Boston tonight.
The Detroit Red Wings are welcoming back Henrik Zetterberg, their captain, after a lengthy stay on injured reserve cost the Swede 11 games. His herniated disk has apparently healed, and for Daily Fantasy Hockey gamers, it could not have come at a better time. The Wings trot into Sunrise, Florida to face the Florida Panthers who are fresh off a 6-1 spanking doled out to them by their rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Philadelphia Flyers are 4-1-1 over their past six games, and much of that is due to the resurgence of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. The 25-year-old Giroux has 12 points in the past six games, while the 24-year-old Voracek has 11 points during that span. The duo is a combined plus-17 as well, during the six game hot streak. While we don’t want to say definitely that the Flyers will smoke the Edmonton Oilers tonight, it’s a great percentage play because elite defensive center Sean Couturier matches up beautifully against Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Philly right winger (on that line with Couturier) Matt Read matches up well with Taylor Hall. The defensive-minded duo from Philly should do well on that assignment — allowing Voracek and Giroux to run wild.
There are a couple different approaches to take tonight. First, is the “boom/bust” luxury and bargains approach. Anaheim, Philadelphia and Detroit are the three teams I am most confident with tonight (in that order). Therefore, many of my lineups begin like this:
C- Ryan Getzlaf– $8,200- ANA
RW- Corey Perry– $7,100- ANA
Util- Claude Giroux- $8,200- PHI
Util- Jakub Voracek- $6,600- PHI
G- Jonas Gustavsson- $6,200- DET
This group leaves me with $3,450 left for the remaining four spots: left wing, two defensemen, and a final utility.
Here is the rest of our boom/bust (stars and bargains) lineup
D- Ben Lovejoy– $3,900- ANA (four straight games with an assists and blocks a lot of shots)
D- Jake Muzzin– $3,400- LA (Nashville penalty-kill has struggled lately, and Dallas combined for three assists from defensemen last game)
Util- Adam Henrique– $3,000- NJ (Islanders are without Tavares, which moves up all their centers) Henrique will benefit
C- Pavel Datsyuk– $6,500- DET
LW- Bobby Ryan- $6,300- OTT
RW- Jaromir Jagr– $5,700- NJD
D- Niklas Kronwall– $5,000- DET
D- Drew Doughty– $5,100- LA
G- Cory Schneider- $6,200- NJD
U- Jakub Voracek- $6,600- PHI
U- Brad Marchand– $4,500- BOS
U- Kyle Palmieri– $4,200- ANA
We recommend also making an ALL CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS line-up. Put it in a small $2 competition with a big payout and a large field. It will always have lots of upside.
There aren’t many great match-ups today. So limit your risk by hedging your bets. There should be lots of penalties tonight, so going with expensive defensemen might be a very smart strategy.
Here are the notable referee tandems tonight:
Detroit @ Florida:
Ghislain Hebert (#22)- 4.2 minors/gm and Francois St. Laurent (#38)- 4.1 minors/gm
Chicago @ St. Louis:
Tim Peel (#20)- 3.5 minors/gm and Dean Morton (#36)- 4.0 minors/gm
Los Angeles @ Nashville:
Chris Lee (#28)- 4.0 minors/gm and Dan O’Rourke (#9)- 3.7 minors/gm
Philadelphia @ Edmonton:
Brad Meier (#34)- 4.3 minors/gm and Steve Kozari (#40)- 4.1 minors/gm
Finally, everyone interested in joining a mini-game contest with me, hit me up on twitter. @JoshKayNHL