It was largely a disappointing night last night with my DraftKings NHL DFS Picks as we had too many duds in the lineup.
Our three-man Penguins stack was held off the scoresheet, although Phil Kessel fired seven shots on goal to highlight that group. Sidney Crosby’s one shot on goal was the biggest disappointment of the night.
Our three-man Sharks stack held their own, specifically Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson as Thornton scored a goal on three shots while Karlsson racked up two assists, a shot and a pair of blocks as well.
Our Jets mini-stack didn’t fare well as Mathieu Perreault was a late scratch from the lineup and Jacob Trouba notched just a shot and three blocks. I managed to get Trouba at 3.7% ownership, so his result was a big disappointment as well.
Finally, our goaltender Matt Murray played well, but still came out on the losing side of a 3-1 final score.
Let’s turn the page and tackle tonight’s four-game slate!
*Unless noted otherwise, my NHL playoff picks will be aimed at GPPs*
C – John Tavares (TOR) – $6,700 vs. BOS
We rostered Tavares in the series opener on Thursday and it worked out as we were fortunate to get an empty-net goal from the star center, but I am more excited about the fact Tavares is going to skate with Mitch Marner in all situations, a player that is playing with a ton of confidence and looked fantastic on Thursday. Of course, Tavares is no slouch himself coming off a 47-goal regular season, easily a career-high in goals for the veteran pivot. Auston Matthews led all Maple Leafs forwards in ice time in Game 1, but Tavares logged a healthy 17:48 himself and should see similar ice time in Game 2. He’s drawn the ire of the Patrice Bergeron line as Bergeron matched up against the Tavares line in Game 1, and I wouldn’t expect that to change in this one. That said, Tavares is also a key cog in the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit and coming off a two-point, six-shot Game 1, I don’t see much reason to fade Tavares for tonight’s Game 2.
C – Sebastian Aho (CAR) – $6,100 vs. WAS
Playoff Braden Holtby is a tough egg to crack, however the Hurricanes managed a couple of third period goals in Game 1 and I think they can steal Game 2 tonight in Washington. Aho was held off the scoresheet in Game 1, however he logged a massive amount of ice time, 26:10 to be exact. That is a huge number for any player, but almost an unheard of number from a forward. The result was disappointing as he also managed just two shots on goal, but if Aho is to see a huge number of minutes again tonight, I’d be shocked if the result was similar to Game 1. The 21-year-old center is coming off a 30-goal, 83-point regular season while he also registered a career-high 243 shots on goal. Aho is the Canes’ top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit while he also gets shorthanded ice where he scored a whopping four goals and one assist in the regular season. I expect a nice game from the young pivot tonight.
W – Mitch Marner (TOR) – $6,300 vs. BOS
We certainly got our money’s worth with Marner on Thursday in Game 1 as he scored a pair of goals including a slick shorthanded penalty shot goal after he was tripped on a breakaway while killing a penalty. Marner is actually one of the most dangerous penalty killers in the game right now and the shorthanded goal allowed on Thursday was the 16th Boston has allowed this season. That is a huge number of shorthanded goals allowed. Aside from the shorthanded aspect, Marner was excellent in the season opener as he built off a fantastic regular season that saw him pot 26 goals and notch 94 points across a full 82-game campaign while he posted a new career-high with 233 shots on goal. Marner was the Leafs’ best player in last year’s first-round series against the Bruins as he notched nine points in the seven games and it appears he is well on his way to similar, if not increased production this time around.
W – Zach Hyman (TOR) – $4,300 vs. BOS
This is the same three-man stack we rolled with on Thursday and while Hyman posted a zero in that game, I continue to like his value as he skates with Tavares and Marner on the Maple Leafs’ top line. Hyman actually saw the third-most ice time among Maple Leafs forward in that game thanks to his time on the penalty kill as he logged 18:57 of ice time in the Game 1 victory. He is going to be used a lot again tonight regardless of the special teams situation as he is a favorite of Mike Babcock, and a top-line assignment always comes with plenty of ice time. The favorable spot on the top line saw Hyman bury a career-high 21 goals in the regular season while his 41 points were also a career-high despite missing 11 games with injuries. The 26-year-old is the grinder on the top line but he can certainly put the puck in the net and he would give this lineup a huge boost if he were able to do so in this one tonight.
W – Justin Williams (CAR) – $5,000 vs. WAS
There is a choice to be made when it comes to rostering a winger on the Aho top line as both Nino Niederreiter and Justin Williams are nice options in the same price range, but I am going to go with Williams as he is a proven postseason performer. He will face his old team in this one tonight as Williams is coming off a regular season that saw him post 23 goals and 53 points across 82 regular season games. That said, he was red-hot in the second half of the season as he notched 10 goals and 25 points in the final 32 games of the regular season after posting just 28 points across the first 50 games of the campaign. The 37-year-old has enjoyed a productive postseason career as he’s notched 36 goals and 94 points across 141 career postseason contests, good for a 0.67 points-per-game clip this time of the year. The veteran will look to spark his team alongside Aho on the top line and top power play unit tonight.
D – Justin Faulk (CAR) – $4,900 vs. WAS
Completing our three-man Hurricanes stack is Faulk who will form a three-man stack with Aho and Williams at even strength as well as on the Canes’ top power play unit. Faulk had a nice Game 1 for the Hurricanes as he notched an assist, three shots on goal and also blocked a shot in the 4-2 loss. Furthermore, he skated a whopping 26:10 in that game, meaning he is going to see plenty of time on the ice with Aho in this one again tonight. It was a solid regular season from the offensive blueliner as he tallied 11 goals and 35 points in 82 games, but Faulk brings fantastic peripheral numbers to the table as well as he tallied 217 shots on goal and 121 blocked shots across his 82-game regular season. Therefore, we have some excellent cross-category upside with the 27-year-old defenseman and we should get some at reasonable ownership to go with his reasonable price tonight.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,500 vs. CGY
The Avalanche were shut out in Game 1 by Mike Smith who was fantastic in turning aside all 26 shots he faced in that one. That said, I’m not quite sold on Smith yet as he endured a wildly inconsistent regular season that saw him finish with a 2.72 GAA but also a poor .898 Sv% across 40 starts and 42 appearances while losing his number one job to backup David Rittich for stretches. As a result, I am going to go back to the Avs for a mini-stack in this one tonight, beginning here with Barrie. Barrie played a ton in Game 1, logging 24:41 of ice time while manning the point on the Avs’ top power play unit. The end result wasn’t great as he recorded just one shot and three blocks. That said, Barrie finished the regular season white-hot and buried 13 goals for the second consecutive season. He also had 59 points in 78 games and fired 218 shots on goal, a career-high for the 27-year-old. I like his chances of getting back on the scoresheet in Game 2 tonight.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $7,600 vs. BOS
We had a profitable night on Thursday with these picks, and a big reason why was Andersen who was fabulous in Toronto’s series-opening 4-1 win in Boston. Andersen made 37 saves for the Maple Leafs in that win, putting aside any doubts over his shaky finish to the regular season. He posted just an .890 Sv% in March, but Andersen came back with a .922 Sv% across three April starts and clearly got his postseason started on the right note on Thursday. The Bruins obviously have some firepower on that top line, but their depth scoring isn’t great and could take a hit tonight with productive sophomore Jake DeBrusk possibly missing this game tonight with an injury. Andersen has been the backbone of this Maple Leafs’ team since he arrived in Toronto and despite the Maple Leafs being listed as +125 underdogs in this one tonight, I don’t mind rolling with Freddy as a GPP option on this slate.
UTIL – Alexander Kerfoot (COL) – $3,600 vs. CGY
We should be able to get Kerfoot at reasonable ownership tonight but I love his upside in tonight’s Game 2. The second-year winger is once again projected to skate alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog on the Avs’ top line while he could also see some top unit power play time despite J.T. Compher being projected to skate on that unit. Kerfoot has a fine regular season as he scored 15 goals and 42 points in 78 games as one of the Avs’ top secondary scorers after the big three of MacKinnon, Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. The spot on the top line saw Kerfoot log a very healthy 17:31 of ice time in Game 1, although he registered just a single shot on goal. Clearly, we need some more production than that out of the 24-year-old winger, but that is always a very real possibility when skating with players of MacKinnon and Landeskog’s caliber. Some power play time would be a bonus, but Kerfoot is a very nice value option to team up with Barrie tonight.