Boy it was a disappointing effort from the Florida Panthers again last night as they managed to score just one goal against one of the slate’s weakest goaltenders. We also got zero production from our Stars mini-stack against a Lightning team who doesn’t defend all that well on the road.
We did, however, get some big-time production out of our three-man Blue Jackets stack. The trio of Cam Atkinson, Artemi Panarin and Zach Werenski combined for two goals, three assists, seven shots and three blocked shots on the night. As expected, they did the majority of the damage in the Jackets’ 4-1 win over the Devils.
Unfortunately, Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t start this game for the Jackets as he once again gave way to Joonas Korpisalo.
Aside from our Blue Jackets stack it wasn’t a great lineup. I’ll now turn my attention to tonight’s five-game Wednesday night slate.
*Tonight’s lineup is aimed for GPP tournaments.
C – Connor McDavid (EDM) – $7,900 vs. VAN
Sure, McDavid isn’t exactly a GPP play on most nights, but when it comes to tonight’s slate I actually think we can get him at reasonable ownership as the Oilers invade Vancouver to take on the Canucks. There isn’t much to write home about an Edmonton offense that is averaging only 2.57 goals per game on the road this season, however for his part McDavid has tallied 13 goals and 33 points in just 22 road games this season, so he doesn’t mind producing away from Rogers Place in Edmonton. McDavid *only* had one goal and two points in the Oilers’ 7-2 win over the Sabres on Monday, however he now has points in five straight games and has tallied five goals and three assists in that span while he has seven goals and four assists across seven January tilts so far. With big-time lines from the Avalanche, Bruins and Flames on this slate, I think the Oilers’ top line could go a little overlooked this evening.
C – Matt Duchene (OTT) – $5,900 vs. COL
Duchene will face his former team tonight as the Colorado Avalanche visit the Canadian Tire Centre tonight in Ottawa. With plenty of ownership going towards the Nathan MacKinnon line for the Avs given the Senators are the NHL’s worst defensive team, I am going to flip the script and roster Duchene as part of a three-man Senators stack tonight. After all, Ottawa ranks ninth with 3.38 goals per game at home and the Avalanche rank 22nd with 3.42 goals against per game on the road. Duchene missed the Sens’ successful three-game California swing due to the birth of his son, however he will return tonight rested and ready to rock against his former club. He is enjoying a fantastic campaign where he’s posted 18 goals and 42 points in 37 games to go along with 90 shots on goal. He has 10 goals and 26 points in 21 home games, so I’m looking for some more home cooking from the 27-year-old pivot in this one.
W – Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – $6,500 vs. VAN
I believe we are getting Draisaitl at a reasonable price considering his recent production and the fact that he lines up alongside McDavid at even strength and on the Oilers’ top power play unit. Draisaitl scored five goals over his final four games of December while he’s followed that up with three goals and three assists across seven games in the month of January. Draisaitl has produced a little more at home, but I’m not about to argue with his 10 goals and 24 points in 23 road games entering this one tonight. The Canucks’ defense has improved over last season, but they still rank 19th with 2.90 goals against per game at home this season and starting netminder Jacob Markstrom owns a .893 Sv% in January to this point after a red-hot month of December. After a game were the Oilers won on the back of their secondary scoring, look for the McDavid/Draisaitl duo to take it from there tonight.
W – Ryan Dzingel (OTT) – $4,900 vs. COL
Dzingel has quietly been a real productive presence in this Ottawa lineup over the last few years. He noted a healthy 14 goals in his first full NHL season in 2016-17, and followed that up with 23 goals in 79 contests last season. This year, the 26-year-old is on pace to shatter those marks as he’s notched 18 goals in 44 games on 102 shots on goal. He’s also chipped in 15 helpers to give him 33 points in 44 contests. Although his centerman has missed some time this season, Dzingel has been able to produce wherever he’s been placed in the lineup. He’ll enter tonight’s contest sporting a hot hand as he’s tallied five goals over his last seven games and also has three assists for eight points over his last seven. The Avalanche have averaged 4.50 goals against per game over their last four, so I believe the Senators can and will get some offense going at very reasonable ownership levels tonight.
W – James Neal (CGY) – $3,400 vs. BUF
When the Flames signed James Neal to a five-year contract in the offseason in hopes of boosting their offense, I believed it was a savvy move and one that would pay off big-time for the club despite his injury troubles in the past. Well, Neal has managed to stay healthy, but he’s been terribly unproductive with just four goals and 10 points in 46 games so far while mostly being relegated to bottom-six duty. Such factors will certainly make him a low-owned play tongiht and one that I think can pay off in GPP formats as he kicks off a Flames mini-stack tonight. Keep an eye on his status as he missed Tuesday’s practise with an illness, so make sure he is dressing prior to lock. It’s worth noting that Neal is suffering from a super-low shooting percentage of just 4.1% this season, lightyears below his 11.7% career mark. That shooting percentage has nowhere to go but up, and I think it can start tonight against a Sabres team that is struggling and allowed seven goals on Monday in Edmonton.
D – Darnell Nurse (EDM) – $5,300 vs. VAN
Nurse has seen an expanded role since Oscar Klefbom went down with an injury, and boy has he taken advantage of that. Entering tonight’s contest, Nurse has six goals, 17 assists, 117 shots on goal and 79 blocked shots in 46 games this season. However, that doesn’t do him justice based on how he has played of late. Since December 5th, Nurse has tallied four goals and 13 assists for 17 points over his last 19 games. He’s averaged 2.9 shots on goal per game in that span as well. All the sudden, Nurse has turned himself into one of the more reliable high-floor fantasy blueliners in the game today. He’s slightly outproduced on the road with three goals and 12 points in 23 road games this season. He’s taken over as the lone defenseman on the Oilers’ top power play unit, meaning he will skate the vast majority of this game with McDavid and Draisaitl and I love the upside as a result.
D – Thomas Chabot (OTT) – $5,000 vs. COL
Chabot will make his return to the Senators lineup for the first time since December 28th tonight, giving the Senators their best defenseman back in time for a clash with the Avalanche. Chabot has had a tremendous season and exceeded even the loftiest of expectations as he’s tallied 10 goals and 38 points in as many games this season and had two goals and three assists over his last six games prior to getting injured. Chabot has hit the 100-shot barrier for the season as well while also blocking 68 shots himself, giving him some excellent peripheral numbers heading into this one. Chabot will form a three-man Senators stack at even strength tongiht while also forming a mini-stack with Duchene on the Sens’ top power play unit. The latter could be a big factor tonight as the Avalanche ranks 27th with a 76.3% rate on the penalty kill this season while the Senators rank fifth with a 26.3% clip on the power play at home.
G – Mikko Koskinen (EDM) – $7,600 vs. VAN
The Oilers are underdogs heading into tonight’s tilt with the Vancouver Canucks, however I think they get the win and I think Koskinen can deliver some value as a result. After a couple of rough outings against the Kings and Sharks, Koskinen was fantastic in turning aside 41 of 43 shots in the Oilers 7-2 beatdown of the Sabres on Monday night. He has been quite a bit better on home ice this season, so I would still reserve Koskinen for GPP lineups considering he owns a 3.37 GAA and .890 Sv% on the road, although allowing seven goals in less than a full game’s worth of minutes over his last two road outings have skewed those numbers a bit. Still, the Canucks should still be without their top offensive weapon in Elias Pettersson tonight, and I believe Koskinen will get enough goal support for the win despite the Oilers being listed as +103 underdogs at BetOnline tonight.
UTIL – Sam Bennett (CGY) – $3,300 vs. BUF
I’m still waiting for Bennett to kick his offensive production into another gear and more towards what the Flames thought he would bring when they took him with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft. He has just seven goals and 16 points in 45 games this season to go along with 74 shots as well. That said, Bennett has produced a little bit of late, tallying a goal and two helpers over his last five games. His goal on Sunday against the Coyotes snapped a 10-game goalless drought, so perhaps he can build off of that tonight. What I like about Bennett the most is that he will skate on the Flames’ third line with James Neal while also skating with Neal on the Flames’ second power play unit. These two guys haven’t been all that productive this season, but they are going to see low ownership tonight and keep in mind this is a GPP-aimed lineup. It would be wonderful if these two could rise up and get together for a couple goals in this favorable home matchup tonight.