While we had some nice picks in last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, the majority of our players let us down in what was not a profitable night.
Our three-man Blue Jackets stack did some damage as Artemi Panarin racked up and a goal and an assist to go along with three shots on goal while Pierre-Luc Dubois notched an assists, two shots and two blocks. However, Zach Werenski did not record a point, although he did fire seven shots on goal and added two blocks.
Our two-man Sabres stack disappointed as Buffalo was shut out by the visiting Bruins. Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner combined for six shots and three blocks, not nearly enough production.
Our Red Wings mini-stack also let us down, with Michael Rasmussen notching just one shot while Trevor Daley recorded one shot and five blocks.
Our one-off winger Valentin Zykov recorded just three shots in what was an extremely favorable matchup.
Our lineup did end on a good note as Stars goaltender Ben Bishop recorded a shutout in a 3-0 season-opening victory over the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
We are going to need much more production on tonight’s tiny two-game slate.
*This lineup is aimed at GPPs*
C – Sebastian Aho (CAR) – $5,900 vs. CLS
The Hurricanes should be the lower-owned team tonight as they head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in what is a back-to-back situation for both clubs. However, the Blue Jackets saved starter and two-time Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky for tonight’s game, which will drive Hurricanes ownership down even more. Aho is one of the brightest young stars the NHL has to offer as he’s coming off a 29-goal, 65-point season as a 19-year-old last year on a weak Hurricanes offense. The offense runs through Ago as he’s their top center at both even strength and on the power play which gives him a real nice opportunity at fairly low ownership tonight.
C – Jeff Carter (LA) – $5,300 vs. SJ
Usually I wouldn’t roll out a four-man stack against what should be a good Sharks defense this year, but they gave up five goals in their first game of the season so let’s target them while they attempt to work out the kinks. Carter missed 55 regular season games last season after suffering a deep leg laceration early in the season, but he still scored 13 goals in the 27 games he did get into. Carter also likes to shoot the puck as he’s annually in the 250-shot range each season. He is the team’s second line center, but he also gets top unit power play time on a star-studded group, so I’m liking both the floor and ceiling tonight.
W – Teuvo Teravainen (CAR) – $5,500 vs. CLS
After it appeared that rookie Andrei Svechnikov would get the first line duties next to Aho, it appears Teuvo Teravainen will indeed get that spot which gives him plenty of upside every time he hits the ice. Teravainen was narrowly edged by Aho for the Hurricanes team lead in points last season as he notched 64 points on 23 goals and 185 shots on goal. He’s a supremely skilled winger who is playing with a very skilled center in all situations, and this is a duo we should get at reasonable ownership considering the talent.
W – Tyler Toffoli (LA) – $5,400 vs. SJ
Like his center Carter, Toffoli is a goal scorer who takes plenty of shots on goal. With Carter injured for the majority of last season, Toffoli endured a bit of a down year with just 48 points. However, he still managed 24 shots on goal and took a career-high 251 shots on goal. He suffered from a drop in shooting percentage as his 9.6% mark from last season was below his 11.1% career mark. With Carter back in the fold, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Toffoli got back over the 30-goal hump, which he accomplished in the 2015-16 season. He’s got the solid floor and with Carter down the middle his ceiling gets an increase as well.
W – Iyla Kovalchuk (LA) – $5,700 vs. SJ
Kovalchuk won’t skate on the same line at even strength as Carter and Toffoli, but he will get top line duties alongside Anze Kopitar who is coming off a career-high 92-point season. Kovalchuk looked impressive in the preseason as he looks to regain his NHL form after spending the last four and a half years in the KHL in his native Russia. Kovalchuk took 310 shots in his last full NHL season, and while that total may not be reachable these days, he is still going to be dangerous on the power play while firing likely in the 250-shot range when the season is done. I think he’s in for a big year in his return to North America.
D – Justin Faulk (CAR) – $4,900 vs. CLS
Faulk is one of the quieter offensive-minded defenseman in the league as he produces excellent numbers for a defenseman year in and year out with big shot totals. He slipped to 31 points a year ago, but he scored at least 15 goals in each of the previous three seasons. He has also blasted at least 211 shots on goal in three of the last four years, and his low eight-goal total from last season could possibly be explained by a huge drop in shooting percentage from a 6.2% career mark to just 3.8% last year. He forms a three-man top power play unit stack with Aho and Teravainen, so I’m liking the ceiling here with Faulk.
D – Drew Doughty (LA) – $6,300 vs. SJ
Doughty completes our four-man Kings stack while he also completes a three-man top power play unit stack with Carter and Kovalchuk. The perennial Norris Trophy candidate is coming off a career-high 60-point season last year while his 205 shots on goal was the second-highest mark of his storied career as well. He logged just shy of 27 minutes per game on the Kings’ blueline last year while he could have had even more points if it weren’t for a drop from his career shooting percentage. Still, as indicated by his price, Doughty could very well be the top defenseman on this slate tonight.
G – Curtis McElhinney (CAR) – $7,000 vs. CLS
The lineup gets a little more GPP infusion with McElhinney as he should get the start for the Hurricanes tonight after Petr Mrazek started last night’s overtime loss at home against the Islanders. McElhinney was actually the best backup goaltender in the NHL last season as his .934 Sv% was the best mark in the entire NHL among goaltenders who played at least 18 games. His 2.14 GAA was the second-best mark among goaltenders with at least 18 games as well. The Blue Jackets offense didn’t really take advantage of a decimated Red Wings defense last night with just two regular goals, so I think there is some value to be extracted from McElhinney tonight in his first start in a Hurricanes uniform.
UTIL – Kevin Labanc (SJ) – $3,900 vs. LA
Labanc and the Sharks get a real tough assignment tonight against the league’s best defense from last season tonight in L.A., but Labanc should get some opportunities to produce given his spot in the lineup. He is set to skate on the second line alongside Logan Couture, the Sharks’ leading goal scorer from last season, at even strength while he will also get a look on the second power play unit. He notched a solid 40 points in 77 games last season and also took 156 shots, while he should be in for some more goals from his 11 last season as he had a very small 7.1% shooting percentage a year ago. He is going to see low ownership despite the two-game slate, so he should give this lineup a huge shot in the arm with some production tonight.