We didn’t get a whole lot of production from our lineup last night, and our goalie lost a shutout with 18 second left which pretty much summed up the night. Let’s look for notable improvement on tonight’s 12-game slate!
C – Steven Stamkos (TB) – $7,400 vs. NYR
The Tampa Bay Lightning welcome the struggling New York Rangers to town in yet another favorable matchup tonight on home ice. Tampa Bay paces the NHL with 3.58 goals per game and the Rangers enter play tonight with league’s 24th-ranked defense as well as the 25th-ranked road defense. Stamkos has scored 27 goals this season and enters play with 78 points on 189 shots across 67 games. He’s notched seven points over his last three games so let’s ride the Lightning captain while he’s hot.
C – Brian Little (WPG) – $4,000 vs. NJ
With Mark Scheifele missing tonight’s contest with an upper-body injury, it appears that Little is going to take over duties as the top center tonight in Jersey. He enters tonight’s contest with 13 goals and 37 points on the season with two of those 13 goals coming on the power play. Given his top line duties, we can expect a higher floor from Little tonight while he will continue to center the second power play unit as well.
W – Nikita Kucherov (TB) – $8,000 vs. NYR
Of course, we aren’t going to roster Stamkos without rostering his linemate as well as the league’s top point-getter in Kucherov. His 86 points on the season paces the NHL while he has also taken a whopping 232 shots on goal. His 31 points for the season are tied for the fifth most in the league as he logs almost 20 minutes of ice time per game. Kucherov is white-hot entering play tonight, tallying 20 points over his last 12 games, so let’s also ride the Russian superstar while he’s hot.
W – Kyle Connor (WPG) – $5,500 vs. NJ
I really believe the Little/Connor mini-stack could be a productive one as well as a lower-owned one tonight in New Jersey. Connor and Little will skate together at 5v5, however Connor appears to remain on the Jets’ lethal top power play unit. He’s having an excellent season thanks to his spot on the top line as he’s notched 22 goals and 19 helpers on 146 shots in 60 games.
W – Ryan Dzingel (OTT) – $3,200 vs. BUF
I love Dzingel as a value play tonight. He should skate next to Mike Hoffman and Matt Duchene tonight which is an excellent place to be considering the chemistry that duo has displayed recently. Dzingel has quietly enjoyed a real nice season despite his team’s overall struggles with 17 goals on 104 shots on the campaign. He should also see second unit power play minutes against the Sabres and their thin back end tonight.
D – Victor Hedman (TB) – $6,500 vs. NYR
We have completed a three-man Lightning stack here with the addition of Hedman. The superstar blueliner has notched 11 goals and 49 points this season with 177 shots and 92 blocks across 62 games. He’s recorded five points over his last three games and skates as the lone defenseman on the top power play unit. This trio is a 5v5 stack as well as a PP1 stack so let’s look for big-time production from a few of the league’s very best players tonight.
D – Thomas Chabot (OTT) – $3,000 vs. BUF
Another low-owned mini-stack that has some real nice upside is Dzingel and Chabot. The rookie blueliner skates as the lone defenseman on the Senators’ second power play unit, which also includes Dzingel. He’s scored five goals and added 12 assists across 46 games on the season and could be in for some more production against the league’s 22nd-ranked road defense tonight on home ice.
G – Roberto Luongo (FLA) – $8,400 vs. MON
Here is a guy that is in a real nice spot tonight. Luongo was touched up for five goals in his most recent start, but that came in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Over his previous three starts prior to that one, the veteran posted an elite .955 Sv%. Montreal sports the league’s 30th-ranked offense and well as the league’s 29th-ranked road defense, so Luongo should be able to hold them down while getting some goal support at the other end this evening.
UTIL – Vinnie Hinostroza (CHI) – $3,800 vs. CAR
The Blackhawks are struggling, but they have a nice matchup at home tonight against the Hurricanes. Carolina is going to start backup Scott Darling tonight who has been one of the worst goalies in the league this season. He sports a pitiful .884 Sv% on the road for the season. Enter Hinostroza who should skate on the second line and second power play unit tonight as he brings seven goals and 16 assists across just 36 games into action this evening.