Craig Anderson essentially ruined our night with a very poor effort against the Wild, but we did get some production out of our skaters. Both of our defenseman scored goals and Ryan Pulock’s goal came at very low ownership. Unfortunately too many players were held off the scoresheet including Tyler Seguin and Viktor Arvidsson. Let’s move on to tonight’s quieter three-game slate.
C – Sean Couturier (PHI) – $6,600 vs. DET
Couturier and the Flyers will likely be a high owned group but a complete fade could leave us out of the money. The Red Wings will thrust backup Petr Mrazek into goal tonight, and the Czech native owns an .865 Sv% in three December appearances. Couturier is having a career year offensively this season across the board with 15 goals and 15 assists and sits with 99 shots on goal entering play tonight. A nice matchup indeed for the breakout star.
C – Tyler Bozak (TOR) – $3,800 vs. CLS
A repeat performance might be asking a lot from the Bozak-Marner-van Riemsdyk trio, but surely some momentum could be had from the Leafs’ 8-1 drubbing of the Hurricanes yesterday. Bozak had four points in that outing after being held pointless over his previous four. He has ten shots over his last two games so let’s get this line in our lineup tonight against Blue Jackets’ backup Joonas Korpisalo.
W – Wayne Simmonds (PHI) – $5,600 vs. DET
Plenty of ownership will go to Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek for tonight’s contest, so let’s dodge at least some of that and go with Simmonds. Simmonds has ten tallies on the season, and we are talking about a guy who has scored at least 28 goals in each of his last five full NHL seasons. Simmonds has moved onto the top line with Couturier and is a fixture in front of the net on the Flyers’ top power play unit.
W – Mitch Marner (TOR) – $4,700 vs. CLS
Marner was the anchor in yesterday’s blowout win over Carolina as he himself enjoyed a four-point day. He now has eight points over his last six games and is currently playing his best hockey of the season. Not only are the Maple Leafs dodging Sergei Bobrovsky tonight, but they are also dodging Zach Werenski who will miss tonight’s contest with an injury. Without their top goalie and top pairing defenseman the Blue Jackets could be a bit vulnerable on the back end tonight.
W – James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – $6,200 vs. CLS
He didn’t get four points yesterday like his linemates Bozak and Marner, but we will give his three-point effort the benefit of the doubt. van Riemsdyk’s 16 goals leads the Maple Leafs and he is a force on the power play where he has scored seven of those goals. The Maple Leafs have the league’s sixth best man advantage at 22.8% so rostering three of their five top unit bodies could be a very profitable thought on this slate.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $5,700 vs. DET
Gostisbehere is back to being a lethal commodity on that Flyers’ blueline. After a tough season a year ago, he has responded with 25 points in 30 games this season with 85 shots on goal to boot. He has fired 14 of those 85 shots over his last three games as well. Detroit yields 3.20 goals per game on the road and are playing on back-to-back nights tonight, so an offensive outburst from the Flyers is a real possibility.
D – Seth Jones (CLS) – $5,100 vs. TOR
With Werenski sidelined it is Jones who will take his spot on the top Blue Jackets power play unit. While that group hasn’t been good this year, Jones is set to play a heavy workload nonetheless. He already averages over 24 minutes of ice time per game, a number I believe goes over the 25 minute mark tonight. Like the Leafs, the Blue Jackets are also catching a break as the red-hot Frederik Andersen will give way to backup Curtis McElhinney for tonight’s contest.
G – Mike Smith (CGY) – $7,400 vs. STL
The Blues are struggling offensively right now and Smith has been rock-solid lately, a nice combination for success tonight in Calgary. Smith has allowed two goals or less in four of his last five contests and he brings with him a .931 Sv% over that stretch as well. With the Blues scoring just six goals over their last five games without Jaden Schwartz we know we are catching the Blues at a time where they are cold up front. Let’s use that to our advantage tonight by rostering Smith.
UTIL – Boone Jenner (CLS) – $4,500 vs. TOR
Jenner’s three goals on the season leaves plenty to be desired, but there should be more scoring ahead for the winger. He has taken 63 shots in 27 games this season, and his current 4.8% shooting percentage is miles under his career 10.4% mark. He and Jones form a mini-stack on that top Blue Jackets power play unit and Jenner is skating just shy of 18 minutes per game so let’s roll with what could be a lower owned mini-stack this evening.