I didn’t manage to get a piece out yesterday, however it was a big night for a lot of our picks from Wednesday’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, however our low-cost mini-stack didn’t deliver the value that could have had us near or at the top of GPPs.
Our three-man Oilers stack didn’t light it up, but they did produce as Connor McDavid scored one of the two Oilers’ goals in this one with Leon Draisaitl picking up one of the assists. McDavid and Draisaitl also combined for seven shots on goal while the third member of the stack – Darnell Nurse – recorded five blocked shots to help the cause.
It was our Senators three-man stack that exploded against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Matt Duchene led the way against his former club, notching two goals and an assist while Ryan Dzingel came in with a goal and an assist. Defenseman Thomas Chabot tallied an assist in his return from the lineup to go along with five shots on goal as well. All told, this stack combined for three goals, three assists, 11 shots and a block. What a night.
James Neal didn’t dress as per yesterday’s piece, however Sam Bennett didn’t produce anything aside from a single shot on goal in this one.
Finally, our goaltender Mikko Koskinen delivered some nice value as anticipated as he turned aside 20 of 22 Canucks shots and notched the win via the shootout.
It was an excellent lineup and one that should have had you in the money in GPPs to be sure.
Let’s move onto tonight’s seven-game Friday slate and see if we can keep rolling!
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,100 vs. FLA
The Maple Leafs won a big game in Tampa Bay last night and the competition gets a little softer tonight against a Florida Panthers team that has lost seven in a row and have not been able to keep the puck out of their net. Over those seven losses, the Panthers have averaged 4.43 goals against per game, so I am expecting Matthews and the Maple Leafs to put some goals up on the board tonight. After all, the Maple Leafs are the NHL’s best road offense with an even four goals per game while the Panthers are the league’s 26th-ranked home defense with 3.16 goals against per game at home. Enter Matthews who has just one goal over his last 11 games, but still 20 goals in 32 games this season while he’s added 22 helpers for 42 points in 32 games. Matthews is also averaging 3.16 shots per game this season and is more than due to get back on the board tonight in a very favorable road matchup.
C – Aleksander Barkov (FLA) – $6,700 vs. TOR
While the Panthers have struggled to score lately, scoring just one goal in each of their last two games and just 1.33 goals per game over their last seven, they are still the NHL’s 10th-ranked home offense and I think they can get some past a Leafs team playing their second game in as many nights. The Panthers catch a break tonight as they will dodge Maple Leafs’ starting goaltender Frederik Andersen, who won last night in Tampa, and will instead get backup Garrett Sparks who hasn’t played since December 29th and owns an .878 Sv% over his last five outings. Barkov is just a very consistent producer for this Panthers team as he has notched 17 goals and 44 points in 45 games on the campaign while he’s taken 115 shots on goal in the process. Barkov has outperformed on home ice as well, notching 11 goals and 25 points in 19 home games compared to tallying 19 points in 26 road contests. Look for him to anchor this Panthers team again tonight.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $4,500 vs. FLA
It’s safe to say that his return to the Maple Leafs after holding out for a new contract could not be going any worse for the 22-year-old Swede. Through 18 games, Nylander has just one goal and three points to go along with 33 shots on goal. His play has noticeably improved over the last handful of games, but the results just aren’t there. That said, tonight offers a nice matchup to break out of the prolonged slump as he’s been reunited with Matthews at even strength and on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit. Also, Nylander is shooting at just 3% this season, a mark that is well under his 10.5% career mark and one that is going to dramatically improve as the season moves along. Nylander has tallied at least 20 goals and exactly 61 points in his first two NHL seasons so far, therefore it’s only going to be a matter of time before the points start to show up, and I’m looking for that to start tonight at a discounted price.
W – Frank Vatrano (FLA) – $4,900 vs. TOR
There are some expensive pieces in this lineup tonight, so I pivoted from Evgenii Dadonov on the Panthers’ top line alongside Barkov to Vatrano who is cheaper and is actually producing quite well at the moment. Vatrano was a big-time goal-scorer in the AHL, and it was just a matter of time before it translated to the NHL. This appears to be his breakout season as Vatrano as tallied 13 goals (already a career-high) to go along with seven assists on 109 shots across 44 games this season. We need to consider that Vatrano is averaging just over 14 minutes a game and was relegated to the third or fourth line for much of the season. The 24-year-old has notched two goals and an assist over his last four games while he’s scored three goals in seven January tilts. Vatrano is going to play alongside the best playmaker the Panthers have to offer tonight while he will also get some second unit power play time where he will form a mini-stack with one of our defensemen tonight.
W – Jordan Martinook (CAR) – $3,300 vs. OTT
There are some high-floor, high-upside players in this lineup tonight, and while Martinook doesn’t fall into that category, he has nice value upside in his matchup tonight with the visiting Ottawa Senators. I’ve documented the Sens’ struggles on the back end all season long, and it is once again worth mentioning that Ottawa is by far the NHL’s worst defensive road team with 4.50 goals against per game away from home, miles above the 30th-ranked Rangers and their 4.17 mark. Martinook has just 12 points in 46 games, but I like the fact that nine of those 12 points are goals while he’s also fired a solid 94 shots on goal in those 46 contests. He likely won’t see any power play time tonight, but Martinook does kill penalties and has a shorthanded goal this season, so perhaps some bonus shorthanded points are in order. Nonetheless, I think he can give this lineup some notable value against this putrid Sens’ defense tonight at low ownership.
D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $6,300 vs. FLA
Our three-man Maple Leafs stack is complete here with the addition of Rielly who ranks third in the league among defensemen with 47 points in 46 games on the season. Rielly skates on the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit whereas Matthews and Nylander skate on the second group after a recent shakeup, but to be honest I’m not concerned with the Maple Leafs’ power play right now as they are ice cold on that front entering this one tonight. Instead, I’ll look for this trio to do their damage at even strength. Rielly bring a real high floor with those 47 points as well as the fact he has 123 shots on goal and 61 blocks on the season as well. We can expect the goal-scoring to quiet down, as it has lately, given his 10.6% shooting percentage is well above his 5% career mark. Still, I expect him to be chippin in some assists tonight alongside Matthews and Nylander at even strength.
D – Aaron Ekblad (FLA) – $4,500 vs. TOR
Another three-man stack is completed here with the addition of Ekblad as he will team up with Barkov and Vatrano tongiht against the Maple Leafs. Perhaps Keith Yandle is the better play, but he’s notably more expensive and Ekblad has eight goals on the season to Yandle’s six, so I will roll on the dice and look for Ekblad to pot one on Garrett Sparks tonight. For this stack, I like the fact that Ekblad has scored four of his eight goals on the power play as that is where he will lskate with Vatrano for this one tonight. He might not be shooting the puck as much as he has in the past, but Ekblad still has a nice 108 shots in 45 games this season, averaging more than two per game. He also has 18 points in those 45 games, but I’m looking for some goal-scoring from the stud 22-year-old blueliner tonight.
G – Matt Murray (PIT) – $8,100 vs. ARI
The Penguins will travel to Arizona tonight to take on the Coyotes and I think Murray has the upside to deliver this lineup with some safety and perhaps a shutout against one of the NHL’s worst offenses. Entering play tonight, the Coyotes rank 28th with just 2.61 goals per game this season while they check in at 29th with just 2.74 goals per game on home ice. Murray came back from injury and set the world on fire through his first eight games back, but he’s been humbled by giving up four goals in each of his last two starts, losing his most recent outing in San Jose. Despite the rough couple of outings on the road, Murray has actually been excellent away from home for the majority of the season, posting a 2.21 GAA and .933 Sv% across 11 road starts on the campaign. He certainly has shutout upside given the Coyotes’ poor offense, but Murray also has notable win upside as the Penguins are listed at -160 favorites to win this one tonight.
UTIL – Lucas Wallmark (CAR) – $3,200 vs. OTT
Completing our lineup tonight is Wallmark who is set to skate with Martinook on the Hurricanes’ second line while he should also see some second unit power play time as well. There’s little doubt that this duo will see very low ownership tongiht despite the super-favorable matchup against the league’s worst overall defense and worst road defense as well. The 23-year-old pivot has just four goals and 14 points in 46 games this season, but he still has a solid 86 shots on goal. He has a tiny 4.7% shooting percentage on the season, a number that is definitely going to trend upwards as the season moves along. Wallmark has indeed scored three of his four goals on home ice this season and the Hurricanes average a decent three goals per game at home, so I’m looking for Wallmark and Martinook to team up for some low-owned offense and deliver this lineup some excellent value tonight.