Every Thursday I will be providing my recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you to the top of the leader boards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
We have a large 12-game slate as would be typical of a Thursday night. There are plenty of possession mismatches that involve a road team that is on the back-end of a back to back. Both the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets have difficult matchups while also playing their second game in as many nights. Additionally, the Florida Panthers host an Arizona Coyotes team that continues to find ways to win and the Montreal Canadiens look to keep their playoff hopes alive.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens – Over the last month, the Montreal Canadiens have the fourth-best CF% with a 55.53 rating. On the flip side, their opposing New York Islanders have the second-worst mark over the same time period with a 44.48 CF%. This type of matchup stands out for Carey Price tonight as he makes for a fantastic play. The Habs are far from the largest favorites on the slate at -150, but Price is still worth considering as the Islanders have scored just 21 goals over their last 10 games. Price has a modest 2.54 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage with three shutouts. He has struggled in March, but he was dominant in the two months prior, so a bounce back is the hope if the Habs want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers – Obviously, Nikita Kucherov has been dominant this season, but it is Aleksander Barkov who has put up the most points in the last month. His 25 points in 15 games is the most among all players in the last month, though it is not the most points-per-game — second to Connor McDavid. The Florida Panthers are hosting an Arizona Coyotes team that continues to find ways to win despite their possession numbers being subpar at best. The Coyotes have had a 45.49 CF% over the last month, which ranks 25th, and a 63.88 CA/60, which is the third-worst in the NHL.
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers – As mentioned above, the last month has been classic Connor as McDavid has been utterly dominant. He has put up 22 points in the last 12 games and has surged up to 2nd in NHL scoring. The Edmonton Oilers don't necessarily have a great matchup as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team in a heated playoff race while the Oilers are all but finished in that regard. McDavid has 100-point seasons in three consecutive years after losing half of his rookie season to an injury. With the way McDavid is playing right now, he is hard to ignore.
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames – Matthew Tkachuk is having a fantastic season, but it has often been overlooked by the fact that Johnny Gaudreau has been one of the best offensive players in the NHL. However, Tkachuk has 33 goals, 41 assists and 74 points in 73 games — all of which are career highs. His nine goals in the last month are tied for second among all NHLers, and he has done his damage away from the team’s top players, as he has been situated on the second line — albeit the top power play unit — for most of the season. A home matchup against the Ottawa Senators, who are on the tail-end of a back-to-back and have allowed 34 goals in their last 10 games, seems like a great spot to continue his goal-scoring ways.
Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights – Shea Theodore quarterbacks the power play for the Vegas Golden Knights, and while the special teams matchup between the Golden Knights power play and the Winnipeg Jets penalty kill is nothing more than neutral, the general matchup is elite. The Jets are on the second-half of a back-to-back and the possession mismatch is considerable. Over the last month, the Jets have a 44.98 CF%, which ranks 28th, and a 59.94 CA/60, which is 10th-worst in the NHL. On the other hand, the Golden Knights have the fifth-best CF% with a 55.30 rating and the second-best CF/60 with 67.58 CF/60. Theodore leads the Knights in points among defensemen with 35, and he looks to add to that total tonight.