While our DraftKings NHL DFS Picks didn’t exactly work last night, it was a real tough night considering four of the six teams in play scored two goals or less, three of which only scored one.
The good news is we completely avoided two of the teams that scored one goal in the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers. The bad news is we faded the Tampa Bay Lightning which came back to hurt us.
Our three-man Stars stack did some damage in the form of a Jamie Benn goal, but unfortunately both Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza missed the scoresheet with Spezza posting an ugly goose egg on the night.
The only production I got from my three-man Predators stack came from a Roman Josi assist as the Predators edged the Sabres by a 2-1 score.
The two-man Devils stack I rolled out also got just one assist from Sami Vatanen as New Jersey was thumped 5-1 by the visiting Lightning.
Finally, Pekka Rinne delivered the safety I mentioned in yesterday’s piece, turning aside 21 of 22 shots en route to the win.
It was a slow night in the NHL last night, but the action ramps up to a 10-game slate this Tuesday night!
C – John Tavares (TOR) – $6,700 vs. BUF
There aren’t many tougher back-to-backs than the one the Sabres face tonight as John Tavares and the Maple Leafs invade Buffalo tonight, just one night after the Sabres took a loss to the Nashville Predators on the road last night. There’s no doubt the Sabres have improved on the back end this season, but good, bad or indifferent, this Maple Leafs team has beat up on opposing defenses and penalty kills this season, so I want a couple slices of that pie beginning here with Tavares who comes at a cheaper cost given the return of Auston Matthews. He’s enjoying a big season in his first year in blue and white as Tavares has scored 17 goals in just 27 games this season to go along with 13 helpers on 97 shots. He’s scored seven of those goals over the last 10 games and has tallied 11 goals in just 13 games on the road this season. Despite perhaps ranking second on the Leafs’ depth chart at center, Tavares has the best winger in the Leafs lineup by his side in Mitch Marner at both even strength and on the lethal top power play unit, so let’s roll with the superstar forward against a vulnerable Sabres club tonight.
C – Colin White (OTT) – $4,500 vs. MON
The Senators’ offense has more than surpassed expectations so far this season and the get a nice road matchup tongiht against the Montreal Canadiens who are tied for 27th with 3.33 goals against per game at home this season. White comes at a very nice price tonight as he centers breakout rookie Brady Tkachuk and Mark Stone at even strength and on the Senators 1B power play unit. As a result, White is enjoying a nice campaign with seven goals and 16 points in 26 games this season, with four of those goals coming on the power play. The latter could be key as the Canadiens have also been no good on the penalty kill at home this season, ranking 21st with a 77.1% mark at the Bell Centre. Given the Senators’ productive offense and the Canadiens struggles on the back end, I am liking the value upside we are getting with the young pivot in a nice matchup tonight.
W – Mitch Marner (TOR) – $7,000 vs. BUF
A lot of his points come in the form of assists, but that’s more than okay with me as Marner teams up with Tavares tonight in Buffalo. Entering play tonight, Marner ranks fourth in NHL scoring with 38 points in 27 games this season while his 32 assists ranks him second to Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen and his 34 helpers. What I like about Marner is the fact that the Maple Leafs’ power play unit essentially runs through him on the right side of the ice. In other words, he’s the biggest reason why the Maple Leafs rank third with a 29% clip on the man advantage this season. With Auston Matthews back in the lineup, the power play becomes all that more dangerous. While we didn’t pay up for Matthews, the highest-priced skater on this slate, we get exposure to the sniper on the power play unit with the Tavares/Marner combo while this duo creates plenty of offense at even strength as well. The Maple Leafs are the league’s highest-scoring road team with 4.15 goals per game away from home this season, so I feel real confident about this mini-stack tonight.
W – Mark Stone (OTT) – $6,400 vs. MON
As mentioned, Stone sits to the right of White at both even strength and on the Senators 1B power play unit, and I am choosing him over Tkachuk in this lineup tonight. Stone enters play this evening with 12 goals and 29 points in 27 games to go along with 64 shots on goal. His 18.8% shooting percentage is a little high at this point, but he gets that favorable road matchup against a soft Canadiens back end this evening. He’s also entering play with a fairly hot hand after scoring three goals and adding two helpers over his last four games. While his home/road splits would tell you that he is more productive in Ottawa, Stone has actually notched two goals and two assists over his last two road games as those splits begin to even out. I figure this one to be a fairly high-scoring game tonight, and given the Canadiens’ recent struggles, I like the way this one is shaping up for the 26-year-old tonight.
W – Yanni Gourde (TB) – $4,600 vs. DET
After scoring five goals for the third consecutive game in New Jersey last night, it’s abundantly clear that the Lighting offense is firing on all cylinders right now, and I am going to get some exposure to that group with a reasonably-priced three-man stack beginning here with Gourde. Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov have been doing the damage of late, but Gourde lines up in a nice spot tonight alongside Steven Stamkos at both even strength and on the Lighting’s lethal top power play unit, so the value upside here is real. After breaking out with 25 goals last season, Gourde has 10 goals and 22 points in 28 games while firing 56 pucks on goal. He also snapped a five-game pointless streak with a goal in last night’s win over the Devils, and we’ve seen this guy score in bunches over the last year and change. Let’s hope another hot streak has begun with Gourde as he sits in a favorable spot in the lineup for this one tonight.
D – Victor Hedman (TB) – $5,400 vs. DET
Hedman isn’t racking up points at quite the same clip we have seen over the last couple of seasons, but he still has four goals and 14 points in 21 games and I think the cost is very reasonable against a Detroit defense that can be vulnerable at times. He is starting to get back into the groove after missing some time in early November as Hedman has tallied four assists over his last three games. Another factor to consider with these Lightning is the fact they have just dominated the Red Wings in recent history. Over their last 10 games against the Red Wings, Tampa Bay is a perfect 10-0-0 and have averaged 3.9 goals per game over that stretch. Hedman will line up with Gourde on the top power play unit, a group that ranks first with a 38.6% clip on the power play on the road this season. Can’t help but love him in this spot tonight.
D – Dylan Demelo (OTT) – $3,600 vs. MON
It’s time for some notable value in this lineup and I think we can get that with Demelo as he takes on the Canadiens while completing our three-man Senators stack for this one tonight. He has chipped in a little bit offensively with two goals and seven points in 27 games to go along with 39 shots and 46 blocked shots as well. The first-year Senator actually tallied a solid 20 points in 63 games last season with the Sharks, a number that looks even better when we consider he averaged just 14:12 of ice time per game. That number is approaching 19 minutes with the Senators this season, ice time that includes power play minutes where he is skating alongside White and Stone, making this a three-man stack at even strength and on the top power play unit. Some production from the 25-year-old would go a long way for this lineup tonight.
G – Sergei Bobrovsky (CLS) – $8,100 vs. CGY
He might not be the first goaltender to pop out at you on this slate, but Bobrovsky quietly has a nice matchup with the Flames tonight. The first thing to note is that while Calgary has been a deadly offense at home, they actually rank 21st with just 2.50 goals per game on the road and 26th with a 14% power play clip away from home. Bobrovsky is coming off a month of November where he got back into form with a .932 Sv%, and he sports a solid 2.41 GAA and .919 Sv% at home this season. He has allowed two goals or less in eight of his last 12 starts and just one goal against in six of those last 12 starts. Columbus is 7-4-1 at home and the Jackets are -130 favorites in this one, so I will lock in the two-time Vezina winner for this matchup tonight.
UTIL – Ondrej Palat (TB) – $3,500 vs. DET
Palat’s production has seen better days as he has yet to score in 12 games in this injury-shortened season, but the good news is Palat is set to skate with Gourde on the Steven Stamkos line tonight, so his first goal shouldn’t be too far away. It’s not like he has been completely silent with seven assists in those 12 games, but just don’t expect much of a floor here considering he has just 15 shots in that time. It’s also nice that Palat gives us exposure to the Tampa Bay second power play unit as well. He’s had trouble staying healthy in his career, but He’s averaging well over a half point-per-game clip in his career and that includes this season. At this price and alongside Stamkos and Gourde, I think Palat can bring a lot to the table at what should be relatively low ownership in a favorable matchup tonight.