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Boston Bruins DraftKings NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview: January 11 to January 17

Hunter Skoczylas previews the Bruins’ upcoming fantasy hockey matchups.

Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The new year is here and it has not necessarily started the way the Boston Bruins had originally pictured — dropping games to both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. However, Boston topped the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-3, on Jan. 6 and still sits atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with a 24-8-7 record, 55 points and a +28 goal differential. The Bruins’ .705 point percentage ranks second in the league only behind the Winnipeg Jets.

The Bruins started their week with a 6-5 loss to the Penguins thanks to a game-winning power play goal by none other than Sidney Crosby. The first period featured six goals, with Brad Marchand (2G) netting a goal just 41 seconds into the game. Marchand also netted Boston’s final goal of the game to tie it at 5-5 while David Pastrnak (1G, 2A) tallied three points.

Boston got back on track two days later with a 7-3 win over Tampa Bay with Trent Frederic (2G) getting the scoring going early in the first period on a power play goal. Pastrnak netted his 24th goal of the season and Linus Ullmark (.885 save percentage) stopped 23-of-26 shots en route to his 13th win of the season.

Despite a well-fought game and two more goals from Marchand, the Bruins fell to the Avalanche, 4-3 in a shootout. Jeremy Swayman (.917 save percentage) stood on his head in net, stopping 33-of-36 shots but the Bruins gave the Avalanche six power play opportunities, were out-shot, 36 to 26 and were simply the less-physical team.

Boston will look to finish its week on a good note with a matchup against the Arizona Coyotes tonight (Jan. 9). On tap for next week are the Vegas Golden Knights, St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils.

Top Goal-Scorers: David Pastrnak (24), Brad Marchand (17), Charlie Coyle (14), Trent Frederic (12)

Top Point-Getters: David Pastrnak (56), Brad Marchand (37), Charlie Coyle (30), Charlie McAvoy (26)

Top Goaltenders: Linus Ullmark (13-5-2 record, 2.74 GAA), Jeremy Swayman (11-3-5 record, 2.45 GAA)

(All stats as of Tuesday, Jan. 9)

Bruins upcoming schedule:

  • Thursday, January 11 at Vegas Golden Knights
  • Saturday, January 13 at St. Louis Blues
  • Monday, January 15 vs. New Jersey Devils

Bruins injury update:

  • LW James van Riemsdyk (undisclosed) is considered day-to-day after missing back-to-back games.
  • D Brandon Carlo (upper body) left Monday’s game vs. Colorado and is considered day-to-day.

Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games

Thursday, January 11 at Vegas Golden Knights

  • The Vegas Golden Knights have a 23-12-5 record, are in second place in the Pacific Division and fifth overall in the Western Conference with 51 points and a +21 goal differential.
  • The Bruins have a 7-2-1 record against the Golden Knights in the last 10 meetings, averaging 2.8 goals per game. and allowing 2.2 goals per game. Despite being a top-five Western Conference team at the moment, Vegas is just 3-7-0 in its last 10 games, allowing nearly 4.0 goals per game in that span.
  • While the struggles have been apparent lately, Vegas’ offensive attack is still very high-powered and will likely get over this slump rather quickly. Vegas ranks seventh in true goal percentage (53.9%), eighth in expected goal percentage (52.58%) and sixth in high-danger chances (95). Not to mention, its top lines consist of players like Jack Eichel (18G, 24A), Mark Stone (12G, 27A) and William Karlsson (15G, 17A).
  • Vegas’ defense is normally quite solid but its 4.0 goals allowed per game rank fifth in the league across the last 10 games. Nonetheless, the defense still ranks seventh in goals against above expected (-9.45) and eighth in expected goal differential (8.75). The Golden Knights deploy the 13th-ranked penalty kill unit (80.5%) and rank sixth in takeaway percentage (53.73%). Adin Hill (1.93 GAA) was injured for a period of time and Logan Thompson (2.83 GAA) stepped up in his absence, and while the Golden Knights have majorly struggled to keep the puck out of their net, they still allow the eighth-fewest goals per game (2.78) on the season.

Saturday, January 13 at St. Louis Blues

  • The St. Louis Blues have a 20-17-1 record, are in fifth place in the Central Division and ninth overall in the Western Conference with 41 points and a -11 goal differential.
  • Boston is 6-4-0 against St. Louis in the last 10 meetings between these teams. The Blues are the definition of a middling squad — currently sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference but are coming off two straight wins over two of the top teams in the league (VAN and CAR) and have won seven of their last 10 games.
  • Having to face the Blues in between the Golden Knights and Devils will be a perfect change of pace for the Bruins. The Blues deploy some highly-talented skaters like Robert Thomas (16G, 25A), Pavel Buchnevich (12G, 17A) and Jordan Kyrou (9G, 18A) but only three players have eclipsed double-digit goals and eight players have eclipsed 15 points on the season. Simply put, St. Louis is a rather boring squad — averaging the seventh-fewest goals per game (2.82), deploying the second-worst power play unit (11.0%) and ranking 28th in expected goal percentage (45.73%).
  • Things don’t get much better on defense either as Justin Faulk (2G, 15A) was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and hasn’t made enough progress to see the ice just yet. Losing one half of your top pairing hurts and St. Louis was already mightily struggling on the defensive side of things. It ranks ninth in shots allowed per game (31.7), sixth in expected goals against (88.83) and fifth in expected goal differential (-13.99). The Blues deploy the 19th-ranked penalty kill unit (78.8%) as well, making things for their goaltenders just that much harder. Jordan Binnington (3.05 GAA) has received the bulk of the starts this season and while his stats don’t necessarily look great on paper, he has faced the fifth-most shots (838) and still sports a .905 save percentage.

Monday, January 15 vs. New Jersey Devils

  • The New Jersey Devils have a 21-15-2 record, are in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division and eighth overall in the Eastern Conference with 44 points and a -1 goal differential.
  • Boston has gone 1-1 against New Jersey this season, most recently winning 5-2 on Dec. 30. Prior to the 2-1 loss on Dec. 13, the Bruins had won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Devils. The Devils are 5-4-1 across their last 10 games.
  • There is no shortage of offensive firepower on this Devils’ roster whether it’s Jack Hughes (15G, 30A), Jesper Bratt (14G, 30A) or Tyler Toffoli (16G, 12A) leading the way. The Devils rank fifth in goals per game (3.55), 12th in shots per game (31.5), seventh in expected goal percentage (53.57%) and third in high-danger chances (99). On top of that, the Devils deploy the fourth-best power play unit (28.6%). New Jersey can secure games simply because of this high-powered attack but its goaltending and defensive situation will be the main area for Boston to exploit.
  • The Devils already struggled defensively with Dougie Hamilton (5G, 11A) in the lineup but he’s been sidelined since the start of December and the defense has suffered as a result. Luke Hughes (7G, 16A) has stepped up in his absence and played well but the unit has been a bit lackluster, to say the least. New Jersey allows the eighth-fewest shots per game (29.4), which may look great on paper but it also somehow allows the fifth-most goals per game (3.55). Vitek Vanecek (.884 save percentage) has struggled quite a bit this season and Akira Schmid (.895 save percentage) hasn’t provided much help or even promise when his name has been called. The Devils also allow a whopping 13.75 goals above expected.

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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.