Well last night’s lineup was a complete dud. The Blackhawks and Blues combined for just three regulation goals and our lineup was chock full of them. It was certainly a disappointing night especially for the Blues as they faced one of the worst defensive teams the NHL has to offer but did not generate nearly as much offense as I would have hoped. Let’s put that night behind us and tackle tonight’s six-game slate!
C – Jack Eichel (BUF) – $7,100 vs. FLA
While the Sabres have struggled to find the net this season, they certainly have a good opportunity tonight against the visiting Florida Panthers. Buffalo is averaging just 2.53 goals per game to rank 28th in the league, but tonight they square off against the NHL’s worst defensive team at 4.14 goals against per game. Enter Eichel who comes into action tonight having tallied four goals and 14 points to go along with 46 shots on goal across 15 games this season. He fires plenty of pucks on net and that should only increase substantially tonight against the Panthers and their 38.1 shot against per game, the highest number by far in the league.
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,300 vs. NYI
With the Stars struggling to generate consistent offense, it appears Ken Hitchcock has blended in lines in hopes of kick starting his group. Seguin has been moved onto the second line with Devin Shore and of course will retain his spot on the top power play unit. He is having a typical Seguin type season with eight goals, five of which have come on the power play, 15 points and 64 shots across 15 games. He should be in for some offense tonight against the Islanders who rank 22nd with 3.13 goals against per game.
W – Evander Kane (BUF) – $7,000 vs. FLA
Like Eichel, Kane’s massive shot on goal total should produce some serious offense tonight against the visiting Panthers. Kane ranks third in the entire NHL with 73 shots on goal this season while he has also recorded nine goals, three shorthanded goals, and six assists across 15 games. With the Panthers entering play tonight as the worst defensive team in the league as well as yielding the most shots in the league I like the Eichel/Kane duo more than any other on tonight’s slate.
W – Devin Shore (DAL) – $3,600 vs. NYI
As mentioned, the result of Hitchcock’s line shuffling for Shore will be skating next to Tyler Seguin on the Stars’ second line while he too retains his spot on the team’s top power play unit, a group that leads the NHL with a 31.8% clip. Shore has yet to find the back of the net this season, but he is rather due after 24 shots on goal and he has also blocked 15 on the season thanks to his time on the penalty kill. Skating next to Seguin in all phases tonight can only help the goalless Shore.
W – Devante Smith-Pelley (WAS) – $3,800 vs. PIT
Smith-Pelley has also been the beneficiary of some favorable line shuffling as he is set to skate next to Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the Capitals’ top line tonight against the Penguins. The new line has been a productive one as he has recorded a goal and an assist on seven shots over his last two games. Pittsburgh has not been their usual solid defensive selves this season with 3.47 goals against per game, good for 26th overall. Plenty of value to be had here with Smith-Pelley.
D – Marco Scandella (BUF) – $3,800 vs. FLA
If Rasmus Ristolainen continues to be sidelined for tonight’s game against the Panthers, Scandella holds some serious value upside. He is now the lone defenseman on the Sabres’ top power play unit alongside Eichel and Kane. He actually sports a nice solid floor due to his counting stats. He has taken 33 shots and blocked 22 in 15 games played and has seven blocks and six shots over his last three games while seeing plenty of ice time in the process.
D – John Klingberg (DAL) – $5,800 vs. NYI
We now have a solid three-man Stars’ stack here with Seguin, Shore and now Klingberg. All three skaters reside on the Stars’ top power play unit as Klingberg is enjoying a career year so far with 15 points in as many games. He has also fired 36 shots on goal, blocked 28 and is the quarterback and lone defenseman on the aforementioned top power play group. He is in a real nice spot tonight on home ice.
G – Robin Lehner (BUF) – $7,300 vs. FLA
You may look and notice that the Panthers rank sixth overall with 3.43 goals per game, but the truth is they rank 30th with just 2.17 goals per game on the road where they will be tonight in Buffalo. Lehner hasn’t been fantastic by any means and sports a .902 save percentage with just four wins in 11 games, but he has very nice win upside and can certainly handle the Panthers’ weak road offense. It’s also encouraging that all four of Lehner’s victories have come over his last six starts.
UTIL – Josh Anderson (CLS) – $4,300 vs. CAR
Another player who is enjoying a career year so far is Anderson. The young Columbus forward missed some time earlier this season due to a contract holdout, but since returning he has six goals, nine points and 40 shots through 14 games this season. He likely won’t skate on the top line now that Cam Atkinson has returned, but he will skate next to Nick Foligno and retain his spot on the team’s second power play unit. Let’s roll with Anderson while he’s hot.