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Boston Bruins DraftKings NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview: January 18 to January 24

Hunter Skoczylas previews the Bruins’ upcoming fantasy hockey matchups.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins took care of business this past week against both the St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils but fell to the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1, in overtime. Boston still sits atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with a 26-8-9 record, a .709 point percentage and a +30 goal differential.

Despite out-shooting Vegas, 33 to 25, Boston couldn’t net a goal until late in the third period. Matt Grzelcyk (1G) netted the lone goal to tie it up at 1-1 and force overtime but Vegas scored just 46 seconds into the extra period. Jeremy Swayman (.920 save percentage) stopped 23-of-25 shots in the loss.

The Bruins couldn’t drop back-to-back games in overtime, of course, and beat the Blues, 4-3, thanks to the game-winning overtime goal from Charlie McAvoy (2G), who picked up his first multi-goal performance since 2021. Brad Marchand (2G) continued his strong play, netting two goals himself en route to Boston’s 25th win of the season. Boston held St. Louis to just 23 shots.

Two days later, Boston shut out a banged-up New Jersey squad, 3-0. Swayman stopped all 31 shots in his third shutout of the season and has certainly made the most of his opportunities with Linus Ullmark sidelined due to injury. David Pastrnak (1G, 1A) netted his 26th goal and ninth power play goal of the season while Marchand tallied two more assists to increase his season point total to 41.

On tap for Boston is a four-game homestand —facing opponents such as the Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes.

Top Goal-Scorers: David Pastrnak (26), Brad Marchand (19), Charlie Coyle (15), Trent Frederic (13)

Top Point-Getters: David Pastrnak (61), Brad Marchand (41), Charlie Coyle (32), Charlie McAvoy (29)

Top Goaltenders: Jeremy Swayman (13-3-7 record, 2.38 GAA), Linus Ullmark (13-5-2 record, 2.75 GAA)

(All stats as of Tuesday, Jan. 16)

Bruins upcoming schedule:

  • Thursday, January 18 vs. Colorado Avalanche
  • Saturday, January 20 vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • Monday, January 22 vs. Winnipeg Jets
  • Wednesday, January 24 vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Bruins injury update:

  • D Brandon Carlo (upper body) was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, Jan. 11.
  • G Linus Ullmark (lower body) and C Matthew Poitras (shoulder) have missed the last three games but are trending in the right direction after skating on Monday, per head coach Jim Montgomery.

Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games

Thursday, January 18 vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • The Colorado Avalanche have a 28-13-3 record, are in second place in the Central Division and third overall in the Western Conference with 59 points and a +26 goal differential.
  • The Bruins have won just four of the last 10 regular season meetings against the Avalanche but have won each of the last three meetings by four or more goals. Colorado topped Boston, 4-3, on Jan. 8 in a shootout and has won seven of its last 10 games.
  • I think we all know the Avalanche have always been one of the most complete squads in the league and it’s shown thus far. Starting with the offense, Nathan MacKinnon (23G, 47A) leads the league in assists and ranks second in points while Mikko Rantanen (22G, 34A) has capitalized on that playmaking ability. Valeri Nichushkin (17G, 19A) was another stellar piece but recently entered the NHL/NHLPA Assistance Program — potentially leaving a large gap in the offense moving forward. Colorado has scored the second-most goals (161), ranks 12th in true goal percentage (51.61%), eighth in expected goal percentage (52.56%) and 12th in high-danger chances (93). On top of that, the Avalanche deploy the eighth-best power play unit (25.0%).
  • While Colorado dominates offensively, the defense is the one area worth exploiting. Led by Cale Makar (10G, 41A) and Devon Toews (7G, 18A), the Avalanche deploy the 10th-best penalty kill unit (81.9%) but still give up eighth-most high-danger chances (98). Alexandar Georgiev (2.92, .897 save percentage) posts a solid 24-10-2 record between the pipes but has allowed nearly three goals per game and has fallen under the .900 save percentage mark. Colorado limits opponents’ shot totals but the statistics suggest that when they fail to do that, the quality of those chances is very high and goes in more often than not.

Saturday, January 20 vs. Montreal Canadiens

  • The Montreal Canadiens have an 18-18-7 record, are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and 13th overall in the Eastern Conference with 43 points and a -28 goal differential.
  • Aside from the 3-2 overtime loss on Dec. 11, the Bruins had won 10 straight meetings against the Canadiens — averaging 4.6 goals and allowing just 1.9 goals per game in that span. Montreal has lost seven of its last 10 games but is coming off an impressive 4-3 win over Colorado.
  • It should be relatively easy for the Bruins to get shots on the net as the Canadiens have allowed the fourth-most shots per game (33.8) and seventh-most high-danger chances (100) this season. 11 total skaters have scored at least five goals while three of them have posted at least 31 points through 43 games. It isn’t just Montreal’s top line that has found some success but rather its top three lines. Nick Suzuki (12G, 25A) leads the team in points and has provided ample support from the top line but the depth behind him comprised of guys like Sean Monahan (11G, 14A), Juraj Slafkovsky (5G, 11A) and Brendan Gallagher (5G, 11A) has been the reason for the rare but impressive wins.
  • Both Sam Montembeault (.909 save percentage) and Jake Allen (.901 save percentage) have helped the Canadiens string together occasional good performances. Despite the team still allowing the ninth-most goals per game (3.35), it’s still a slight upgrade from last season’s average (3.59).
  • Montreal ranks 11th in penalty minutes (429), 28th in penalty kill percentage (73.3%) and 19th in power play percentage (19.0%) — an area Boston will look to exploit all game.

Monday, January 22 vs. Winnipeg Jets

  • The Winnipeg Jets have a 28-10-4 record, are in first place in the Central Division and second overall in the Western Conference with 60 points and a +42 goal differential.
  • The Bruins had won six straight and seven of the last 10 regular season meetings against the Jets prior to the 5-1 rout on Dec. 23. The Jets have won a whopping 16 of their last 20 games.
  • Kyle Connor (17G, 11A) still ranks fifth in points and hasn’t played since Dec. 10 but has returned to practice and was seen skating in a regular jersey in practice — a potentially huge development for this already hot Jets’ squad. Other forwards like Mark Scheifele (14G, 27A), Nikolaj Ehlers (15G, 18A) and Cole Perfetti (14G, 15A) have stepped up and provided ample support since Conner went down, however. Winnipeg ranks 15th in shots per game (31.0), 11th in goals per game (3.31) and fifth in goals above expected (10.12) — so clearly something has been working.
  • Things haven’t necessarily translated the correct way when on or against the man advantage, however with Winnipeg ranking 23rd in power play percentage (17.1%) and 26th in penalty kill percentage (75.8%). Considering the Jets generate 9.03 goals above expected, one would imagine they’d be even better on the man advantage, right? Negative. The Jets somehow lose that offensive edge on the power play, ranking 13th and generating just 2.36 goals above expected. Connor Hellebuyck (.924 save percentage) has the ability to steal games any given night and is tied for the third-most goaltender wins but has just a 4-6-1 record and 2.78 GAA against the Bruins in his career.

Wednesday, January 24 vs. Carolina Hurricanes

  • The Carolina Hurricanes have a 24-14-5 record, are in third place in the Metropolitan Division and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference with 53 points and a +16 goal differential.
  • Across the last 10 regular season meetings between these teams, it’s been about as competitive as it can get with each team winning five times. In those five wins, however, Boston has won by an average of four goals and could very easily take advantage of a Carolina squad that just lost its starting goaltender to a concussion. The Hurricanes are 7-3-1 in their last 10 games.
  • The Hurricanes are a very complete team — deploying quality skaters like Sebastian Aho (15G, 33A), Seth Jarvis (15G, 18A) and Andrei Svechnikov (10G, 18A) on a nightly basis. As a team, they rank eighth in goals per game (3.42), fourth in expected goal percentage (54.82%) and fourth in power play percentage (27.2%).
  • While the offensive stats may jump off the screen, Carolina’s defensive efficiency and overall dominance are the primary reasons for the success. First, the top four defensemen all have at least 15 points through 43 games, so the offensive contributions are apparent. Brent Burns (8G, 17A) and Brady Skjei (7G, 18A) lead in terms of points but considering the Hurricanes allow a league-low 25.7 shots per game, the whole defense is doing something right. As a team, they’ve allowed the ninth-fewest high-danger chances (81) and the 12th-fewest goals per game (3.0) on top of the eighth-best penalty kill unit (83.7%).
  • One main thing to note: Pyotr Kochetkov (.900 save percentage) suffered a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely. Antti Raanta (.869 save percentage) will have to step up in his absence, especially with the coaching staff taking their time with Frederik Andersen (.894 save percentage) and his return to the lineup. This is going to be an interesting situation for Carolina moving forward.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is huntersk) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.