After some Thanksgiving festivities north of the border, we will get back to work tonight on what is a six-game NHL slate on this Tuesday evening.
With that in mind, there are some opportunities to exploit on this slate, so let’s get right to the picks and see if we can notch some profits in our first piece of the week.
C – Sebastian Aho (CAR) – $6,200 vs. VAN
Of all the teams on tonight’s slate, I think it’s the Carolina Hurricanes who actually have the best matchup at home against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver was the league’s 26th-ranked defense a year ago, and they are coming off a game in Calgary on Saturday where they allowed seven goals, albeit with a pair of empty-netters. Still, this isn’t a stout group by any means and while the Canes are far from an offensive juggernaut, their top players should be in for some production tonight. Coming off a nice 65-point season last year, Aho is off to a fine start this season with a goal and three helpers across the first four games of the season while taking eight shots in that span at just shy of 19 minutes of ice time per game. He’s the team’s top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit, giving him plenty of upside against a weak Canucks back end this evening.
C – Pierre-Luc Dubois (CLS) – $5,500 vs. COL
The Avalanche have allowed just three goals over the first two games of the season, however they tied for 26th in terms of road defense last season, so I think the Blue Jackets are in a spot where they can produce some offense at home tonight. The team’s top center at both even strength and on the top power play unit, Dubois is racking up plenty of ice time this season at over 21 minutes per game. He’s recorded just one assist in two games on the season, but skating alongside superstar Artemi Panarin should ensure Dubois enjoys another productive season at just 20 years of age. With some superstar talent on this slate, it’s possible Dubois sees notably lower ownership than the other top centers on the slate, so let’s go ahead and roster him at a reasonable cost tonight.
W – Teuvo Teravainen (CAR) – $5,400 vs. VAN
Teravainen is riding shotgun next to Aho in all situations, and I think their ceiling are extremely high for this matchup against the visiting Canucks. After racking up 64 points last season, the former Blackhawk has notched a goal and an assists in three contests this time around. He is an extremely talented player who possesses both goal scoring and playmaking abilities, although he doesn’t shoot the puck quite as much as his linemate Aho. Despite not boasting a wealth of offensive talent, the Hurricanes have managed to score 12 goals over the first three games of the season, or four per game. This duo is at the forefront of the Hurricanes’ offensive attack, so look for Teravainen to be on the scoresheet alongside his star center tonight.
W – Artemi Panarin (CLS) – $7,000 vs. COL
After a huge second half to last season, Panarin hasn’t skipped a beat so far this year with a goal and an assist in his two games on the young season. Despite not skating with Patrick Kane like he did in his days with the Blackhawks, Panarin racked up a career-high 82 points last season in 81 games played. He really took off in the second half of the season as he tallied 43 points in just 32 games after disappointing a little bit with 39 points in 49 games prior to the All-Star break. Still, Panarin has a nice floor under him while his ceiling is high regardless of opponent. The Avalanche can be a vulnerable group, especially on the road, so it makes sense to give Panarin a shot tonight on home ice.
W – Travis Konecny (PHI) – $4,600 vs. SJ
The Sharks were supposed to be one of the league’s top defenses with a stout top four group, but we have certainly not seen any of that so far this season. The Sharks will be playing on back-to-back days today after dropping a 4-0 decision to the Islanders in New York on Monday afternoon. San Jose has already yielded 11 goals through three games on the season, and I think the Flyers are in a decent spot on home ice against a team playing their second game in as many days. Konecny broke out last season with 24 goals after scoring just 11 in his rookie season as he will look for his first tally of the season in his third game this evening. Konecny will skate on the second line tonight as well as the Flyers’ second power play unit, and I think he can give us some production against a Sharks team that has yet to figure things out on the back end this season.
D – Justin Faulk (CAR) – $4,800 vs. VAN
There are a couple ways to go on the Hurricanes’ blueline with Faulk and Dougie Hamilton, but I will roll with Faulk due to his role on the team’s top power play unit where he will form a three-man stack with Aho and Teravainen. Faulk also shoots the puck a lot as he’s produced at a 200-plus shot pace in each of the last four seasons and has seven over the first three games of this season. He also has two assists in those three games to get his season started on the right note after the worst season of his NHL career points-wise last year. When he’s on, Faulk can be a big-time contributor from the blueline, especially on the power play where I expect the home team to do some damage tonight.
D – Zach Werenski (CLS) – $5,400 vs. COL
We will complete our second three-man stack of the evening tonight with Werenski as the Jackets take on the Avalanche. With Seth Jones sidelined, Werenski is the team’s top offensive option on the blueline as he is the lone defenseman on the top power play unit where he forms that three-man stack with Dubois and Panarin. He tied for second among defensemen with 16 goals last season, and while he’s pointless in two games this season, he’s taken eight shots on goal and is averaging more than 26 minutes per game on the back end. He’s being leaned on heavily with Jones out, and we will lean on him for some production this six-game slate tonight.
G – Curtis McElhinney (CAR) – $7,700 vs. VAN
The Canucks have surprised on offense so far this season with nine goals in two games, however McElhinney can provide us with some excellent value upside at this price. He backstopped the Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory on Friday in Columbus, his first action as a member of the Hurricanes after coming to Carolina on the waiver wire from the Maple Leafs. He posted a league-high .934 Sv% among goalies with at least 18 games played last season, and clearly he’s off to a nice start with his new club. The ‘Canes are the heaviest favorites tonight at -195 according to BetOnline, so I think he brings real nice win upside while the hope is his teammates above can provide some goal support for the veteran tonight.
UTIL – Oskar Lindblom (PHI) – $3,200 vs. SJ
With James van Riemsdyk sidelined for 5-6 weeks with a lower-body injury, Lindblom will get another opportunity on the Flyers’ second line where he played for most of his action last season. Lindblom scored a goal in the Flyers’ first game of the season in Vegas, which means he’s almost at his two-goal total from last season in his 23 games. Lindblom had a solid preseason with two goals and an assist in six games, showing some of the upside the Flyers saw when they took him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He forms a mini-stack with Konecny on that second line while he could also see some second unit power play ice as well. He’s certainly going to see low ownership, so give him a shot in a sneaky-good matchup tonight.