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Boston Bruins DraftKings NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview: October 12 to 18

Geoff Ulrich previews the Bruins’ upcoming fantasy hockey matchups.

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins ended last season with a 51–26–5 record that was good for fourth place in the Atlantic Division and sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins secured the 6th seed in the playoffs but were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round in seven games.

The Bruins were a dominant home team last regular season, compiling a 26-12-2 record in Boston. They also played well on the road, going 25-14-3 and posting winning road records in five out of seven months during the regular season.

The Bruins had 10 players who scored 20 or more points last season, with two of those players being defensemen. Charlie McAvoy led the Bruins in average ice time and plus-minus stats last season at +31. He also posted a career-best 66 points in 78 games played.

The team was again led by the trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, who were the top three scorers on the team.

Boston acquired Hampus Lindholm at the trade deadline last season and gave up a first-round pick in 2022 and two second-round picks to get him. The Bruins also traded second-line center Erik Haula over the offseason to the Devils for forward Pavel Zacha. Zacha is only 25 and has good versatility, as he can play center and wing. He should be a good addition to the Bruins’ core and a player they’ll be able to move around the lineup if injuries start to pile up.

The team ranked 15th in power-play efficiency at 21% and was 9th in penalty-kill efficiency with an 81% kill rate. For five-on-five, they ranked first in xGF% (expected goals for percentage) as a team.

Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak (40 goals in 72 games)

Top Point Getter: Brad Marchand (80 in 70 games played)

Top Goalie: Jeremy Swayman - 41 games played (2.41 GAA and 0.914 save percentage and 3 SOs)

Top Defenseman: Charlie McAvoy (66 points in 78 games played)

● Bruins upcoming schedule for the Week of October 12-18:

○ Wednesday, October 12 at Washington Capitals

○ Saturday, October 15 vs. Phoenix Coyotes

○ Monday, October 17 vs. Florida Panthers

Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games

Injury update: Charlie McAvoy (IR), Brad Marchand (IR), Matt Grzelcyk (out - multiple weeks)

The Bruins will be very shorthanded to begin the season. Both Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand played huge minutes at both even strength and on the power play for Boston last season and were the team’s leading scorers at their respective positions. With Matt Grzelcyk out for at least a couple of weeks as well, look for Hampus Lindholm to play big minutes in the first couple of months and potentially even lead the league in minutes played in October. He sets up as a must-start if you have him in season-long formats and a good daily fantasy target early on for DraftKings DFS purposes.

Defenseman Mike Reilly may even have a little fantasy value early on as he should pick up some second-unit power-play minutes in the short term.

Up front, the Bruins will look to go more balanced than usual. Taylor Hall and Jake Debrusk will move up to skate between Patrice Bergeron while newcomer Pavel Zacha will get to play alongside David Pastrnak and David Krejci. With the addition of Zacha and the emergence of Debrusk last season, the Bruins should still be a somewhat potent offense, although they could see a dip in power-play efficiency with Marchand and McAvoy out.

Wednesday, October 12 at Washington Capitals

The Bruins went 2-1 against Washington last year in the regular season. They scored seven times against the Capitals in their first meeting last season, winning 7-3. Both teams will also be missing key players with the Capitals down both Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom to start the season. Washington will also be starting a new goalie in Darcy Kuemper.

Considering these teams combined for 23 goals in just three games against each other last season, this one does have the makings of a higher-scoring affair. Neither team is overly strong in net and both have elite wingers who can break through the team’s weakened defensive core at even strength or on special teams. This is a good place for the Bruins’ top six to get off to a strong start. I’d also look at giving starts for DraftKings fantasy purposes to Jake DeBrusk or Pavel Zacha in this spot. Both men should see heightened opportunity with Marchand out.

Saturday, October 15 vs. Phoenix Coyotes

This is another great spot for the Bruins’ offense. The Coyotes again project as a bottom-five team and last season allowed the third most goals and featured a bottom-five penalty-kill. Not much has changed for the Coyotes, who will be playing in what is essentially a college-level arena this season. They’ll also be without arguably their best defender for this game in Jakob Chychrun.

This will be a great spot on DraftKings for whoever starts in net, as the Bruins are well-positioned to pick up an easy win and potentially even push for a shutout. Both Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman were excellent on the road last season, with Swayman posting an elite .924 save percentage in 22 road appearances. They split appearances (41 starts each) in 2021-22 and will likely project towards some kind of timeshare once again.

Monday, October 17 vs. Florida Panthers

This will be the Bruins’ first serious test of the season and a spot where their injured defensive core will be pushed to the limit. The Panthers led the league in shots for and goals for and also featured a top-five power-play unit. They have made some big changes this offseason, adding Matthew Tkachuk while also saying goodbye to Jonathan Huberdeau and trade deadline acquisition Claude Giroux.

This could be a spot for the Bruins to jump on the Panthers as their new acquisitions go through an early season adjustment period. However, you’ll still want to avoid using the Bruins’ goalies in this game on DraftKings unless absolutely desperate. Expect a shootout.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.