Fantasy Hockey: NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays for January 23rd – Fantasy CPR

Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Hockey: WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 09: T.J. Oshie #77 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Capital One Arena on November 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Welcome BACK to the NHL DFS FanDuel Power Plays column. This is a fantasy hockey column focused on top lineup plays each day. This edition is focused on the Main slate for Wednesday, January 23rd

The first half of the NHL season is winding down, as we approach the All-Star break this weekend. That means we have a limited number of shots at building fantasy hockey lineups this week. In fact, Wednesday night is the last chance we have before all NHL teams take Thursday and Friday off.

Fortunately, there are six really good games slated for Wednesday night, and given the near break, it appears several of these teams will roll out some value opportunities, while also giving us a shot at paying up for some high-level offensive FanDuel NHL points.

Before we get there, a reminder to never take a NHL DFS optimal lineup as ‘bible’ for your personal lineup each day. Use the suggestions as guidance. Also, make sure you follow final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR or me @MattyMcMatt17 look for late breaking lineup news.

Here’s a look at the NHL schedule for the Main slate on Wednesday, January 23rd:

Capitals at Maple Leafs 7:30pm ET NBC Sports Network

Coyotes at Canadiens 7:30pm ET

Wild at Avalanche 9:30pm ET

Predators at Golden Knights 10pm ET NBC Sports Network

Blues at Ducks 10pm ET

Hurricanes at Canucks 10:30pm ET ESPN+

The Capitals and Maple Leafs are an obvious choice for NBC Sports Network viewing. Both teams have dynamic offenses, and lucky for NBC Sports, they’re both playing terrible defense right now. But that gives us an opportunity to pay up for some high-point totals, if we can find value elsewhere.

Fortunately, teams like the Coyotes, Canadiens, Golden Knights, Blues, and Canucks offer a long list of value plays. We’ll try to grab a handful of those guys, while also spending big FanDuel NHL salary on top picks.

Quick Plug: You may have noticed a lot of NHL games are now aired on ESPN+. I have a subscription so I can watch more sports in general, but enjoy the coverage from ESPN+ for Hockey as well. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to follow more live coverage of the NHL, you can get a trial-subscription here.

So, let’s start building our NHL DFS optimal lineup by looking at the top centers for this slate…

College hockey stars of the week: Alabama Huntsville's Kurt Gosselin tallies six points in weekend sweep –

Here were the top three performers in men’s college hockey for the week of Jan. 14 -20.

RECAP: Clarkson wins eighth straight game with shutout against Brown

1. Kurt Gosselin, Alabama Huntsville

The senior defenseman led the Chargers to a sweep of Alaska Anchorage in WCHA action over the weekend. On Friday, he posted three points on a goal and two assists in a 6-2 victory. On Saturday, he added three more points on two goals and an assist as UAH defeated the Seawolves 6-3.

For the weekend, the Brighton, Michigan native totaled six points on three goals and three assists on 11 shots on goal. He had a combined +5 rating. Gosselin now has 11 points this season on three goals and eight assists.

Alabama Huntsville Athletics
Alabama Huntsville college hockey

2. Michael Graham, Notre Dame

Graham had a big weekend for the Fighting Irish in Big Ten action against Wisconsin. In Friday’s 6-4 victory in Madison, he had two goals and an assist on the game-winner. In Sunday’s 2-2 tie at the United Center in Chicago, the freshman forward scored both of Notre Dame’s goals.

MORE: Midseason predictions for college hockey’s 2019 awards

He finished the weekend with five points on four goals and an assist while taking nine shots on goal. He improved his season totals to 11 points (five goals, six assists).

Notre Dame Athletics
Notre dame hockey

3. Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth

The junior goalie from Cohasset, Minnesota shut out Miami (Ohio) in both contests this past weekend in NCHC action.

Shepard stopped all 23 shots in Friday’s 4-0 win and then made 17 more saves in Saturday’s 3-0 victory to complete the sweep of the Redhawks. With the flawless weekend, Shepard lowered his season’s goals-against average to 1.74 while increasing his save percentage to .923.

Minnesota Duluth Athletics
Minnesota Duluth hockey

2019 FROZEN FOUR: Schedule & dates for 2019 Frozen Four | Championship info & tickets

Nickel: If these Badgers hockey players look familiar, it's probably in their DNA – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

John Byce (left) and Alicia Pelton (right) with their son, Ty Pelton-Byce (center) and daughter, Kaya. (Photo: Alicia Pelton)

MADISON – Ty Pelton-Byce’s parents wanted what was best for their son, and when that meant playing at Harvard, they supported it. Though John Byce and Alicia Pelton were both Wisconsin Badgers standouts – in hockey, baseball and track – the Madison couple understood their son’s calling to leave the nest.

“We really want him to have his own path,” Alicia Pelton said. “As much as everyone wanted him to go to Wisconsin – neighbors and friends and family wanted it in a way – there can be added pressure to go to Wisconsin and be a legacy player.”

So Ty went his own way. For two years, he played hockey at Harvard.

But the best part about any good family is you always can come home again. So when things didn’t go as planned – depression affected Pelton-Byce’s ability to concentrate on his studies and he decided to make a change – he wrote a letter to the University of Wisconsin and was accepted as a transfer student. Pelton-Byce, a forward, is now just settling into his new Badgers hockey uniform – and resembling his dad sometimes.

John Byce (Photo: Alicia Pelton)

In fact, while watching the Badgers men’s hockey team on the ice, do a lot of these guys remind you of anyone?

They should. The UW roster is full of young men whose older brothers, parents – and even grandparents – once wore the Wisconsin jersey.

For Pelton-Byce, there was always an appreciation for the UW program. He used to watch a highlight video, “Drive for Five,” over and over and over again, on which he could see his father score a hat trick to help Wisconsin win the 1990 NCAA championship against Colgate.

John Byce finished his career with 77 goals and 165 points in 169 games before graduating from UW in 1990. He also played baseball for the Badgers.

Pelton-Byce’s mom was a triple jumper for UW in the late 1980s. She played professional basketball in Europe when John’s hockey career took him there. But later, Pelton-Byce grew up in a house with trophies and old cardinal and white jerseys commemorating his parents’ athletic achievements as Badgers.

Alicia Pelton, Wisconsin Badgers track (Photo: Alicia Pelton)

“But my parents were definitely really good about letting me choose my own path,” Pelton-Byce said.

After a semester at Madison Area Technical College, Pelton-Byce is practicing with the Badgers now and will be eligible to play next fall.

“I’m definitely happy to be back after everything I went through there,” he said.

“He’s in the best place,” said Alicia, noting that the UW hockey program and school have a good support system.

Other players feel right at home here as well. Jake Bunz’s father, Garry Bunz, played at UW from 1984-‘87, so Jake grew up spending Friday and Saturday nights watching the Badgers on home ice.

“I was looking at other schools but in my heart I wanted to be a Badger no matter what,” said Bunz.

Forward Dominick Mersch closely followed the career of big brother, Michael Mersch, who played for UW from 2010-’14 and was a second-team All-American his senior year. He was part of the WCHA championship team in 2013.

Not only is Dominick a personal finance major, as was Michael, but he wears the same jersey number: 25.

“I’ve really followed in his footsteps,” said Dominick. “We both have big bodies and we work hard in the corners.”

Their father, Michael, would be proud, no doubt. The former Illinois-Chicago player died about 15 years ago from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but his sons hope to leave a legacy at UW of being hardworking, high-effort guys.

“I think it speaks volumes of the program here. We’re like a family in that locker room,” Dominick said. “Once you go here, you’re part of the program forever.”

UW forward Mick Messner considered East Coast schools but always kind of knew he wanted to be a Badger. His grandfather, Gary Messner, was the 1954 team captain and a first-team all-Big Ten guard for the UW football team. Also, Mike Messner’s aunt, Sara Messner, captained the UW swim team during her 1988-’92 career.

Brock Caufield, whose family name is known around the state, felt a similar pull to UW. His dad, Paul Caufield, was part of three NCAA Division III championship teams for UW-Stevens Point, where he became the school’s all-time leading scorer with 254 points and 126 goals in 148 games. He then joined the coaching staff as an assistant.

“I remember standing up against the boards watching all the games,” said Brock.

Caufield’s grandfather Wayne Caufield played for the Milwaukee Admirals in the 1970s, so it was no surprise Brock wanted to stay in-state to play at UW.

“Hockey has always been a small world to me,” said Brock. “Ever since I got here, it’s been a family atmosphere. You feel at home here. These are almost your brothers. Being around them every day is a special bond. I’m sure that has something to do with going down from generation to generation.

“We have alumni here all the time, giving back. It’s something I want to do when I’m done.”


When Ty Pelton-Byce plays for Wisconsin next year, he will become part of the multiple father-son hockey connections at the school.

Murray Heatley (1968-’71)
    Dany (1999-2001)
    Mark (2003-’05)

Gary Winchester (1970-’74)
    Brad (1999-2003)

Dean Talafous (1971-’74)
    Pete (2002-’05)

Bob Suter (1975-’79)
    Ryan (2003-’04)

Lee Skille (1975-’76)
    Jack (2005-’07)

Mark Johnson (1976-’79)
    Patrick (2007-’11)

Pat Ford (1984-’88)
    Jason (2014-’18)
    Keegan (2014)

Gary Shuchuck (1986-’90)
    Alex (2014-’16)

Gary Bunz (1984-’87)
    Jake (2015-‘19)

Ken Keryluk (1978-’82)
    Zac Keryluk (2015-’16)

In addition, 18 families have had two or more brothers play hockey at UW:

Michael and Dominick Mersch

Jason and Sean Dhooghe

Tanner and Tyler Barnes

Jason and Keegan Ford

Ryan and Sean Little

Robert, Dave, Tom and Paul Lundeen

Tony, Don and Rob Granato

Jeff and Rob Andringa

Mark and Dany Heatley

Jim and Mark Jefferies

Jim and John Johannson

Gary and Tom Kuklinski

Scott and Todd Lecy

Scott and Steve Sabo

Jeff and Scott Sanderson

And there were even twins:

Mark and Mike Strobel

Brad and Murray Johnson


Beyond Headlines: World Cup of Hockey a huge missed opportunity –

‘Beyond Headlines’ is a deeper dive into some of the stories discussed — and even some that weren’t — each week on Hockey Night in Canada’s ‘Headlines’ segment.

I can’t shake the feeling that this is a massive missed opportunity.

When time ran out on a potential World Cup in September 2020, the goalposts were moved on an international tournament that is guaranteed to drive a tidal wave of interest both inside the sport and beyond.

We’re talking about a best-on-best event where Connor McDavid suits up with Team Canada’s golden generation, joining Sidney Crosby and Co. as they bid to extend their run of international dominance. We’re talking about the strongest Team USA roster ever, with Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau adding a dynamic element that has often been missing for that country in these types of tournaments.

The marketer’s dream extends beyond North American borders, too, with Finland clearly on the rise globally and able to bring Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho and Mikko Rantanen — key members of the gold medal-winning team from the 2016 world juniors. And don’t forget Elias Pettersson joining Sweden’s defensively gifted squad, and a highly motivated Alex Ovechkin looking for his first best-on-best win with Russia after finally getting his hands on the Stanley Cup.

There’s a tremendous amount of excitement around the NHL these days and a lot of it is driven by the skilled young generation that has turned back the clock on scoring rates.

Those players are aching for the chance to play for their countries, and that’s really what’s being missed out on with the international calendar sitting blank.

When the NHL and NHLPA decided this week that they’d run out of time to reach an agreement that would establish continuity and see the World Cup played four years after the previous one, the future of best-on-best hockey became murkier than ever. There’s no shared vision for when the next major international tournament should occur — with the union in favour of a potential World Cup in February 2021, and the league still fervently against the idea of shutting down its season for a traditional event.

Realistically, we’re probably looking at the 2022 Beijing Olympics as the earliest opportunity for the next best-on-best. And there’s no guarantee the NHL changes its stance and finds common ground with the inflexible International Olympic Committee before that one, even with the broader appeal of the Chinese market looming as a major factor in that decision.

So maybe we’ll get something in September 2022…?

By then McDavid and Matthews would be 25 and making their first appearances in national team sweaters at the sport’s highest level. That’s much later than each of the generational players who came before them:

• Wayne Gretzky was 20 when he led the 1981 Canada Cup in scoring.

• Mario Lemieux was 21 when he scored one of international hockey’s most famous goals to capture the 1987 Canada Cup.

• Ovechkin was 20 when he starred for the Russian team at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

• Crosby was 22 when he sent the country into celebration with the Golden Goal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

The modern history of international hockey is filled with stops and starts, and a variety of events and formats. But there has consistently been some form of best-on-best every few years going back more than three decades: 1976 Canada Cup, 1981 Canada Cup, 1984 Canada Cup, 1987 Canada Cup, 1991 Canada Cup, 1996 World Cup, 1998 Olympics, 2002 Olympics, 2006 Olympics, 2010 Olympics, 2014 Olympics and 2016 World Cup.

Even if it’s too early to say exactly when the next one will be, it’s clearly going to be long overdue when it happens.

Stream over 500 NHL games blackout-free, including the Flames, Oilers, Leafs and Canucks. Plus Hockey Night in Canada, Rogers Hometown Hockey, Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey and more.


One of the things Erik Karlsson appreciates most about the San Jose Sharks is how they’ve given him the latitude to be himself. The coaching staff was patient early in the season while he worked through some on-ice adjustments following a trade from the Ottawa Senators, and management gave him time to get comfortable before starting a discussion on his future.

That conversation essentially got underway Friday when Karlsson’s agent, Don Meehan of Newport Sports, met with Sharks GM Doug Wilson in Tampa.

Don’t be surprised if the process plays out methodically.

Karlsson isn’t even eligible to sign a max term eight-year extension with San Jose until after the Feb. 25 trade deadline passes, and will probably have to think long and hard about passing up the potential opportunities in free agency to stay with the Sharks.

In the meantime, he’s been playing fantastic hockey and is about to experience a “home” All-Star Game at the SAP Center next weekend — something he got to do with Ottawa in 2011. (Assuming the minor injury that kept Karlsson out of Saturday’s game against the Lightning doesn’t persist).

The next meeting between Meehan and Wilson is expected to happen after the all-star festivities are done.


An interesting piece of news from colleague Nick Kypreos on the Matt Duchene front. Kyper reports that Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is willing to give the pending free agent a $64-million, eight-year extension — matching the deal Ryan Johansen got from Nashville in 2017.

If Duchene is inclined to stay in Ottawa, rather than testing the open market on July 1, that should be reasonably close to what it takes to get something done. He’d probably like a little more, but the Senators are in the ballpark.

You’d have to think it will cost Ottawa even more to retain winger Mark Stone and colleague Elliotte Friedman reported on “Headlines” that numbers were discussed with his representatives during a meeting in recent days.

Dorion probably only has about three weeks left to make a push to complete these extensions before he shifts focus and starts talking to colleagues about potential trades.


Jakob Silfverberg is playing out the final year of his $3.75-million contract on an Anaheim Ducks team that has ridden the roller-coaster this season, and scouts from other NHL teams are monitoring his situation closely.

The Ducks would prefer to sign the 28-year-old right winger but there hasn’t been much progress on an extension.

He’ll almost certainly be dealt before the deadline if that doesn’t change.

With Anaheim among a large group of teams fighting for the wild-card spots in the Western Conference, it would make sense for them to send Silfverberg to the East. There’s definitely interest from the other conference, should the Ducks decide to make a move.


Ken Hitchcock officially retired after last season, relinquishing his post with the Dallas Stars and saying: “I came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over.”

That retirement lasted seven months. In between, he turned down overtures from two NHL teams, Hitchcock told Scott Oake and Louie DeBrusk on Saturday’s fantastic “After Hours” segment, and couldn’t possibly ignore the third one.

“Then Edmonton called, and that’s a whole different story. I mean, Scott, I live 10 minutes from here,” said Hitchcock. “I grew up 10 minutes from here, right across the river. This is my home and there’s a huge emotional tug to do something like this. My heroes played for the Oilers, I was here Game 1 of the WHA, this is a whole different animal than just going and becoming a hockey coach and trying to help somebody that you maybe know a few people. I know everybody in this town and I feel like it’s my job to get everything I can out of the hockey club because that’s why I owe the team and that’s what I owe the city.”

The deal Hitchcock signed with the Oilers only runs through the end of this season, but the 67-year-old is open to a longer-term arrangement. Not yet 30 games into his tenure with the organization, he hopes to return next year.

“I’d love to. The way I feel right now, I think I could coach forever, but I know that’s not going to happen. If you’re asking me on a personal basis, I just love it here. I love the people and I love what the players are doing to help us win.”

Retirement isn’t for everyone.

Lights vs. Knights? Las Vegas soccer team challenges valley's hockey heroes – News3LV

The challenge has been issued! Lights FC vs VGK in a grass hockey matchup at Cashman Field. Is VGK in? We’ll wait and see! (Courtesy Lights FC)

FC Lights have issued a challenge to the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday, Jan. 19.

In a video posted to Facebook, Lights’ Head Coach Eric Wynalda laid out the team’s proposed contest.

It’s a game Wynalda calls ‘Grass Hockey’, and he’s dared the Knights to send over their best four players to compete against the soccer pros.

Explaining how the game works, Wyanlda points out in the video that hockey players often play soccer to warm up before games, saying, “You guys are very good, actually.”

Wynalda says grass hockey is played by moving the soccer goals closer together, allowing players to move behind each net like in hockey.

Play begins with a ball drop, too, though the rest of the rules will have to be ironed out if and when the Knights accept the challenge.

The Golden Knights have not responded to the challenge yet.

Bangor all-conference center not your typical hockey player – Bangor Daily News

At 6-foot-1, 255 pounds, Nick Boudreau is not your typical ice hockey center.

The Bangor High School senior looks more like a football lineman in the image of his father, Perry Boudreau, who was an all-state player for the Rams.

Larry Mahoney | BDN

Larry Mahoney | BDN

Senior center Nick Boudreau has been an offensive force and a strong leader for the Bangor High School hockey team.

But don’t be fooled by Nick Boudreau’s rugged build. He is skilled and surprisingly quick for someone his size, and was an All-Class A North first-team selection last year.

“He’s a great player,” Brewer High coach Lance Ingerson said. “He has good hands and speed behind him. He does a great job using his body to protect the puck. It’s very hard for defensemen to get around him to get the puck. His size is a huge asset, and he knows how to use it.

Nick Boudreau, who was Bangor’s leading goal scorer (15) and point producer (24) last season, is on pace to eclipse those numbers this season.

He has already posted 10 goals and nine assists for for the 7-1 Rams. In addition to centering the top line, he is a valuable contributor on the power-play and penalty-killing units.

“He’s a very good player,” Lewiston High School senior John Mathon said. “He’s big but he’s also really quick.”

“He has good hand-eye coordination,” Lewiston sophomore Logan Tripp said.

Nick Boudreau began playing hockey on the outdoor rink at Fairmount Park when he was 5 years old. His father said he took him to learn to skate at Sawyer Arena, and the slicker ice surface turned out to be frustrating for him.

“He kept falling down,” Perry Boudreau said.

But Nick Boudreau went back a few days later with his friends, and his skating improved.

“You have to work at hockey to be good at it,” Nick Boudreau said. “I ended up falling in love with it, and here we are 12 years later.

“I really enjoy hockey and if you enjoy something, you want to the best that you can be,” Nick Boudreau said.

That kind of determination has been instrumental in his success on the ice.

“He’s a hard worker. He puts his heart and soul into it,” Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said. “He has great hands and a great shot.”

Nick Boudreau has a hockey net at home and often will work on his shot, taking some 200 shots a night. He regularly goes to stick and puck, which involves playing pickup hockey, and he goes to the rink four times a week during the summer.

“I just told him to work as hard as he can. That’s all you can do,” Perry Boudreau said. “He has always had a good attitude.”

“He is very driven,” his mother, Beth Baldacci, said.

Nick Boudreau played flag football in third grade but said it wasn’t his cup of tea. He eventually played soccer and became a golfer.

“Everybody asks me if I play football,” Nick Boudreau said. “My dad was a great football player. But I turned to hockey. Hockey is the sport for me.”

He said his father did not exert any undue influence trying to steer him toward playing football.

“My dad never pressured me to do anything,” Nick Boudreau said. “He just wanted me to be happy.”

Nick Boudreau saw limited playing time as a freshman but was able to play regularly as a sophomore. He said that further ignited his passion for the game.

“There was a lot of competition for those jobs. Ever since then, I’ve felt like a good part of the team,” he said.

In the hope of improving, Nick Boudreau worked on his speed and passing skills coming into his final season.

“My skating is one of the weakest parts of my game and something I can always improve on,” said Nick Boudreau, who relishes working on the chemistry of his line.

“I want to give my linemates, David Brown and either [injured] Reid [Higgs] or Cooper [Ireland] more opportunities to score. That will make us better as a team.”

Jamie Belleau, coach of three-time defending Class A state champion Lewiston, is impressed with Nick Boudreau.

“He is strong on the puck and he has a good shot and good skills,” Belleau said after the Blue Devils beat Bangor 5-2 on Wednesday to stay undefeated.

Bangor senior left wing Josh Sherwood said Nick Boudreau has “stellar hands” and called him a great leader.

“He’s a big guy with a tender heart. He knows how to talk to the underclass kids and gives them good advice,” Sherwood said. “He brings so much to our team.”

Nick Boudreau and the Rams were scheduled to play Cheverus of Portland on Friday night in Bangor.