If you haven't tried our daily Hockey Throwdown fantasy game, check it out. The link in the tile will take you to the game page where you can set up a head-to-head challenge with a friend, an enemy, the cable guy, the vicar, me ... basically anyone. Pick three players on three different NHL teams who you think will surpass their projected totals in such categories as wins, saves and goals-against average for goalies; and goals, assists, plus-minus, PIM and shots on goal for forwards and defensemen. Your team earns points based on live game stats. Highest score wins. You can play for free or wager anywhere from $1 to $500.
Each day, I offer up my three picks for that night's action. To help you prepare, here are the players that I think are primed to have a big night:
Five goals, eight points and 14 shots in his past four games? You know that Hudler can't possibly stay this hot forever, but why not one more game? Especially when he's going up against a team that allows better than 30 shots per game and a goaltender in Mike Smith whose save percentage is sub-.900. You have to think that Hudler is primed to bust his 0.3 G, 0.5 A, 0.1 +/-, 0.3 PIM, 1.7 SOG, 0.2 PPP projection.
There's not a hotter defenseman in the league right now. Weber's not lighting the lamp a ton (just two goals in his past 14 games), but he's getting the puck to the net plenty, giving him the shots (average of three per game in November) and the assists (eight in his past six games) to give him a strong chance to beat his projection (0.2 G, 0.5 A, 0.2 +/-, 0.9 PIM, 2.6 SOG, 0.2 PPP).
The way he's going lately, it makes sense to ride Halak until he busts. His projection (0.7 W, 2.0 GA, 25.7 SV, 0.1 SO) looks harsh, but during the past two weeks the guy has allowed just six goals in five games for a 1.16 GAA while stopping 133 of 139 shots for a .957 save percentage. And against an Ottawa team that's scored more than twice only once in its past five games, it's hard to justify playing anyone else.
Other games tonight: Lightning at Sabres (7:30 p.m. EST; NBCSN); Bruins at Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; NESN, FS-W); Devils at Penguins (7 p.m. EST; TVA, SNE, SNO, MSG+, ROOT); Canucks at Capitals (7 p.m. EST; SNP, CSN-DC); Stars at Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m EST; FS-SW, TSN4); Panthers at Red Wings (7:30 p.m. EST; FS-F, FS-D+); Flyers at Sharks (10 p.m. EST; NBCSN, CSN-PH)