We received some decent production with yesterday’s lineup, including another goalie win, however we did not have any players from the Sharks, Leafs or Stars, so it was tough to get into the cash without any pieces of those explosive pies.
Our top stack of Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Faulk did some damage, but mostly from the first two. Aho continued his fine start to the season with a goal and an assist while Teravainen chipped in a pair of assists with two shots on goal. Unfortunately, Justin Faulk missed the scoresheet, notching just one shot and one block on the night.
Our second three-man stack of Artemi Panarin, Pierre Luc-Dubois and Zach Werenski of the Blue Jackets combined for two goals, one each from Panarin and Dubois. Werenski was held pointless and the two-goal, zero assist showing was a little disappointing considering the Blue Jackets scored five goals on the night.
Our lower owned two-man stack of Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom combined for just four shots on goal as the Flyers were routed by the Sharks by an 8-2 count.
Lastly, goaltender Curtis McElhinney notched us another win, although he stopped 22 of just 25 shots in the process. Still, we will take that effort at his low cost.
Let’s look to hit more of the top producers as we take on tonight’s three-game main slate.
C – Sean Couturier (PHI) – $6,500 vs. OTT
The Flyers get an immediate chance for redemption tonight as they travel to Ottawa to take on a thin Senators back end tonight. After his 31-goal breakout season last year, Couturier has tucked one goal in three games to date this season while skating as the top center at both even strength and on the Flyers’ top power play unit. He’s among the best two-way centers in the league, therefore Couturier sees plenty of ice time as he’s averaging 21:34 per game so far, a very high number for a forward. The Senators have allowed 4.33 goals per game in the early going this season, and they should wind up as one of the worst defensive teams in hockey when it’s all said and done, so a Flyers three-man stack seems in order tonight.
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $5,400 vs. VGK
Through their two games of the season, the Washington Capitals have scored a whopping 13 goals to lead the league with 6.50 goals per game in this very young campaign. While the top line has done damage as well, the Backstrom/Oshie second line has also contributed in a big way as Backstrom has racked up four assists and four shots through those two games. Despite a down season by his lofty standards last year, Backstrom still cracked the 20-goal plateau and notched an even 50 assists, making him one of the more underrated players in the league once again this year. Vegas doesn’t look as sharp on the back end as they did last year, and with the Capitals at home for this game tonight, I am liking a Caps stack on this small slate.
W – Jakub Voracek (PHI) – $5,900 vs. OTT
You could easily go with Claude Giroux in this spot as well, however Voracek is cheaper and brings some solid value upside into this contest tonight. Voracek has notched three points in as many games this young season while he skates alongside Couturier at both even strength and on the top power play unit. While he’s at just four shots on goal in three games so far this season, Voracek has notched at least 213 shots in five straight years, so expect an uptick in shots on goal moving forward for the veteran winger. Nonetheless, I like his upside tonight against this weak Senators club.
W – T.J. Oshie (WAS) – $6,700 vs. VGK
After a down regular season last year that included only 47 points, Oshie enjoyed a huge postseason that included 21 points in 24 games en route to the Stanley Cup. Well, it appears Oshie hasn’t skipped a beat since that storied postseason run as he has scored three times and chipped in a pair of assists over his two games so far this season. Oshie had a goal and five helpers against these same Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup finals last year, solving what was a stout defense and goaltender in the playoffs prior to that series, and I’m looking for more of the same this evening at Capital One Arena.
W – Jakob Vrana (WAS) – $4,300 vs. VGK
Vrana notched a decent 13 goals and 27 points in this rookie season last year before adding three goals and eight points in the Caps’ postseason run, and he should be in for some increased production this year as he has an opportunistic spot in the lineup to the left of Backstrom and Oshie on the Capitals’ second line. Vrana will also see some second unit power play time as well. He has tucked one goal in two games so far this season with four shots to boot. I wouldn’t say he has a high floor, but I like that ceiling playing with two players who are off to red-hot starts to the season.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $5,700 vs. OTT
Our three-man Flyers stack is complete here with the addition of Gostisbehere. The offensive-minded blueliner notched his first goal and point of the season in last night’s drubbing at the hands of the Sharks, and it came on the power play. Gostisbehere is going to be one of the NHL’s top power play defensemen again this season after tallying 33 points on the man advantage last season, good for the tops among NHL blueliners. He also blasted 221 shots on goal a year ago and brings a high floor and very high ceiling into action against one of the worst back ends in hockey.
D – Chris Wideman (OTT) – $3,300 vs. PHI
We are going to need some value in this lineup, and I think Wideman can deliver some of that as part of a mini-stack tonight at home against the Flyers. Clearly, the Flyers are struggling on defense after giving up eight goals on home ice last night, and the fact they are on back-to-back nights tonight is a plus for Ottawa. The Sens have actually been decent on offense with 3.33 goals per game over their first three this season. Wideman is averaging 1:55 on the power play per game this season as he boasts a big-time shot from the point. Given the matchup and the fact the Flyers are on back-to-back nights with travel mixed in between, I think the Sens could produce some offense tonight.
G – Braden Holtby (WAS) – $7,800 vs. VGK
Through three games this season the Vegas Golden Knights have scored just five goals, so it’s fairly reasonable to say that their offense isn’t firing on all cylinders entering this contests, the exact opposite of what can be said for Holtby’s Capitals. Holtby and the Caps are also -140 favorites in this one, something to keep in mind as well. No, Holtby has not been great this season in yielding seven goals in two games, however all seven of those came in one game whereas he posted a shutout in the other. The good news is that shutout came at home where he will be for tonight’s game and where he is at his best. Holtby has a 2.18 GAA and a .925 Sv% in his career at home compared to a 2.68 GAA and .913 Sv% on the road. I like the value here at a sub-$8K price tag.
UTIL – Bobby Ryan (OTT) – $4,400 vs. PHI
Ryan is coming off back-to-back disappointing 11-goal seasons, but I think he and Wideman can team up some low-owned offense on this three-game slate tonight. Ryan is off to a solid start to this season as he’s tallied a goal and an assist on five shots through three games. He’s averaging 15:27 of ice time per game so far while skating on the third line, however he’s also getting first unit power play reps where he will form that mini-stack with Wideman. The Flyers are just 75% on the penalty kill in the early going, albeit with the Sens’ power play at just 1 for 8. Still, Ryan gets a favorable matchup at home and he should fly under the radar ownership-wise tonight. He makes for a solid play in my books as a result.