I couldn’t rattle off back-to-back profitable lineups with last night’s NHL DFS Picks, but it’s not like I didn’t have the right idea, for the most part.
I expected a high-scoring affair between the Senators and Flyers, and the two teams combined to score seven goals, but unfortunately only one of those goals came from our lineup with Matt Duchene scoring for Ottawa.
Drake Batherson was quiet on Duchene’s wing last night while our three-man Flyers stack did not record a single point on any of the three Flyers tallies.
We also rolled out a Montreal mini-stack, however Max Domi and Shea Weber combined for just one assist despite the Canadiens throwing 49 pucks on goal.
Our one off Nikolay Goldobin was also held pointless as the Canucks managed just one goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the lowly Kings.
Finally, Corey Crawford was absolutely shelled in his start against a weak Golden Knights offense as Vegas potted six goals on Crawford on 30 shots in an 8-3 Vegas win. Crawford has been lights out at home, but it just wasn’t our night and Crawford’s performance is clear evidence of that.
Let’s put a bad night behind us and move onto tonight’s five-game Wednesday slate!
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $7,800 vs. PIT
It’s been a struggle for the Penguins to keep the puck out of their net this season and while they have been better defensively on the road, Pittsburgh faces a very tough back-to-back tonight as they take on the Avalanche in Colorado after a hard-fought 4-3 win in Winnipeg last night. Of course, when we roster MacKinnon we know we are getting one of the highest floors possible regardless of the slate or opponent. The 23-year-old has notched 17 goals and 37 points in 24 games this season with those 37 points checking in at second in the league behind only teammate Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon also ranks second in the league in shots on goal with 106 of them, behind only Tyler Seguin and his 109. MacKinnon has notched at least one point in 19 of his 24 games this season and has five goals and six assists for 11 points over his last five contests. With Pittsburgh on the back end of a tough back-to-back, I think another multi-point effort is in the cards tonight.
C – Nazem Kadri (TOR) – $4,500 vs. SJ
The San Jose Sharks are another club that is playing their second game in as many nights tonight as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that put up five goals on them in San Jose just a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a little bit of a quiet stretch for Kadri as he’s notched j ust one assist over his last five games, but he’s also fired 18 shots on goal over his last four. The main reason I like the pivot’s matchup tonight is because Kadri lines up on a lethal Maple Leafs’ top power play unit, a group that will get Auston Matthews back in the fold tonight. The Leafs’ man advantage was cooled off a little bit in Matthews’ absence, but there is plenty to like about paying $4,500 for a guy who skates with the likes of Matthews, Tavares, Marner and Rielly on the power play. Kadri is averaging 2:28 per game on the man advantage. He’s scored seven goals and has 15 points in 25 games, but he kicks off a three-man stack tonight and a top power play unit mini-stack against the Sharks on home ice.
W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $6,800 vs. PIT
The kid just cannot be stopped. Rantanen’s 40 points on the season is good for tops in the NHL while he has also been white-hot entering this game, and for the vast majority of the season. Thirty of his 40 points on the season may be assists, but Rantanen has three goals and eight assists for 11 points over his last five games. He’s not nearly the same shooter as MacKinnon is given his 54 shots in 25 games on the season, but with MacKinnon having fired a whopping 106 shots on goal this season, it’s hard to put up gaudy shot totals given the fact there is only one puck out there. What Rantanen does do is distribute the puck better than almost anyone in the NHL this side of Mitch Marner and the assists show that. The Penguins rank second in road defense this season, but they have also allowed 3.75 goals per game over their last four on the road. As their road defense begins to normalize, I am looking for another productive night from this line.
W – Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – $6,500 vs. PIT
With Tyson Barrie questionable to play tonight I am simply going to stack the entire top line and get as much upside into this lineup as possible. He may not be among the scoring leaders as his 26 points in 24 games is tied for 25th in the league, however there’s no doubt an offensive explosion from Landeskog is in the cards as long as he is skating alongside MacKinnon and Rantanen at even strength and on the Avalanche top power play unit. Landeskog has been doing plenty of goal scoring as well with his 14 goals on the season, five of which have come on the power play, the best power play in the league this season at 32.1%. He’s not quite as hot as his linemates above entering this one, but he still has two goals and four assists over his last five games. He’s on pace to set new career-highs in just about every offensive statistic, so there’s no reason to keep him out of this stack in this matchup tonight.
W – Andreas Johnsson (TOR) – $3,400 vs. SJ
We are going to need some value in this lineup tonight given the high prices paid for that Avalanche trio, and I like Johnsson’s value upside tonight against the Sharks. First, Johnsson will skate on the team’s third line tonight alongside Kadri, making that duo a mini-stack at even strength. With the return of Matthews, it’s hard to say if he will remain on the second power play unit, but he’s currently projected on that group as of the time of this writing, so we would also get exposure to both Maple Leafs’ power play groups tonight. It was a slow start to the season for Johnsson, however the rookie bagged a hat trick in the Leafs’ 6-0 beatdown of the Flyers on Saturday and has fired seven shots on goal over his last two games. He now has five goals over his last 10 games. There isn’t a high floor here, but there’s a solid chance to eclipse value against a Sharks road defense that ranks 20th with 3.42 goals against per game this season.
D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $6,000 vs. SJ
Rielly is enjoying a Norris Trophy-type season as he enters tonight’s contest with 27 points on the season, good for second in the league among defensemen behind only Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot. He also ranks second among defenseman with nine goals this season, only one behind Minnesota’s Matt Dumba. His 68 shots on goal ranks 10th among blueliners. A big reason why he has been so productive this season is due to that lethal Maple Leafs power play where he resides as the lone defenseman and where he will form a mini-stack with Kadri tonight. Rielly has notched 10 of his 27 point on that power play this season, but interestingly only one of his nine goals has come on the man advantage. If the Maple Leafs’ power play can click for some offense tonight, there is a real good chance Kadri and Rielly are involved and I’m glad we could get the duo at a more than reasonable cost tonight.
D – Miro Heiskanen (DAL) – $3,600 vs. CGY
Considering the price, his spot in the lineup and his matchup, I think Heiskanen can deliver some solid value to this lineup tonight. Let’s keep in mind the 19-year-old rookie blueline is still the team’s power play quarterback with John Klingberg out of the lineup, albeit he has just one power play point on the season. He does have four goals and 10 points in 25 games, two of which came as a multi-goal effort on Friday against the Senators. It’s also worth noting that the Flames have been the league’s worst defense on home ice this season with 3.73 goals against per game at the Saddledome. At only $3,600 and skating with Seguin, Benn and Radulov for a big chunk of his ice time every night, I can’t help but like the value here with Heiskanen against the league’s worst home defense this evening.
G – Jimmy Howard (DET) – $7,500 vs. STL
You could look at this as a gamble with the Red Wings at +100 home underdogs in this one, however Howard has been very good this season and even better as of late for the Red Wings. The veteran netminder has produced a .922 Sv% on the year, however that number stands at .931 in the month of November where he has allowed two goals or less in six of his eight starts for the month and in eight of his last 11 starts. He’s also playing at home tonight where he has been excellent while producing a 2.46 GAA and .928 Sv% on the season, even after allowing three goals in the first period to Columbus his last time out. Since the beginning of the month, the Blues rank 25th with just 31 goals as their offense has cooled down dramatically after a hot start. All told, I like Howard’s value at this price as I think he can shut down a struggling Blues group tonight.
UTIL – Devin Shore (DAL) – $3,800 vs. CGY
With Shore we get two very cheap pieces to the Stars’ top power play unit tonight in Calgary. The Flames are not only the league’s worst home defense, but they also sport the league’s worst home penalty kill at 68.6%. Dallas has unfortunately struggled on their road power play this season as they rank 28th, but I’m still on board with a low-cost mini-stack while Shore should see relatively low ownership in a great matchup. He’s having a solid season with five goals and 13 points in 21 games and is on pace to smash his previous career-high of 33 points set in the 2016-17 season. Shore and Heiskanen are a couple of sub-$4K pieces in an excellent matchup tonight and I think they are a great compliment to some high-floor players throughout this optimal lineup tonight.