We extracted value out of some of our DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, however our main stack largely let us down while our goaltender was blasted in a super favorable matchup.
Our top trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad March combined for just one goal and one assist on the night despite the Bruins getting to the Canucks for five goals in this one. We had the right idea, but the second line did the damage for Boston last night.
We were able to extract some value out of our three-man Blackhawks mini-stack as the trio of Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Brent Seabrook combined for one goal, two assists, 12 shots on goal and three blocks.
Our Lightning mini-stack also delivered some value as J.T. Miller and Miguel Sergachev combined for one goal, two assists, four shots and a block on the evening.
However, our goaltender was lit up by the visiting Canucks as Boston netminder Jaroslav Halak allowed five goals on just 19 shots before getting the hook. The Bruins were -224 favorites at the time of yesterday’s writing and Halak’s league-leading numbers entering play took a massivd hit in this one.
We found some nice picks, but our “safest” plays were the ones that let us down last night.
Let’s look to get a more consistent lineup going on tonight’s six-game main slate!
C – Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS) – $6,600 vs. CLS
The Blue Jackets and Capitals reunite tonight after last year’s first round matchup that saw Columbus jump out to a 2-0 lead in Washington before the Caps took the next four en route to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The good news for the Caps tonight is their team is tied for the second-highest scoring home team in the league this season with four goals per game at Capital One Arena. Also worth noting is the fact that the Blue Jackets rank 25th with 3.71 goals against per game on the road. Kuznetsov is off to a nice start this season with six goals and 19 points to go along with 40 shots on goal across 14 games. The Caps’ power play has been the best in the league this season at 34%, and Kuznetsov is a huge member of that unit as all six of his goals and 10 of his 19 points have come with the man advantage. He brings us a nice floor as the top center at both even strength and on that top power play unit tonight.
C – Dylan Larkin (DET) – $6,400 vs. NYR
We are going to target another poor road defense tonight as the Rangers take in the Red Wings in Detroit. New York is tied for 27th with four goals against per game on the road this season while their 68% mark on the penalty kill away from home checks in at 30th league-wide. Larkin has been the best player on an otherwise disappointing Red Wings offense as he has six goals and 15 points in as many games this season while he’s also fired 47 shots on goal in those 15 contests. He logs a ton of ice in all situations for head coach Jeff Blashill as Larkin is averaging 20:40 of ice time per game. Despite being held pointless in his most recent game, Larkin still has eight points over his last five games. As the top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit, I think the young pivot has plenty of room to run against a very weak Rangers road defense tonight.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $7,800 vs. CLS
All of the sudden Alex Ovechkin has a share of the NHL goal scoring lead sith 12 goals on the season while he’s also added six assists for 18 points across 14 games. He’s not quite shooting the puck as much as we’re used to, however he still brings a real solid floor to the table with 53 shots on the campaign in those 14 contests. Like Kuznetsov, Ovechkin is doing plenty of damage on the power play where he has scored six of his eight goals on the season. This is important because the Capitals are facing a Blue Jackets team that ranks 24th with a 74.1% rate on the penalty kill away from home this season. With goals in back-to-back games and four goals over his last four games, I am locking in Ovi for his floor and his astronomically high ceiling tonight against the Jackets.
W – Anthony Mantha (DET) – $5,000 vs. NYR
To be honest, I expected more from Mantha to start this season after he had a strong 24-goal season last year in Detroit. So far, he’s scored just three goals and notched five points in 15 contests. That said, Mantha has himself a fine matchup tonight against the Rangers while he and Larkin form a mini-stack at both even strength and on the Red Wings’ top power play unit. It’s worth noting that Mantha currently sports an 8.8% shooting percentage, well under his 12.3% career mark and he’s never finished with a percentage under 11.1% in any part or full season in the league. He’s going to see more puck luck moving forward and he’s skated well over 18 minutes in each of his last two games, so let’s look for the 24-year-old to get back on track tonight alongside Larkin in a very favorable home matchup
W – Josh Leivo (TOR) – $2,500 vs. NJ
We are going to need to find some value somewhere in this lineup, and I think we can extract some serious value out of Leivo to kick off a Maple Leafs’ mini-stack tonight against the Devils. First, the Devils enter play tonight tied for 30th in road defense this season with 4.67 goals against per game across six contests. Second, the Devils rank 29th in terms of road penalty killing with a 70.8% mark. The latter is important for Leivo. Despite skating on the fourth line, Leivo has a spot on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit where he has scored his only goal this season in 15 games. He is averaging a hair of 10 minutes per game, but Leivo is sure to see tiny ownership on this slate. I truly feel he has some upside as a talented offensive player who had 22 points in his first 57 NHL games prior to this season. Given the Devils’ severe defensive struggles on the road, I am loving Leivo’s value upside at the minimum price tonight.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $6,400 vs. CLS
We have completed a high-floor, high-upside three-man Capitals stack here with the addition of Carlson. The American blueliner has continued his excellent regular season and postseason from a year ago into this season as he has five goals and 18 points across 14 games on the campaign to go along with 33 shots on goal. He’s logging even more ice time on the Capitals’ back end at an even 26:00 per game, ice time that obviously includes first unit power play time where he forms a stack with Kuznetsov and Ovechkin on top of their even strength time spent together. He’s notched four assists over his last two games and logged a whopping 28:17 in the Caps’ 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. This is an easy call if you are rostering a Capitals stack tonight.
D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $3,600 vs. NJ
We complete a low-cost, low-owned Maple Leafs mini-stack tonight with Gardiner who has quietly enjoyed a productive season on the Maple Leafs’ blueline. After a career-high 52 points last season, Gardiner enters tonight’s contest with a goal and seven helpers for eight points in 15 games this season, which is a solid 43-point pace over a full 82 games, an excellent number for a defenseman. Gardiner doesn’t bring a big shot total with just 16 shots in 15 games, however he is the lone defenseman on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit where he forms that aforementioned mini-stack with Leivo. At a total cost of just $6,200, this stack could give this lineup a big shot in the arm with some production against a poor Devils back end.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,100 vs. NJ
The Maple Leafs have a reputation as being a poor defensive team, but they have been much better than expected, especially as of late. Entering play tonight, the Maple Leafs are tied for sixth in the league with just 2.67 goals against per game on the season. At home, that number falls to just 2.56 goals against per game. Andersen has been a huge reason why as he is making a case for the Vezina Trophy thanks to sporting a stout 2.18 GAA and a .929 Sv% across 13 starts this season. It’s also worth noting that Andersen ranks second in the NHL with eight wins on the season, one behind Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a game over his last six starts and he’s allowed just one goal against over his last two. With the Maple Leafs favored at around -150 in this one, I will take Andersen while he’s hot tonight against the Devils.
UTIL – Ryan Spooner (NYR) – $3,200 vs. DET
Another player that has some value upside with very low ownership is Spooner who takes on the Red Wings tonight in Detroit. They’ve improved since a horrific start, but the Red Wings still have a thin back end and rank 27th with 3.60 goals against per game this season. The Rangers rank 27th in overall offense and Spooner has just one goal and two points in 13 games this season. Still, the former Bruin is projected to skate on the Rangers’ second line tonight while he is set to also skate on the top power play unit, spots that should give him ample opportunity for production, especially against a team as weak as Detroit is defensively. He’s not going to see much ownership whatsoever, so if you are looking for a low-cost one-off for GPPs, Spooner makes plenty of sense tonight.