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Boston Bruins DraftKings NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview: February 15 to February 21

Hunter Skoczylas previews the Bruins’ upcoming fantasy hockey matchups.

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Since returning from the NHL All-Star Break, the Boston Bruins have struggled to find consistency after dropping games to rather inferior opponents such as the Calgary Flames (4-1 loss on Feb. 6) and Washington Capitals (3-0 loss on Feb. 10) last week. However, Boston topped the Vancouver Canucks, the top Western Conference team, 4-0 on Feb. 8, bringing its record to 32-11-9 with a conference-leading 71 points and +43 goal differential.

Boston has struggled all season to get pucks on the net consistently, and that was apparent against both Calgary and Washington, totaling just 22 and 18 shots, respectively. Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Capitals was the Bruins’ first scoreless game of the season and arguably their worst played game from start to finish, especially considering they were coming off a huge 4-0 shutout win over the Canucks just two days prior.

Boston will look to find some consistency again with a matchup against the Tampa Bay Lighting tonight (Feb. 13) but the upcoming schedule won’t make it easy whatsoever. On tap for next week are the Seattle Kraken, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers — three of which are ranked among the top seven Western Conference teams.

Top Goal-Scorers: David Pastrnak (33), Brad Marchand (25), Charlie Coyle (18)

Top Point-Getters: David Pastrnak (75), Brad Marchand (48), Charlie Coyle (45)

Top Goaltenders: Jeremy Swayman (16-5-7 record, 2.35 GAA), Linus Ullmark (16-6-2 record, 2.67 GAA)

(All stats as of Tuesday, Feb. 13)

Bruins upcoming schedule:

  • Thursday, February 15 vs. Seattle Kraken
  • Saturday, February 17 vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • Monday, February 19 vs. Dallas Stars
  • Wednesday, February 21 at Edmonton Oilers

Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games

Thursday, February 15 vs. Seattle Kraken

  • The Seattle Kraken have a 21-21-10 record and are in sixth place in the Pacific Division and 12th place in the Western Conference with 52 points and a -10 goal differential.
  • Boston has won three of four games against Seattle, averaging and allowing 3.0 goals per game in that span. The Kraken have essentially disappeared this season, finding themselves ranked inside the bottom five of the Western Conference standings in the midst of a 2-7-1 skid across their last 10 games.
  • Seattle deploys just nine skaters with more than 20 points, primarily led by Oliver Bjorkstrand (13G, 27A), Vince Dunn (8G, 31A) and Jared McCann (21G, 16A). McCann has been the Kraken’s main source of goalscoring but as a squad, they rank just 27th in goals per game (2.73), 18th in goals above expected (-4.68) and 23rd in high-danger chances (99). The good news? They rank 10th in both expected goal percentage (52.09%) and expected goal differential (8.39).
  • The Kraken find their success through strong defense and goaltending, although it is not as strong as it was in previous seasons. Joey Daccord (15-11-9 record) has started nearly twice the amount of games as Philipp Grubauer (5-9-1 record) and for good reason, as he’s allowing 2.36 goals per game. As a team, the Kraken have allowed the fewest high-danger chances (83), the 12th-fewest goals per game (2.87) and the 11th-fewest shots per game (29.8), suggesting that not many goals necessarily come easy against them.

Saturday, February 17 vs. Los Angeles Kings

  • The Los Angeles Kings have a 24-15-10 record, are in fourth place in the Pacific Division and seventh place in the Western Conference with 58 points and a +24 goal differential.
  • The Bruins have won six of the last 10 meetings against the Kings, averaging 3.4 goals and allowing just 2.0 goals per game in that span. Despite Boston dropping two of its last three games, it has still won seven of its last 10 games while Los Angeles has cooled down after a hot start, dropping six of its last 10 games, including some bad losses to inferior opponents.
  • The Kings are usually quite sound on both sides of the ice but have been leaky in certain areas so far this season. The offensive attack is experienced and led by skaters such as Adrian Kempe (17G, 27A), Kevin Fiala (13G, 30A) and Anze Kopitar (15G, 27A) but the roster talent hasn’t necessarily translated into wins and consistency. Los Angeles ranks third in expected goal percentage (55.46%) and fourth in high-danger chances (124) but 24th in goals above expected (-13.43) and 26th in goal differential above expected (-14.52). The Kings also rank second in shots per game (33.5) but 19th in goals per game (3.16).
  • Between the pipes and on the defensive side of things is where Los Angeles is capable of stealing games. The acquisition of Cam Talbot (14-13-5 record) has been up and down at points this season but David Rittich (6-1-3 record) has provided ample support in limited starts. As a team, the Kings allow the fifth-fewest goals per game (2.59) and the sixth-fewest high-danger chances (92). Drew Doughty (11G, 16A) leads the defense in terms of production but provides significantly more value with his experience and overall trustworthiness on the defensive side. The Kings also deploy the top-ranked penalty kill unit (87.7%).

Monday, February 19 vs. Dallas Stars

  • The Dallas Stars have a 32-14-6 record, are in first place in the Central Division and second place in the Western Conference with 70 points and a +33 goal differential.
  • Dallas is built much like Los Angeles, forcing Boston to face two very sound squads in back-to-back games. The Bruins have won eight of the last 10 meetings versus the Stars, averaging 2.2 goals and allowing just 2.0 goals per game in that span. Dallas is in the same boat as Boston, winning seven of its last 10 games.
  • The Stars deploy nine skaters with at least 30 points on the season with elite talents such as Jason Robertson (17G, 35A), Roope Hintz (22G, 26A) and Matt Duchene (18G, 30A) leading the way. While the Stars are normally praised for their stout defense and goaltending, the offense has taken a step up in a big way this season. As a squad, the Stars rank third in both goals for (190) and goals per game (3.65) on top of ranking fifth in expected goal percentage (53.46%), fifth in expected goal differential (14.46) and fourth in goals above expected (13.37).
  • While the offensive side of things is excelling, the defense has taken a small step back. As a squad, Dallas has allowed the 18th-most goals per game (3.05), which looks great but it still ranks fifth in goals above expected (8.83), suggesting that easy goals are finding their way into the net somehow against elite goaltender Jake Oettinger (18-9-2 record). Scott Wedgewood (13-5-4 record) has provided some solid support as the backup but this is still very unlike previous Stars’ teams. Despite the high goals above expected percentage, the Stars surprisingly still rank 11th in expected goal differential (4.54).

Wednesday, February 21 at Edmonton Oilers

  • The Edmonton Oilers have a 30-17-1 record, are in third place in the Pacific Division and sixth place in the Western Conference with 61 points and a +32 goal differential.
  • It’s a dead-even 5-5 split between the Bruins and Oilers in the last 10 meetings, with the Bruins averaging 2.5 goals and allowing over 3.0 goals per game in that span. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know how dominant the Oilers have been over the past 20 games or so. They won 16 straight games and did not lose a single game in the month of January but have dropped two of their last three games to quality opponents, suggesting that if the Bruins come ready to play, they can easily steal this game.
  • Edmonton started the year off quite slow but due to the win streak, things have turned around quickly and the statistics are much different. When you’re deploying such elite talent on a nightly basis like Connor McDavid (21G, 50A), Leon Draisaitl (24G, 36A), Zac Hyman (31G, 17A) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (12G, 32A), it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that this team ranks first in expected goal percentage (57.66%), first in expected goal differential (32.66) and second in high-danger chances (137). Edmonton also deploys the fourth-ranked power play unit (26.4%) and eighth-ranked penalty kill unit (81.8%) and recently found goaltending consistency for the first time in a long time.
  • Stuart Skinner (23-11-1 record) has significantly improved since Edmonton fired its head coach two months ago, logging a .909 save percentage and two shutouts. The defensive side of things has cleaned itself up across the last two months, allowing the fourth-fewest shots per game (27.9) and the ninth-fewest goals per game (2.79). As expected, this Oilers team tends to completely collapse at times and that is apparent in their 30th-ranked goal differential above expected average (-18.66), ranked behind only the two worst teams in the league, the Blackhawks and Sharks.

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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.