We had a solid night with our DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, although it would have been nice to get some more production from one of our two three-man stacks.
It was a good call to go back with the Predators’ big boys in last night’s favorable matchup in Chicago. Filip Forsberg tallied a pair of goals while Viktor Arvidsson notched one of his own. Combined with Ryan Johansen’s two assists, the stack combined for three goals, two assists, 18 shots and two blocks. A big night from this trio.
Our second three-man stack simply didn’t deliver as J.T. Compher, Alexander Kerfoot and Tyson Barrie were all held off the scoresheet while Compher and Kerfoot produced goose eggs. The lone production here came from the three shots and one block that Barrie produced.
Our Flames mini-stack got the job done. Matthew Tkachuk scored an empty net goal, however T.J. Brodie brought some excellent value to the table with a pair of assists and a blocked shot on the night.
Finally, with the Preds’ OT win, Pekka Rinne landed in the win column on top of the 28 saves he made in this one.
A solid night for sure, so let’s move onto a heavy 12-game Thursday night slate!
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,100 vs. NJ
The Maple Leafs have destroyed the Devils to the tune of a 13-3 score over two meetings this season, and I am going to target the home side in this one tonight with a trio of Maple Leafs forwards, beginning here with Matthews. Matthews enters tonight’s contest with 20 goals and 39 points in just 28 games this season to go along with a whopping 89 shots on goal, or 3.18 shots per game. He had a goal taken away due to an offside on Monday against the Predators, however he still has four goals and eight assists over his last nine games. It appears the Maple Leafs have shaken up their stagnant power play and Matthews has been moved onto what will likely be the second unit, however Matthews has been the league’s most productive even strength goal scorer in the NHL since entering the league, so I’m not too worried about the power play production as the Maple Leafs visit the lowly Devils tonight.
C – Ryan Johansen (NSH) – $4,900 vs. CLS
For the third time this week I am going to use a three-man Predators stack, and I have some reasoning behind this one as Nashville plays their second game in as many nights and their third game over the last four nights tonight in Columbus. Blue Jackets starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is being held out of this game tonight for what the team called disciplinary reasons, which will thrust 24-year-old Joonas Korpisalo into action. Korpisalo has posted a poor 3.29 GAA and .889 Sv% in 15 appearances this season, but has been even worse at home here he’s produced a 3.67 GAA and .872 Sv% across seven appearances. Therefore, I believe the Preds can get their offense going again tonight after scoring eight goals over their last two games. Johansen’s two helpers from last night gives him 30 on the season while he’s tallied eight goals to boot. Let’s look for some more puck distribution from the Preds’ top pivot alongside his productive wingers tonight.
W – Kasperi Kapanen (TOR) – $4,600 vs. NJ
Kapanen has seen his production quiet down of late as he was largely moved down to the third line after the return of William Nylander, however it appears Kapanen will be reunited with Auston Matthews for this contest tonight in New Jersey. It’s been a productive season from the 22-year-old in his first full tour in the NHL as he’s notched 14 goals and 11 helpers in 42 games this season to go along with 83 shots on goal. There are a couple other reasons why I like Kapanen in this one tonight aside from his promotion to the Matthews line. First, it appears he will get a spot on the Leafs’ top power play unit alongside John Tavares and Mitch Marner, certainly an excellent spot to be. Second, Kapanen is as dangerous of a penalty killer as you will find due to his elite speed. He’s scored one shorthanded goal this season and also notched one last season, so some bonus shorthanded points could be in the cards tonight.
W – Andreas Johnsson (TOR) – $5,000 vs. NJ
We will complete our three-man Maple Leafs stack early in this lineup as Johnsson will also skate with Auston Matthews tonight, however he will also flank Matthews as what is being deemed the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit. After a slow start to the season, the rookie Johnsson has picked up his production and will enter this one tonight with nine goals and 19 points in 37 games on the season to go along with 60 shots on goal. These are certainly nice totals considering Johnsson has seen less than 13 minutes of ice time per game and very little power play time, a couple of items that should change for this one tonight. Johnsson isn’t the most consistent producer, but he gets his production in bunches as the last the last eight games where he has notched a point, he has notched more than one point. That number could increase tonight given his spot alongside Matthews in all situations tonight.
W – Filip Forsberg (NSH) – $6,500 vs. CLS
I mentioned in yesterday’s piece that Forsberg tends to score his goals in bunches and I was hoping that a hot streak would start in Chicago, and that’s exactly what took place with a two-goal effort from the Swedish sniper. Now, he gets a matchup tonight where he’s facing one of the weakest goaltenders on the slate, so I don’t see much reason to fade Forsberg at what I still deem a reasonable price despite the $400 increase from last night. After his two-goal game last night, Forsberg now has 16 tallies in just 28 games on the season and he’s added eight assists to boot to go along with 96 shots on goal, or 3.43 shots per game. He’s had trouble staying healthy over the last two seasons, but Forsberg has scored 42 goals over his last 95 games including last season, and I’m looking for him to get back in the goal column tonight in Columbus.
D – Ryan Ellis (NSH) – $4,900 vs. CLS
I couldn’t pay up to get Roman Josi tonight, but I don’t mind rolling with Ellis at lower ownership to complete this three-man Predators stack tonight. This will still be three-man stack at both even strength and on the Predators’ top power play unit as Nashville is one of the few teams to deploy two defensemen on their power play these days. Ellis is still brining a quality floor to the table as he has 20 points in 45 games this season, but also 86 shots on goal and a whopping 96 blocked shots to boot. Those are some excellent peripheral numbers to pair with his offensive upside in this one. Ellis has just four goals on those 86 shots this season, good for a 4.7% shooting percentage. That said, that figure is well below his 7.3% career shooting percentage, so expect some more pucks to find the back of the net for the 28-year-old, hopefully beginning tonight in Columbus.
D – Miro Heiskanen (DAL) – $4,500 vs. PHI
The Stars are in Philadelphia tonight to take on the Flyers, and therefore I want some exposure to Dallas considering the fact that Philly ranks 28th with 3.35 goals against per game on home ice this season. The Flyers have also lost eight games in a row and have averaged 3.88 goals against per game over that stretch. Enter Heiskanen who is a sneaky play for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year if Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson can’t stay healthy enough to win it. He has been excellent at both ends of the ice for Dallas, but offensively he has notched nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in 44 games this season. Heiskanen has also fired a whopping 99 shots on goal to go along with 46 blocked shots, making him a cross-category fantasy stud at the ripe old age of 19. There’s no doubt the Stars are a better offense at home than on the road, but against this Flyers defense, I want to roll out a Stars mini-stack at what I believe will be very low ownership on this big slate.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $7,600 vs. MIN
This one has some risk to it, but there’s a few reasons what I like Hellebuyck tonight in Minnesota. First, the Wild are middle-of-the-pack home offense (T-14th) that has scored just three goals over their last three homes games and have also scored just two goals over their last two games overall. Second, after scoring one goal or less in four of five games, the Jets’ offense has awoken and scored 12 goals over their last two games, and I think their red-hot offense continues tonight and will give Hellebuyck more than enough goal support to notch the win despite the Jets listed as +100 underdogs in this one. Finally, I love the price. Considering I think the Jets win this one, why would I not go with their goaltender who is facing a cold offense with a hot offense supporting him at a fantastic price? I have no problem rolling the dice with the Jets’ netminder tonight.
UTIL – Radek Faksa (DAL) – $3,800 vs. PHI
Completing our lineup and our Stars mini-stack is Faksa who could give this lineup a real shot in the arm with some production what I believe will be tiny ownership on a 12-game slate. Faksa will line up as the Stars’ third line center tonight, but he will also get second unit power play reps where he will form a mini-stack with Heiskanen on top of their even strength time spent together. By no means does he bring a high floor to the table with seven goal, 16 points and 62 shots in 44 games this season, but Faksa logs more than 16 minutes of ice time per game and actually has a pair of shorthanded points to boot. Some bonus shorthanded points would be fantastic, but I believe Faksa can get the job done at even strength and/or on the power play as well against one of the weakest defenses this league has to offer in the form of the Philadelphia Flyers.