We got right back into profit territory with last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks as we got contributions up and down the lineup regardless of price and ownership levels.
Our three-man Maple Leafs stack was excellent as Auston Matthews delivered just the game we were looking for with a goal, an assist and four shots on net. While Matthews was very good, it was Andreas Johnsson who delivered the most value in the lineup as he also notched a goal and an assist while he fired three shots on net himself, coming just 0.5 points shy of matching his center Matthews. Kasperi Kapanen finished the stack by firing a solid four shots on goal.
Our three-man Hurricanes stack was also a productive one. Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Faulk all registered one assist while the trio combined for 13 shots on goal.
He saw high ownership, but boy Nathan MacKinnon was not worth the fade. The Avalanche steamrolled the Flames in Game 3, and MacKinnon led the way with two goals and an assist on five shots on goal. Tyson Barrie rewarded my loyalty with an assist of his own to go along with a whopping six shots on goal and a blocked shot to boot.
Finally, we didn’t get the result we wanted with Ben Bishop as he made just 25 saves and allowed three goals in the Stars’ 3-2 Game 3 loss at home.
It was an excellent lineup as well as a profitable one. Let’s carry that momentum into tonight’s four-game slate!
C – Steven Stamkos (TB) – $7,100 vs. CLS
Are the Lightning really going to get swept? The impossible is very possible as the Lightning are stunningly on the brink of elimination and are in need of four straight wins to save their incredible season. They’ll have to win tonight’s game on the road, but I think they get the job done, at least for this one tonight. Stamkos, like every other Lightning player, has been nearly invisible in these playoffs to this point as he’s been held off the scoresheet in each of the first three games of this series. He did fire four shots on goal in each of the first two games, however, and will be leaned on heavily this evening to help salvage his team’s season. I mean, we are talking about a guy who tucked 45 goals in the regular season and added 53 helpers for 98 points along with 234 shots on goal. He was lethal on the man advantage with 19 goals and 21 helpers on the Lightning’s top-ranked power play from the regular season, so I am going to give him a shot in this lineup tonight.
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $7,300 vs. NYI
Are the Penguins really going to get swept? Yikes, there could be two teams eliminated from the postseason tonight as Sidney Crosby’s group is on the brink, but unlike Stamkos and the Lightning Crosby’s Penguins will have the home crowd behind them for tonight’s Game 4. Robin Lehner has been excellent in this series and the Islanders were the league’s best defense from the regular season, which helps explain why Crosby, like Stamkos, is without a point through the first three games of the season. He is logging tonnes of ice time, however, skating more than 22 minutes in two of three games and more than 20 in all three. As good as the Islanders have been all year defensively and in goal, I am simply going to rely on greatness here and expect Crosby to deliver for his club. We might even get him at low ownership considering his high price and the fact he’s been stymied to this point. Either way, I have confidence that he will hit the scoresheet for the first time in the series tonight.
W – Yanni Gourde (TB) – $4,800 vs. CLS
It’s unclear where Nikita Kucherov will line up for tonight’s Game 4, but he’s played most of the season on the Brayden Point line which means Gourde should stick with Stamkos on Tampa Bay’s top line, or 1A line for this one tonight. After coming out of nowhere with a 25-goal, 64-point season as a rookie last year, Gourde took a step back offensively with 22 goals and 48 points this season on 130 shots on goal. He’s not going to shoot the puck much, leaving the shot-taking to Stamkos for the most part, but there’s value to be extracted here. Gourde has a goal in this series and put three shots on goal in Game 1, the game in which he scored. He notched two goals and seven points in 17 postseason games last season, so while he hasn’t been all that productive in the playoffs, there’s no reason not to roster him if I believe Stamkos is going to produce. At a sub-$5K price and relatively low ownership, I’ll look for Gourde to deliver this lineup some much-needed value tonight.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $6,300 vs. NYI
What a difference a year can make. This time last year, Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby were tearing up the NHL playoffs as they were atop the points leaderboard while dismantling the Flyers in round one. Fast forward a year and Crosby and Guentzel have combined for precisely zero points, but obviously I am looking for that to change in this one tonight. Like his center, Guentzel is logging plenty of ice time himself as he’s skated more than 21 minutes in two of three games this series. He’s done well to put seven shots on goal across the last two games, however we need the winger to find twine in this one or at least rack up a couple of helpers and some shots. His chances of doing so improve thanks to his spot on the Penguins’ dangerous top power play unit as it appears he’s taken the spot of the ice-cold Patric Hornqvist on that group. As a result, our three-man Penguins stack is also going to be a three-man power play stack tonight.
W – Robert Thomas (STL) – $2,700 vs. WPG
We are rostering some expensive pieces in our stacks tonight, so we are going to need to find some serious value elsewhere and I believe we could have that with a Blues mini-stack beginning here with Thomas. St. Louis has an opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 series lead tonight on home ice and I’m looking for Thomas to contribute to that cause. After an up-and-down regular season, Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck has been good in these playoffs, but I’m not exactly riddled with confidence that he can keep this level of play up. Thomas didn’t do a whole lot in the beginning of the season, but he improved as the year went along and ended up tallying a respectable nine goals and 33 points in 70 games, a very respectable number for a 19-year-old rookie. Thomas has an assist ands two shots in this series, and while we can’t expect many shots on goal from the youngster, he is getting third line ice time as well as second unit power play ice as he will skate with his mini-stack partner in both situations tonight.
D – Mikhail Sergachev (TB) – $4,500 vs. CLS
Victor Hedman is listed as doubtful for tonight’s Game 4 after missing Game 3, so it will be Sergachev who will be counted on to provide offense from the blueline in tonight’s do-or-die contest. That also means that he will get first unit power play ice time tonight where he will skate alongside Stamkos while we have exposure to both power play units with Gourde skating on the second group. Sergachev didn’t match his impressive nine goals and 40 points from his rookie year last season, however he still notched a solid seven goals and 32 points this season, obviously quality numbers from a 20-year-old defenseman in the world’s best league. The Russian has actually been the most productive player of this stack so far in this series with a goal, an assist and eight shots on goal across the three games. His ice time went from 16:54 in Game 2 with Hedman in the lineup to 22:55 in Game 3 without Hedman dressed, so look for him to see increased minutes again in this one tonight.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,300 vs. NYI
Completing our three-man Penguins stack is Letang who I’m sure will see a massive amount of ice time tonight as the Penguins look to keep their season alive. It’s not like he hasn’t been seeing plenty of ice time regardless as Letang is leading the playoffs with an average of 27:31 on the Penguins’ blueline to this point. He’s recorded just one assist across the three games, but he’s also fired 10 shots on goal and blocked eight as well. The cross-category upside he brings to the table is among the best in the business as he tallied 16 goals, 40 assists, 206 shots on goal and 111 blocked shots across just 65 games in the regular season. He’s the most expensive defenseman on the slate next to the Sharks’ Brent Burns, and for good reason. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see Letang hit the 30-minute barrier in this one tonight and if he does we can expect that cross-category production to show through in this do-or-die Game 4.
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $7,900 vs. CLS
If this were the regular season and the Lightning were playing in Columbus, Vasilevskiy would be the top-priced goaltender on this slate. He has lost three consecutive games and allowed at least four goals in two of those three games, so his price has dropped under $8K which is quite alright with me. Vasilevskiy actually played well in the Game 3 loss, making 27 saves on 29 shots, good for a .931 Sv%. He didn’t receive any goal support which was the problem. Vasilevskiy was good regardless of where he played this season, but he posted a nice 2.48 GAA and .923 Sv% to go along with a 16-4-2 record on the road. Keep in mind that the Lightning are still listed as -135 favorites to win this game tonight despite losing the first three of the series. As a result, we get some nice win upside while Vasilevskiy is always a shutout threat. I don’t have much problem rolling the dice on the Vezina-caliber netminder to help his team fight off elimination this evening.
UTIL – Pat Maroon (STL) – $3,000 vs. WPG
Completing our lineup and our Blues mini-stack is Maroon who has been a factor in this series and who has also played some real good hockey for the better part of a month now. Maroon scored just 10 regular season goals this year, however he scored six of those goals over the final 15 games of the regular season. He also added three assists in that time, giving him nine points over the final 15 games of the regular season. Enter the postseason and Maroon has a goal and an assist to go along with three shots in this series. Again, let’s not expect many shots on goal, although that would be nice, from the veteran winger given the fact he tallied just 118 shots in 74 regular season games. However, he is going to skate with Thomas on the Blues’ third line as well as the second power play unit, so he should see a solid amount of ice in this one. I’m looking for a bounce back effort from the Blues tonight, so let’s give this low-cost mini-stack a shot to chip in on that effort.