FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday (3/2)
Welcome back to the large Thursday night slates that we have been accustomed to. When the Anaheim Ducks return to action tomorrow night all 30 NHL clubs will have completed their bye weeks which will return some normalcy to the NHL schedule. That means large Tuesday and Thursday slates again after a couple months of bye week rotation throughout the league. That said, let’s make this 10-game Thursday night slate a profitable one!
Jack Eichel (BUF): $7,300 vs. ARI
There is a solid matchup to be exploited tonight for the 2015 second-overall pick. Eichel and the Sabres welcome the lowly Arizona Coyotes to town tonight, a club that is tied for 28th with 3.21 goals against per game on the season. Even better for Eichel is the fact that the Coyotes have surrendered the most goals in the entire league on the road this season with 112 and the second-most per game at 3.61. You also might be surprised to see that Buffalo’s power play at home ranks fourth in the league at an even 24%, a unit that runs through Eichel. Although his even strength linemates aren’t the best in Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta, his ability to shoot the puck (3.98 shots/game) makes him a must-have tonight.
Tyler Seguin (DAL): $8,300 vs. NYI
There isn’t much to say here that isn’t blatantly obvious. Seguin is one of the best players in the NHL with 61 points in 63 games (10th) to go along with a whopping 235 shots on goal, good for second behind only Brent Burns. Seguin should benefit from playing a poor Islanders road team tonight as they surrender 3.15 goals per game on the road while Dallas interestingly scores the same 3.15 goals per game at home. He averages 18:37 of ice per game and is their best offensive player this season so feel comfortable in owning the superstar this evening.
Jamie Benn (DAL): $8,400 vs. NYI
Although he is flying under the radar in large part because Dallas will likely be a non-playoff team, Benn has been remarkably consistent as of late. He has reached the scoresheet in 20 of his last 25 games and has tallied 30 points in that stretch for an average of 1.2 points per game. For perspective, Sidney Crosby has 1.2 points per game this season. In other words, he is scoring with the best of them right now, and I don’t see any reason for that to change in a home matchup against the Islanders. Besides, only the Hurricanes have fewer than the nine wins the Islanders have accumulated on the road this season.
Brett Ritchie (DAL): $3,400 vs. NYI
The biggest beneficiary of the Patrick Eaves trade out of Dallas has been Ritchie. While the Stars’ lines could change with Patrick Sharp likely out of the remainder of the season, Ritchie has been playing on the top line next to Benn for the last few games. That has aided the youngster in notching two points over his last three games while taking five shots in Tuesday’s win over the Penguins. Ritchie has shown an above average ability to get pucks on net despite his ice time. He has taken 126 shots on goal this season despite seeing an average of just 12:37 of ice time per game, mostly on Dallas’ fourth line. That said, he has skated at least 15 minutes in each of his last three games while playing on that top line next to Benn.
Jakub Voracek (PHI): $6,800 vs. FLA
While the Flyers have struggled to score goals as of late, Voracek has been a consistent contributor. He has six points over his last eight games, but it is the home matchup that has me interested in his services tonight. Voracek has 33 points in 32 home games on the season while taking an impressive 133 shots on goal, good for 4.03 per game. Compare that to his 18 points in 30 road games with 69 shots on goal (2.3/game) and you can easily see this guy is much more dangerous on home ice. The Flyers scored four goals in a shutout win over the Avalanche at home on Tuesday, so perhaps their offense can build off of that performance tonight.
Jordan Weal (PHI): $3,200 vs. FLA
Here is a value play that could benefit from his opportunity on the Flyers’ second line with Voracek. Weal scored the first goal of his NHL career in Tuesday’s win over Colorado and has taken five shots over his last two games. He has reached as many as six shots in a game this season despite playing in just five games so he isn’t afraid to let it rip. That is a lot like Voracek as well so perhaps teaming these two up tonight could prove fruitful, especially with Weal at this price.
Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF): $5,400 vs. ARI
This guy is simply the best young defenseman in the NHL. At the ripe old age of 22, Ristolainen has established himself as Buffalo’s top defenseman in every situation and has taken the next step in his offensive game with a solid 37 points on 150 shots on goal this season. 21 of those 37 points have come with the man advantage as Ristolainen is the lone defenseman on that productive Sabres power play alongside Jack Eichel. He should benefit from a brutal Coyotes defense tonight, especially considering he skates an average of 26:54 per game, the fourth highest mark in the league.
Ivan Provorov (PHI): $4,200 vs. FLA
Interestingly, it appears Provorov is on the same career path as Ristolainen. He is a 20-year-old rookie who is well on his way to becoming a force in this league. He has 24 points in 62 games this season while averaging 21:38 of ice time per game. That includes power play time as well, a spot where Provorov could benefit from yesterday’s departure of veteran Mark Streit. Nonetheless, Provorov has 120 shots on goal and 127 blocks this season, providing excellent peripheral stats that will help his cause tonight in a home game against the Panthers.
Robin Lehner (BUF): $8,000 vs. ARI or Anders Nilsson (BUF): $7,800 vs. ARI
As of the time of this writing few goaltenders have been confirmed as starters, but I will go with whoever is playing goal for the Sabres this evening. Both of these guys are very solid at home, however, Nilsson is exceptional at the KeyBank Center this season. He is 7-1-1 with a 2.07 goals against average and a .941 save percentage at home while Lehner has a solid 2.49 goals against average and a .925 save percentage at home. Buffalo gives up just 2.55 goals per game at home while the Coyotes score only 2.19 goals per game on the road so let’s ride whoever gets the nod tonight in the home crease.