Round 12 of the NHL Yahoo Cup is happening on Thursday night, and there’s still time to join the free-to-enter tournament which allows you to compete for a share of $5,000!
There are 11 games scheduled, making it the busiest night in the NHL since the holiday break.
With 22 teams in action, there are a number of options fantasy managers can explore in the contest. Here are three I recommend playing.
Marching with the Penguins Stack
The Pittsburgh Penguins have scored 13 goals in the two games they've played since the holiday break, and that’s very bad news for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The reason for Pittsburgh’s recent offensive success is pretty simple: The team is finally healthy. Both Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust missed extensive time with injuries before the pause, but both have contributed immediately upon returning. Over the last two games, the pair have combined for 12 points. I’ve also included Evan Rodrigues, Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang to round out the power-play stack as the Pens are three-for-eight on the man advantage over their last two games.
I went with Philip Tomasino on the other wing. The Nashville Predators forward has recorded one point in four of his last five games, and with my budget being what it is after spending up on the top Penguins, he’ll do the trick.
Filling out my second defense spot is Keith Yandle. He’s the only $10 blueliner seeing minutes on the top man-advantage unit, and I have no wiggle room.
Between the pipes I elected to go with MacKenzie Blackwood and John Gibson. Both are home favourites on Thursday, and I’m just chasing a victory with both.
The Coyotes are Bad Stack
The Arizona Coyotes are allowing a league-worst 3.77 goals-against per game this season, and that’s why I’m stacking the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
The Yotes have allowed three goals or more in each of their last nine games, and the Blackhawks certainly have players capable of exploiting this matchup. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Seth Jones all cracked my lineup as the four skate alongside each other on the power play. Arizona’s 71.2 percent penalty kill rate is the second-worst in the league, so that certainly bodes well for Chicago’s top unit, which potted two power-play goals against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
For my second centre, I went with Nathan MacKinnon. He’s currently riding an 11-game point streak and his opponents, the Winnipeg Jets, is tied for the third-worst penalty kill in the NHL with a kill rate of 71.6 percent.
On the wing, I added Rust. In the two games he’s played since being activated from injured reserve, he’s taken 10 shots and has recorded eight points.
At defense, I selected Jamie Drysdale. The young rearguard notched two assists in his most recent outing and is seeing time on the top power play. Drysdale’s opponents, the Detroit Red Wings, have successfully killed 77.7 percent of penalties this season, which ranks 11th-worst in the league.
In net, I selected Blackwood on the basis of getting a cheap win and Marc-Andre Fleury. My lineup’s success already hinges heavily on a major night from the Blackhawks, and if the offense produces the way I expect it to, Fleury should benefit and earn the victory. Arizona’s 2.06 goals-per-game mark is the worst in the NHL.
Running with the Devils Stack
Over the last month of the NHL season, no team has been worse defensively than the Columbus Blue Jackets.
During this stretch, Columbus sits last in goals-against per game (4.50), penalty-kill percentage (54.6), and shots-against per game (37.6). That’s good news for a New Jersey Devils offense that has been playing well lately.
New Jersey’s topped three goals in each of its last four games and its top stars have been major factors. Jack Hughes has nine points in his last four contests, Jesper Bratt and Damon Severson have recorded five, and Tomas Tatar scored a goal against the Boston Bruins in his first game since being removed from the COVID-19 protocol.
For the reasons outlined in Option 1 (see above), I’ve also gone with a Penguins mini stack by selecting Crosby, Rust, and Letang.
At goalie, I’ve gone with Blackwood and Fleury as I’m looking to earn a win with each.
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