Happy Valentine’s Day! For those of you who will actually get to watch sports tonight there are seven games on the NHL slate this evening for you to take in. While a little light for a Tuesday, tonight’s slate provides us with some of the top talent the NHL has to offer, something I have taken full advantage of when crafting my lineup. Let’s get to it!
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C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $8,600
Don’t really care about ownership tonight as I am focused on getting the best players I can into my lineup and that certainly includes Crosby. While he sits just one point behind Connor McDavid for the league lead, Crosby’s 1.25 points per game is easily the best mark in the NHL. The fact he could take over the scoring lead tonight despite playing in eight fewer games than McDavid is why he is still the world’s best hockey player. Best of all? He has gone pointless over his last two games, and I doubt that streak reaches three. Pittsburgh is the highest scoring team on home ice with 3.93 goals per game at PPG Paints Arena where they will host the Canucks tonight.
C – Connor McDavid (EDM) – $8,100
Why not have the world’s top two players in the same lineup? McDavid also gets a home matchup tonight and his is even more favorable than Crosby’s as the Coyotes visit the Oilers tonight. Arizona is playing on back-to-back nights, albeit after a solid 5-0 win in Calgary last night, but face a stiff test against McDavid’s Oilers in a quick turnaround. Like Crosby, McDavid has been quiet lately with just two points over his last five games, however facing a Coyotes team that surrenders 3.42 goals per game on the road should cure what ails him.
W – Andrew Copp (WPG) – $3,700
Copp has just 13 points on the season and zero over his last five games, however there is a lot to like about him this evening. Copp is set to skate with Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine for tonight’s home matchup against the Stars. Dallas yields 3.70 goals against per game on the road and have just a 70.3% figure when it comes to shorthanded situations away from home. Both of those marks are easily the worst in the NHL. Copp had five points over a four game stretch prior to his five-game pointless drought, so he is certainly capable of contributing especially tonight against a vulnerable Stars’ defense.
W – Jordan Eberle (EDM) – $5,100
Eberle is back on the Oilers’ top line next to Connor McDavid after bouncing around between the second and third line as of late. This is likely head coach Todd Mclellan’s way of getting Eberle going again after going seven straight without a point. The whole Edmonton offense could use a big game tonight as they have scored just three times total over their last four games, but a perfect scenario is unfolding as the lowly Coyotes and their 3.11 goals per game visit Rogers Place this evening.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $4,400
Even with the return of Evgeni Malkin tonight Guentzel appears to be sticking on the Penguins’ top line with Sidney Crosby. The rookie has posted a solid ten points in 17 games this season after producing 42 points across 33 AHL games prior to his promotion. Guentzel has points in two of his last three games while recording seven shots on goal in that span and has all the opportunity in the world tonight alongside Crosby in a favorable home matchup against the Canucks.
D – Brandon Montour (ANA) – $2,700
Here come the value plays. With so much fire power up front I had to go very cheap on the back end, but I don’t mind as much in Montour’s case. He is an up and coming offensive-minded blueliner who has two points on 19 shots and nine blocks in just nine games with the Ducks this season. Montour tallied a very impressive 30 points in 34 games in the AHL prior to his call up so you can see why the Ducks are high on young, talented defenseman. He does have a tough matchup in Minnesota tonight, but his offensive skills are far superior to others in this price range tonight.
D – Jordan Oesterle (EDM) – $2,500
Here is where it gets dicey. I had to go with a d-man at the minimum price, and truth be told Oesterle might be the only one at this price actually playing tonight. However, he does receive that same favorable matchup as McDavid and Eberle against the visiting Coyotes this evening. He has three blocks and two shots on goal over his last two games while playing between 16-18 minutes per game. If he can somehow grab an assist or come up with some blocks tonight he would be providing massive value for this lineup.
G – Cory Schneider (NJ) – $8,100
Schneider is undoubtedly having his worst season as a Devil, however his matchup spells success tonight. Schneider and the Devils welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town who have won just seven times in 27 road games this season. They also rank dead last with 2.02 goals per game. Schneider has surrendered just one goal in two of his last three starts and posts much better numbers at home versus on the road. Also of note, Colorado is starting rookie Jeremy Smith in goal tonight for his first career NHL start so the Devils offense should be able to provide support for Schneider this evening.
UTIL – Mark Scheifele (WPG) – $6,700
In drafting Scheifele tonight, I now have three of the top five point getters that are in action tonight in this lineup. Better yet, all three are on home ice. Despite their defensive issues the Jets are a solid offensive team and score an even three goals per game at home and take on that brutal Stars road defense tonight at the MTS Centre. Last time the Jets faced Dallas at home they scored eight goals. The Jets have scored 16 goals over their last three games against Dallas, or 5.33 per game. Let’s go with their top scorer to have a big night alongside his linemate Copp tonight.