Last night’s DraftKings NHL Picks were pretty atrocious. The plan of attack was to mix cash and GPP plays into one and I simply missed the mark on just about everything. I’ll aim for notable improvement on tonight’s small three-game slate!
C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $7,700 vs. CLS
There’s a really good chance that Matthews brings the highest floor with him into play tonight. The sophomore superstar has 26 goals in 48 games on the season on 146 shots on goal. He is on an absolute tear right now with 14 points over his last 11 games and three goals and four helpers across his last four. Matthews has been known to produce in bunches and right now he is white-hot and a must on tonight’s short slate.
C – Jonathan Drouin (MON) – $5,000 vs. COL
While the Canadiens are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, Drouin could go very low owned tonight in a decent matchup. Yes, the Avalanche are a solid defense team at home but they’ve allowed 4.33 goals per game over their last three. Also, Semyon Varlamov has been anything but sharp since his return from injury with an .896 Sv% across three outings. For his part, Drouin has eight goals and 28 points on 116 shots this season but also has a goal and an assist on seven shots over his last two.
W – William Nylander (TOR) – $6,400 vs. CLS
Of course, with Matthews comes Nylander. Nylander and Matthews could very well be the hottest duo in hockey right now as Nylander has tallied 13 points over his last ten games including four goals and three assists over his last four. For the season he has 45 points on 131 shots in 58 contests and could very well improve on those numbers in a matchup against a Blue Jackets team playing their second game in as many nights tonight.
W – Alex Galchenyuk (MON) – $4,800 vs. COL
The lower owned duo of Drouin and Galchenyuk could prove big for this lineup if Varlamov can’t find his game tonight. Galchenyuk has 12 goals and 32 points on the season but has also taken 142 shots on goal as well. He’s tallied four points over his last four games and has been lethal on the power play with seven of his 12 goals coming on the man advantage. Perhaps he and Drouin can take advantage of a stumbling Avalanche back end with low ownership.
W – Patrick Marleau (TOR) – $4,900 vs. CLS
While Marleau doesn’t skate with Matthews and Nylander at 5v5, he does flank them on the power play which is why he is stacked with them here. Also, he is part of the Maple Leafs’ second line which is also hot at the moment. The Maple Leafs have averaged five goals per game over their last four and Marleau brings 18 goals on 146 shots with him into play tonight. Age hasn’t stopped him from producing in his first season in Toronto.
D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $5,000 vs. CLS
Gardiner had a tough first half of the season, but he’s been one of the top producing defenseman in the entire NHL over the last couple months. Over his last 12 games, Gardiner has tallied one goal and 14 assists and is up to 35 points in 58 games for the season, good for a 12th-place tie among defenseman league-wide. He’s also the lone defenseman on the Matthews power play unit, giving us a four-man stack in that area as well.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,100 vs. MON
Barrie is going to see some ownership tonight, but for good reason. He owns 31 points in 41 games on the season to go along with 98 shots on goal. He is the lone defenseman on the top power play unit in Colorado, a group that clicks at 27.2% clip on home ice, good for 3rd overall. The Canadiens road penalty kill is ranked 29th so this is a real good spot for Barrie to improve on his impressive season tonight.
G – Jacob Markstrom (VAN) – $7,100 vs. FLA
Markstrom falls into the GPP category tonight as he takes on the Panthers at home. He isn’t the safest bet on the slate, but even after the Panthers scored seven goals in Edmonton on Monday they still rank 26th with 2.61 goals per game on the road. Markstrom has had a decent season for a poor Canucks team with a 2.71 GAA and a .910 Sv% for the season and is coming off perhaps his best start of the campaign with a shutout victory over a lethal Stars’ offense in Dallas.
UTIL – Tyson Jost (COL) – $3,700 vs. MON
Jost could be a low owned option on tonight’s slate, but he’s in a real nice spot for production tonight on home ice against Montreal. He is set to skate on the Avs’ second line which also includes breakout star Mikko Rantanen while Jost should also skate on the top power play unit, making this a mini-stack with Barrie on the man advantage. He’s got three points over his last four games so let’s rock with the young forward tonight in a favorable matchup against the NHL’s 27th-ranked road defense.