We didn’t get much production from our GPP-aimed picks last night, however no one produced a whole lot to begin with considering both games on the slate resulted in 2-1 finals.
We picked up an assist from Evgeni Malkin on one of the two Penguins goals, however Sidney Crosby would have been the star center to own for Pittsburgh with a goal and an assist on the night.
We stacked three Canadiens in Colorado, and one of them managed to score their lone goal on the night as Brendan Gallagher scored his 15th of the season. I mentioned in yesterday’s piece I expected some more power play production from Gallagher moving forward and it was a nice opportunity against a poor Avalanche home penalty kill, and his goal indeed came on the man advantage.
Aside from that, we received a solid effort from Carey Price with 24 saves on 26 shots, but our lineup didn’t produce much of anything at the end of the day.
We have a massive 15-game slate on tap tonight, so let’s see if we can get back on track!
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,500 vs. CHI
There probably isn’t a worse road team in the NHL this season than the Blackhawks, and they have endured some serious issues in trying to keep the puck out of the back of their net. Entering tonight’s contest in Dallas, The Blackhawks are allowing 3.75 goals per game, good for 30th overall, but also 4.22 goals against per game on the road, good for 29th. They will also be turning back to Cam Ward with Corey Crawford once again concussed, and Ward carries a brutal 3.95 GAA and .888 Sv% into this one tonight. Enter Seguin who does his best work at home in the form of 16 points across 15 games at the American Airlines Center this season. He brings a huge floor with 136 shots so far this season, but look for the goals to start coming in bunches considering his current 7.4% shooting percentage is well under his 11.1% career mark. He has some massive upside against a struggling Blackhawks defense tonight.
C – Nazem Kadri (TOR) – $4,700 vs. FLA
The Maple Leafs broke out with seven goals in Tuesday’s win in New Jersey, and tonight they get an opportunity to carry that offensive momentum into a matchup with a suspect back end at home. Kadri notched three assists in Tuesday’s blowout win, giving him 21 points in 34 games this season. Kadri brings a solid floor with 82 shots in 34 games, and I like that we get exposure to the lethal Maple Leafs top power play unit with the 28-year-old tonight. The Panthers enter this one tonight allowing 3.88 goals per game on the road this season, good for 26th league wide. That makes this a very favorable matchup for the back-to-back 32-goal scorer. I expect some more goals to come sooner than later as he too is shooting notably under his career percentage as his current 9.8% clip sits 2% under his 11.8% career mark. He’s still getting almost 17 minutes of ice time per night, so let’s duck some Matthews and Tavares ownership and pivot to Kadri at a nice price in a fine matchup.
W – Alexander Radulov (DAL) – $6,600 vs. CHI
The Radulov/Benn debate is a good one on most nights, but it’s a fairly easy decision for me tonight, especially with both guys evenly priced. I’ll go with Radulov as Benn is projected to move down to the second power play unit while Radulov should maintain his spot on the top unit. This means that the Seguin/Radulov duo will skate together in all offensive situations tonight. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s having a huge year with 10 goals and 26 points in 24 games on the season to go along with 64 shots on goal. After a little bit of a dry spell in late November and early December, Radulov has notched three points over his last two games and has a goal and three assists over his last four. Of course, the matchup is a dynamite one at home where the Stars score 3.47 goals per game (10th) and where Radulov has five goals and 14 points in 10 games this season.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $4,300 vs. FLA
You could really go with either Nylander or Patrick Marleau at the same price to skate alongside Kadri on the Maple Leafs’ third line, but I’ll go with Nylander who hasn’t yet scored in six games since returning to the lineup, a fact that might force his ownership down some. He only has points in one of those six games, a two-assist game in Carolina last week. It’s just a matter of time before the talented young Swede gets into the goal column as he’s taken 13 shots in six games and is skating more than 15 minutes per night. He is a member of the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit, so we have exposure to both groups tonight. Given I’m stacking him with Kadri, I would want their production to come at even strength, but the power play exposure doesn’t hurt either. After back-to-back 61-point seasons to begin his career, I will look for Nylander to get going on the scoresheet sooner rather than later.
W – Josh Anderson (CLS) – $4,900 vs. NJ
It’s been a big-time struggle on the back end for the Devils of late, allowing 4.8 goals per game over their last five and 4.6 goals per game over their last 10, punctuated by that 7-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. I am looking for Anderson and the Blue Jackets to continue this streak tonight on home ice where they score 3.28 goals per game. Anderson brings us a nice floor as he’s tucked 13 goals on 93 shots in 33 games this season. While he has just four assists on the season, we are clearly after the goal scoring in this one. He’s also produced eight goals in just 18 home games this season. The Blue Jackets’ offense isn’t exactly sizzling entering this one with just two goals over their last two games, but the opportunity to get back on track couldn’t be better tonight. Furthermore, the Devils are giving the starting nod to rookie Mackenzie Blackwood tonight, a goalie who allowed two goals on 10 shots in his NHL debut in relief Tuesday. He’s been solid in the AHL this season, but this is a fine opportunity for Anderson and the Jackets tonight.
D – John Klingberg (DAL) – $6,300 vs. CHI
Klingberg makes his long-anticipated return to the lineup tonight, his first game since breaking his hand against the Sharks way back on November 8th. Prior to the injury, Klingberg had five goals and 13 points in 16 games as he was building off a career-high 67 points from the 2017-18 season. His return to the lineup simply could not have come at a more optimal time from a production standpoint against this Blackhawks defense. Like most of the Dallas players, Klingberg has been more productive on home ice where he’s scored four goals and eight points in eight games at the American Airlines Center this season. Alongside Seguin and Radulov, Klingberg gives us an even strength and top power play unit stack tonight, a group that I expect to absolutely light it up in the slate’s most favorable matchup tonight.
D – Zach Werenski (CLS) – $4,300 vs. NJ
It would have been nice to afford Seth Jones, but Werenski is the second part of a three-man Blue Jackets stack tonight, and it will also be a second power play unit stack as well. It’s been a strong year for the 21-year-old to this point as he has notched five goals and 16 points in 33 games this season, with a goal and six helpers coming on the power play. It’s a nice matchup for the young blueliner to get back on track as he has been held off the scoresheet in six straight games entering this one tonight. He has 68 shots on goal and 33 blocks to add to his resume for this season. He fired 207 shots on goal a season ago, so perhaps we can expect him to shoot the puck more as this campaign moves along, but for tonight, the fact is he gets an extremely favorable matchup to right his own ship and get back on the scoresheet.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $7,900 vs. CHI
When I went to start this lineup tonight I expected Bishop’s name to be at the top of the goaltending list, and I slid down I felt extremely fortunate to get the Dallas netminder at a sub $8K price for this matchup tonight. The Blackhawks are a roughly middle-of-the-pack road offense with 2.78 goals per game, but this has much more to do with how well he has played at some this season. He will carry a 2.02 GAA and .935 Sv% across 10 home starts into action tonight. He’s also 7-2-1 on home ice and the Stars are 11-3-1 on home ice overall this season while the Blackhawks are just 4-12-2 on the road. Therefore, Bovada has the Stars listed as -200 favorites to win this thing tonight, something that carries nice weight when it comes to Bishop’s chances of notching a win. He has a shutout in two of his last three starts at home and owns a .977 Sv% over his last three home starts, so give me the hulking netminder at a very reasonable price in this one tonight.
UTIL – Oliver Bjorkstrand (CLS) – $3,200 vs. NJ
Bjorkstrand isn’t developing into the bonafide goal-scorer the Blue Jackets thought he might, but for tonight I love his value upside, especially as part of this three-man stack. Entering play tonight, the 23-year-old Dane has just three goals and eight points in 28 games, but has a decent 50 shots on goal considering he averages less than 12 minutes of ice time per night. For tonight, the matchup is excellent and I like the fact that he is projected to skate alongside Anderson both on the Blue Jackets’ third line and the second power play unit where Werenski resides as well. After notching just one point in the month of November, Bjorkstrand is at least having a decent month of December with a goal and three assists across eight games. Let’s look for his value to show through in a matchup against the league’s 28th-ranked road defense tonight.