We hit with a few pick in last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, however there was far too much scoring elsewhere on this slate for our lineup to get into profit territory.
Our Sabres stack did well as Jeff Skinner scored a goal while Jack Eichel racked up a pair of assists. The duo also combined for a whopping 13 shots on goal. Rasmus Ristolainen chipped in himself with an assist, three shots and a pair of blocks. Solid production from this trio.
Our second three-man stack didn’t go over as well as the Anaheim Ducks managed just a pair of goals against a weak Rangers back end as their offensive struggles continue. One of those goals was scored by Rickard Rakell while he assisted on the other. Unfortunately, Pontus Aberg and Hampus Lindholm didn’t make it onto the scoresheet.
Also not hitting the scoresheet were both of our Islanders as it was a fairly low-scoring 3-2 shootout win over the Penguins. Both Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle were held off the scoresheet.
Finally, our goaltender John Gibson didn’t see as many shots as I would see and didn’t notch the win either as the Rangers upset the Ducks in a shootout.
Let’s look to gain some consistency on tonight’s tiny two-game slate!
C – Alex Galchenyuk (ARI) – $5,600 vs. CAR
The Hurricanes got Scott Darling back from the injured reverse on Tuesday against the Bruins, but Darling yielded three goals and took the loss. He should be back in goal tonight in Arizona against a Coyotes team that has played some good hockey as of late. They have been a stout defensive team, however Arizona is also putting the puck in the net as well as they’ve scored at least four goals in five of their last six games and have averaged 4.5 goals per game over that stretch with 12 goals over their last two games. For his part, Galchenyuk is coming off a multi-point effort against the Senators on Tuesday and now has a goal and three helpers across his last three games. He’s the team’s top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit, so I will begin a three-man stack with the new Coyote against a suspect goaltender tonight.
C – Elias Pettersson (VAN) – $6,500 vs. COL
We’re getting to the point where it’s risky to fade Pettersson when he shows up on a slate. The Swedish rookie has tallied seven goals and 10 points in eight games on the young season while he’s been dynamite on the power play with two goals and two assists with the man advantage. He’s the team’s second line center, but Pettersson is also a key cog on the Canucks’ top power play unit. The Avalanche have been a stout defense for most of the season, however they collapsed while allowing five third period goals last night in Calgary and face their second game in as many nights tonight. The Canucks will also duck Semyon Varlamov and get backup Philipp Grubauer tonight. While Grubauer has been good, Varlamov has been the best goaltender in the league to this point. Given the tough situation the Avalanche find themselves in after blowing a three-goal lead last night, I think the Canucks can find some offense on home ice.
W – Clayton Keller (ARI) – $6,000 vs. CAR
Keller goes side-by-side with Galchenyuk as the duo skates together in all situations for head coach Rick Tocchet. The second-year forward is off to a fine start to the season this time around as he’s scored five goals and added three assists for eight points in 11 games. What’s more is all five of those goals have come over the last six games while Keller rides a modest three-game point streak into this one tonight. He and Galchenyuk are quite easily the most dangerous forwards on this Coyotes team. The Hurricanes have been a solid road defense, but they are still getting just an .899 Sv% from their goaltenders away from home, so I see an opportunity for the Coyotes’ offense to stay hot tonight on home ice.
W – Nikolay Goldobin (VAN) – $4,000 vs. COL
Goldobin went quite a few games without recording a point until notching an assist on Monday against the Wild. That said, he’s fortunate to have a spot to the left of Pettersson at both even strength and the top power play unit which is a real nice spot to be on this Canucks team. He’s still only 23 years old, however Goldobin hasn’t really lived up to his first round pedigree so far as an NHLer as he hasn’t yet played a full season in the league. That said, the opportunity he has up front for this Canucks team should help put him on the map. For tonight, I am looking for Pettersson to pull Goldobin with him in all situations and get him back on the scoresheet again tonight.
W – Brock Boeser (VAN) – $4,800 vs. COL
Completing our three-man Canucks stack tonight is Boeser who isn’t quite off to the same goal-scoring tear we witnessed from him last year with just two goals in 12 games after burying 29 goals in an injury-shortened 62 games a season ago. The Minnesota native doesn’t skate with Pettersson and Goldobin at even strength, but he does line up with the duo on that top power play unit while he gives us exposure to the Canucks’ first line as well. He owns just a tiny 6.9% shooting percentage on the year despite firing 29 pucks on goal in 12 games, so expect that number to normalize soon while the pucks should start to go in for the sophomore sensation.
D – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) – $5,800 vs. CAR
We have now completed our second three-man stack of the lineup with the addition of Ekman-Larsson against the ‘Canes. The 27-year-old veteran has a goal and five helpers on the campaign while that goal came in his most recent game, a 5-1 win over the Senators on Tuesday. He too is suffering from a low shooting percentage early in the season as his current 3.6% mark is less than half of his career 7.6% mark. He’s taken 28 shots in 11 games and I expect the goals to keep coming from the defenseman who has scored 70 goals over his last four seasons and has notched five straight seasons with at least 12 goals scored, including twice over 20. We have a three-man stack at both even strength and on the top power play unit with this Coyotes trio tonight.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,500 vs. VAN
The Canucks aren’t exactly a stout defense as they’ve allowed 3.14 goals per game on the season so far, so I want to get some Avalanche exposure as well beginning here with Barrie. He’s going to have another nice year on the blueline as he skates a lot with the deadly trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog in mostly all situations including that top power play unit. He hasn’t scored yet, but Barrie has 10 assists in 13 games on the year while those goals are going to start to go in as he’s fired 29 shots in 13 games. That shot trajectory is similar to last season’s while Barrie scored 14 goals last year in an injury-shortened 68 game campaign. He’ll continue to rack up assists, but let’s get him in the goal column in this nice matchup tonight.
G – Antti Raanta (ARI) – $8,200 vs. CAR
Until Raanta and the Coyotes defense shows any sort of weakness, I have to keep rolling with the NHL’s best defense so far in the season tonight. The Coyotes’ are allowing just 1.91 goals per game to lead the NHL while that number decreases to just 1.40 at home, also good for the best mark in the league. Amazingly, they have allowed exactly one goal against in each of their last four games, all of which were wins. For his part, Raanta owns a 1.99 GAA and a .926 Sv% on the season while he’s won three of his last four starts. It’s going to be a tough one against the upstart Hurricanes, however the Coyotes are surprising to the upside as well and I am going to roll with their rock-solid defense at the moment in the form of Antti Raanta.
UTIL – Matt Calvert (COL) – $2,800 vs. VAN
We have completed an Avalanche mini-stack here with Calvert who should go fairly low owned despite having a favorable spot in the lineup. He will still skate on the third line, but Calvert appears to have replaced the injured Tyson Jost on the Avalanche top power play unit, certainly a nice place to be alongside the lethal Avalanche top trio mentioned above. He hasn’t scored yet in an Avalanche uniform with just two assists in 13 games, but Calvert has reached double digit goals in three of his last four seasons and has still taken 21 shots on the season. He fits a running theme of players that are due to start scoring goals in this lineup, so let’s look for him to get on the board for the first time as a member of the Avalanche at a very low cost and low ownership and as part of a mini-stack with Barrie on that top power play unit tonight.