It was a terrible night last night with my DraftKings NHL Picks in what has been a bad week all-around.
Our three-man Flyers stack was simply a dud as the Flyers were shut out at home by the Devils in a 3-0 New Jersey win.
Our three-man Senators stack also accomplished very little as Ottawa managed just two goals in a low-scoring 2-1 win over Detroit.
We also rostered an unproductive Flames mini-stack as Matthew Tkachuk scored both Calgary goals and Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett both did not get in on the action despite skating on the same line as Tkachuk.
Lastly, our goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky did not end up starting as he was sick.
Just a brutal night, but we have a chance for redemption on tonight’s six-game Friday night slate!
C – Jonathan Toews (CHI) – $5,600 vs. LA
The Blackhawks finally got their new head coach a win on Wednesday against the Blues after losing a whopping eight straight games, so I believe they can rattle off a couple more wins in a row here and tonight is a good opportunity to go back-to-back against a Kings team that is really struggling. Los Angeles is coming off a 5-1 beatdown at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their goaltending situation is in absolute shambles. Fourth string netminder Cal Petersen is the confirmed starter tonight for L.A., and Petersen has been brutalized to the tune of a 4.29 GAA and an .881 Sv% in 10 AHL starts this season. It’s a huge opportunity for Toews’ Blackhawks as he has tucked nine goals in 19 games on the season while firing 54 pucks on net as well. He’s enjoying a much better season this year after a down season a year ago, so lock in the veteran center in a super-favorable matchup tonight.
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $6,800 vs. BOS
The Bruins enter tonight’s contest as the league’s fourth-ranked defense, however they were beat 6-3 in Colorado on Wednesday and have been decimated by injuries to their blueline. Zdeno Chara was injured in the Wednesday night loss, meaning the Bruins now have an unbelievable five defenseman that are injured at the moment as they are rostering plenty of unknown names on the back end tonight. I view this as a big opportunity for Seguin and the Stars who have already been productive on home ice as their 3.60 goals per game at American Airlines Center this season. Seguin’s split greatly favor home ice as he has 14 points in 10 home games this season compared to just three points in eight road games. He has scored all five of his goals this season at home. Given how beat up the Bruins are, we can take Seguin’s high floor and very high ceiling and feel real good about it tonight.
W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $7,000 vs. LA
The star talent in this lineup continues here with Kane as he takes on the Kings tonight on home ice. It appears that Kane has moved up to the Blackhawks’ top line and will now skate with Toews at even strength while they will also reside on the top power play unit together. He’s having an excellent season after a down year himself last season as he will bring 12 goals and 23 points across 18 games into this one tonight. Kane also brings a super-high floor into this one as well with a whopping 77 shots across those 18 contests. The 2007 first overall pick is also logging a ton of ice time this season with 21:38 per game, a huge number for a winger. Given his spot on the loaded up top line and top power play unit and considering Petersen starting in net for the Kings, Kane has the potential to be the highest scoring player on this slate tonight.
W – Nick Schmaltz (CHI) – $4,400 vs. LA
Rather than use a defenseman to complete a three-man Blackhawks stack with Toews and Kane, I will use Schmaltz who gets a huge opportunity alongside the long-standing duo on the top line tonight as well as the top power play unit. He has just one point over his last eight games, but Schmaltz has plenty of talent and gets a huge boost in value given his spot in the lineup. He’s also done his best work on home ice this season with two goals and three assists for five points in nine home games compared to just three assists in nine road games. He is logging a ton of ice time at the moment with over 19 minutes played in each of his last two games, so look for Schmaltz to thrive thanks to his new head coach bumping him up to the top line tonight.
W – Alexander Radulov (DAL) – $6,900 vs. BOS
There is a decision to be made in this lineup on whether we want Jamie Benn or Radulov to skate in this stack, but to be completely honest it’s been Radulov who has been the better of the two this season so I will use him until Benn heats up. Radulov missed some time with an injury, but had a huge return to the lineup on Monday when he scored a goal while taking five shots and blocking four shots as well. He also skated an enormous 24:16 in that game. He’s enjoying a big season despite the injury with six goals and 12 points in eight games on the campaign. We have already documented the matchup against an absolutely decimated Bruins blueline, which showed through against the Avalanche on Wednesday, so let’s go ahead and include the high floor and high ceiling of Radulov in this lineup tonight.
D – Miro Heiskanen (DAL) – $4,700 vs. BOS
Heiskanen’s price has went down a little bit since we rostered him earlier in the week, and I’ll certainly take it as he has a real nice matchup tonight and is still the top offensive blueliner the Stars have right now with John Klingberg injured. He’s enjoying a quality rookie season with two goals and eight points in 18 games, however we need to note that he actually has a point in four of his last five games and has two goals and five assists over his last 12 games. Heiskanen is logging plenty of ice time right now with at least 24:12 in five of his last six games and has skated more than 27 minutes twice in that span. That ice time includes quarterbacking the Stars’ top power play unit as the lone defenseman where he forms a stack with Seguin and Radulov above. There is plenty of value in his upside at this price and in this matchup tonight.
D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $3,700 vs. ANH
We are going to need some value in this lineup given the price tags of the star power in this lineup, and we will use a cheap Maple Leafs mini-stack in Anaheim tonight. Anaheim is a pretty solid defense at 11th in the league, but they are missing defenseman Cam Fowler for the foreseeable future while goaltender John Gibson has allowed at least three goals in three of his last four starts and owns just a .904 Sv% in November to this point. Let’s also keep in mind that the Maple Leafs are by far the league’s highest scoring road team at a whopping 4.78 goals per game after scoring five in San Jose last night. Enter Gardiner who is having a solid season with a goal and eight assists in 19 games. Gardiner is the lone defenseman on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit where he will form a mini-stack with our utility player. Keep in mind Gardiner also racked up a 52-point season last year. Given how powerful this Leafs offense is on the road, I think we can extract some value out of the skilled Gardiner tonight at this price.
G – Corey Crawford (CHI) – $8,100 vs. LA
Crawford wasn’t having a great go of it during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, however he bounced back with a shutout on Wednesday against the Blues, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see Crawford on a little run here. Tonight brings another real nice opportunity to do so as Crawford will take on a Kings team that ranks dead-last in scoring with just two goals per game this season. They are also dead-last in road scoring with only 1.50 goals per game away from the Staples Center in L.A.. He enters play sporting a 2.76 GAA and a .911 Sv% for the season, but has actually been dynamite on home ice with a tidy 1.83 GAA and a .934 Sv% in five starts at the United Center this season. There are a ton of things going in his favor in this matchup, so there is no hesitation from me to lock in Crawford tonight.
UTIL – Josh Leivo (TOR) – $2,500 vs. ANH
Here we have a player who gets power play time on a team that scores almost five goals per game on the road coming to us at the minimum price, and I want to take advantage of that. Sure, Leivo has scored just two goals and added two assists in 19 games this season, however he scored one of those goals in last night’s 5-3 win in San Jose. Prior to this season, Leivo was actually a very productive player in limited NHL time as he tallied 22 points in 57 career games, including 12 goals. That’s a 17-goal season across 82-games, a very solid number. The Maple Leafs are top-heavy with their power play units, but Leivo is still averaging a solid 1:38 of power play ice per game. At the minimum price, any productive from Leivo is a big boost to this lineup tonight.