Our week didn’t get started on the right note as the Flyers didn’t do nearly enough damage against the Senators while the Wild were shutout at the hands of the league’s 25th-ranked road defense (at the time).
We received an assist from both Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere (apologies for not including Gostisbehere in the write up), however we received next to nothing from James van Riemsdyk in a disappointing result from this stack.
Our three-man Oilers stack certainly got the job done, but the damage came exclusively from the McDavid/Draisaitl duo as they combined for two goals and three assists including connecting on the OT winner.
As mentioned, our Wild mini-stack was shutout, but we also got a win from goaltender Mikko Koskinen as he stayed hot at home with 28 saves on 30 shots in the 3-2 OT win.
We need to get some better picks going and that will be the idea on tonight’s eight-game slate!
C – Sean Monahan (CGY) – $6,900 vs. NJ
The Calgary Flames have the top matchup on the slate tonight as they will welcome the lowly New Jersey Devils to town, a team that has struggled on the back end away from home for the overwhelming majority of the season. New Jersey enters this one tonight tied for 30th alongside the Chicago Blackhawks with 3.88 goals against per game on the road this season. The Flames’ top line hasn’t been all that dominant of late and Monahan has been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games entering this one, but a breakout game is coming any time now as the big center has tallied 30 goals and 72 points in 69 games on the season to go along with 191 shots on goal. Let’s also keep in mind that the Flames are the NHL’s highest-scoring home team at the moment with 4.09 goals per game at the Saddledome on the season. I’m looking for a big game from the Flames’ big boys tonight.
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $6,700 vs. WAS
Hockey fans get treated to another chapter of the Penguins/Capitals rivalry tonight as this one will take place from Pittsburgh which, to me, is advantage Penguins. Their power play unit have apparently been split up ahead of tonight’s contest and with the Penguins’ sporting a better man advantage on the road than they do at home this season, I’m simply worried about the five-on-five play this evening. Malkin will once again skate as the team’s second line center as well as the second power play unit for this one tonight. Entering play this evening, he’s tallied 21 goals and 68 points in 63 games on the season to go along with 173 shots on goal. While he’s failed to register a multi-point game in this span, Malkin has hit the scoresheet in six of his last eight games and has recorded at least three shots in three straight. Sidney Crosby has been hotter, but we can lengthen our lineup tonight by rostering Malkin to lead off this three-man stack.
W – Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) – $6,700 vs. NJ
Gaudreau needs to pick it up a notch for the Flames and tonight is a fantastic opportunity for the diminutive winger to get back on track against a weak Devils back end. Gaudreau has been held pointless in three straight games and had scored just one goal since way back on January 19th against the Oilers. As a result, the American forward is more than due to find the back of the net and I am particularly encouraged by the fact he fired a whopping nine shots on goal in his last time out against the Golden Knights on Sunday, a game where the Flames’ offense broke out with six goals after scoring two goals or less in seven of their last eight games. That offensive explosion is certainly encouraging, and it came at home where they will take the ice again tonight. For the season, he’s still tallied 30 goals and 84 points in 69 games, so let’s look for him to get back to his elite scoring ways in a super-favorable home matchup tonight.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $5,900 vs. WAS
We are getting Kessel at a discount as he has followed his countryman Gaudreau’s lead and struggled to score goals over his last few weeks. Kessel scored a goal last Thursday against the Blue Jackets to get the monkey off his back, but it was still just his first goal since January 30th. He has remained fairly productive in the assist column, however, as he’s notched five helpers over his last eight games on top of the goal. Kessel hasn’t stopped shooting the puck as he’s averaged 3.67 shots per game over his last six, so the pucks are certainly going to start going in with regularity for the veteran sniper. On the season Kessel has tallied 22 goals and 68 points in 69 games on the season to go along with 178 shots on goal. While his shots per game on the season are well below career norms, his work of late is encouraging and I am looking for the increased puck luck to kick in for this rivalry game tonight.
W – Jason Pominville (BUF) – $3,400 vs. DAL
This one requires some explanation as the struggling Sabres will take on the Dallas Stars who happen to be the NHL’s sixth-ranked road defense, but I see some upside here. With the suspension to Jack Eichel, the Sabres have had to throw their lines in a blender, and that blender has left Pominville to skate on the top line alongside young center Casey Mittelstadt and 36-goal scorer Jeff Skinner. It’s the best place to be right now in this Sabres lineup, and the truth is you want to face this Stars defense on the road rather than at home. Goaltender Ben Bishop is coming off back-to-back shutouts, but he’s been notably better at home this season than on the road, although his road numbers remain strong. Pominville has tallied 15 goals and 28 points in 62 games on the season to go along with 113 shots on goal, and his spot on the top line is going to give him an opportunity to increase those totals tonight.
D – Mark Giordano (CGY) – $6,300 vs. NJ
As far as cross-category contributors go on the back end, Giordano is one of the very best of the bunch. Entering play tonight, the veteran blueliner has notched 14 goals and 63 points in 67 games on the season, however he’s also recorded 185 shots on goal and blocked 133 shots himself. The 14 goals are nothing new for the 35-year-old as he’s recorded at least 11 goals in six straight years now while his 7.6% shooting percentage this season is almost directly in line with his 7.4% mark for his career. Giordano has particularly been a beast at home this season as he’s tallied nine goals and 39 points in 32 home games compared to five goals and 24 points across 35 road games. The splits align with that of his team and given the offensive explosion the Flames’ created on Sunday, I will look for this team to enter this one tonight with the utmost of confidence against the lowly Devils.
D – Brian Dumoulin (PIT) – $3,600 vs. WAS
There are still some expensive pieces in this lineup so Dumoulin will become one of three value pieces we will roster tonight on top of Pominville and our utility player in this lineup. Dumoulin may not rack up a ton of points, but he’s an extremely valuable piece of this Penguins blueline, particularly in the defensive zone where he has blocked 109 shots on the season. He does chip in up front once in a while with two goals and 21 points in 66 games on the season to go along with 82 shots on goal. I like the fact he is on the ice for a lot of the Penguins’ offense this season as evidenced by his +28 on the year which ranks among the league leaders in that department. As mentioned, I’m not overly concerned with the Pens’ power play tonight, but it’s worth mentioning that this three-man stack is also a stack on the second power play unit, which has a solid opportunity to produce against the Capitals and their bottom-half 18th-ranked road penalty kill tonight.
G – Jordan Binnington (STL) – $7,600 vs. ARI
Binnington has cooled off some over the last couple of games as he’s allowed seven goals combined between the two contests, however he has a real nice matchup on his hands tonight against the visiting Coyotes. First, the Coyotes are playing their second game in as many nights after mustering just one goal against the league’s worst overall defense in Chicago last night. Second, despite their recent surge towards the playoffs, the Coyotes still rank 24th with just 2.53 goals per game on the road this season and 28th with just 2.61 goals per game overall on the season. Finally, the Coyotes’ offense enters this one fairly cold with an average of two goals per game over their last four. Binnington has produced a 1.96 GAA and .926 Sv% across eight home starts and 10 home appearances on the season and with the Blues favored at -225 to win this one tonight, I like my chances of notching a win with the breakout star in this matchup.
UTIL – Casey Mittelstadt (BUF) – $2,700 vs. DAL
Again, the matchup isn’t great, but Mittelstadt is going to get a big-time opportunity tonight as he will replace Eichel as the team’s top center alongside Pominville and Jeff Skinner for this one tonight. It appears he will also skate on the Sabres’ second power play unit with Skinner as well. It’s been a decent, if unspectacular rookie season for Mittelstadt as he’s notched 10 goals and 21 points in 64 games to go along with 96 shots on goal. The 20-year-old does have two goals over his last six games and he’s been much more productive at home this season with six goals and 13 points at home in 30 games compared to four goals and eight points across 34 games on the road. That’s 0.43 points per game at home and just 0.24 points per game on the road. This mini-stack is going to see minuscule ownership, but they are getting a huge opportunity on the top line and Mittelstadt is going to skate with the team’s top offensive player in this lineup tonight in all situations, giving him fabulous value upside at this price.