Well, last night’s DraftKings picks stunk the joint out. The lone bright spot was Patrick Marleau who notched a goal and two assists, but other than that it was a very poor night. Let’s move onto tonight’s 11-game slate and look for some vast improvement.
C – John Tavares (NYI) – $7,300 vs. NYR
The Islanders have dominated the Rangers in recent seasons and I’m looking for that to continue tonight on home ice. Over their last eight games against the Rangers, the Islanders have tallied 4.38 goals per game against their crosstown rivals. Tavares brings a very high floor with him into tonight’s contest with 29 goals and 63 points on the season to go along with 183 shots on goal. He and the Isles should definitely be putting some goals up against the NHL’s 23rd-ranked road defense tonight.
C – Max Domi (ARI) – $3,300 vs. MON
We rostered Domi earlier this week and with great results. He scored just his fourth goal of the season, but I am looking for positive regression for the former first round pick tonight. Domi enters play tonight with just a 3.6% shooting percentage for the season, almost a full 5% under his career 8.3% mark. With his 111 shots on the season he is on pace for a career-high in shots, therefore I am expecting much more puck luck for the skilled youngster moving forward.
W – Anders Lee (NYI) – $6,100 vs. NYR
The truth is you can roster either Lee or Josh Bailey in this spot, but I like Lee’s ceiling more than I do Bailey’s. Like Tavares, Lee enters tonight’s contest with 29 goals on the season while his has also taken 144 shots as well. He’s got four points over his last five games and has taken at least four shots in three of those five games. He should be given plenty of opportunity tonight against a team that is light on the back end as New York is missing many of their regular defenseman including Ryan McDonagh tonight.
W – Tobias Rieder (ARI) – $3,200 vs. MON
Like Domi, Rieder hasn’t enjoyed a great season but he is certainly a guy that is capable of offense, especially in this matchup. Montreal owns the league’s 25th-ranked road defense while their road penalty kill is a dismal 71.3%, good for 29th. Rieder has picked up his production lately with three points over his last two games with four shots on goal as well. He skates with Domi at 5v5 and on the top power play unit so let’s roll with this cheap, lower owned duo tonight.
W – Nikita Kucherov (TB) – $7,900 vs. DET
Of course, when you roster the league’s leading scorer, there isn’t much explanation required. Kucherov has opened up a five-point lead for the most points in the NHL with 72, and there is plenty more where that came from in a home matchup against the lowly Red Wings tonight. Tampa Bay is the top offense in the NHL while the Red Wings own the league’s 21st-ranked defense. Plenty of opportunity ahead for the Russian superstar.
D – Nick Leddy (NYI) – $5,200 vs. NYR
Leddy completes a three-man Islanders stack tonight against the Rangers. He is having a real quality offensive season on the Islanders’ blueline with 34 points on 118 shots over 58 games. Leddy has tallied five points over his last six games and should be an offensive force against a soft Rangers defense that has gotten even softer in recent days due to injuries. I’m expecting big things from the Islanders tonight.
D – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) – $4,200 vs. MON
Another three-man stack is complete here as well as another three-man PP1 stack as well. Ekman-Larsson operates as the lone blueliner on the Coyotes’ top power play unit and has 25 points on a real solid 141 shots with 55 blocks to boot. Against the Canadiens and their brutal road defense and penalty kill I can see this Coyotes stack paying big dividends with their value upside tonight.
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $8,400 vs. DET
We will go with safety in goal tonight as Vasilevskiy and the Bolts take on the visiting Red Wings. He’s certainly in the Vezina conversation with a stout 2.33 GAA and a .928 Sv% on the campaign. The Red Wings don’t offer much in terms of offense with just 2.64 goals per game (25th) and I believe Tampa Bay gives him plenty of goal support to ensure a win tonight. Let’s go with the top option in goal and let it fly.
UTIL – Vladislav Namestnikov (TB) – $4,300 vs. DET
It appears that Namestnikov is going to be reunited with Stamkos and Kucherov atop the Lightning depth chart as well as their top power play unit. He isn’t as hot as the start of the season, but he still has tallied 19 goals and 22 assists on the season and got back on the scoreboard with a goal in Tampa’s most recent game in Buffalo. Let’s look for the Kucherov/Namestnikov to do plenty of damage tonight in another favorable matchup.