Monday’s are usually small slates but tonight we have an even smaller than usual two-game slate on our hands. As such, nabbing most of the evening’s goal scorers is a must. Let’s go ahead and do so!
C – Mikael Backlund (CGY) – $5,000 vs. STL
The Flames and Blues get together tonight in Calgary and while the Monahan line will get a lot of ownership, let’s slide down to their second line for a GPP look. Backlund won’t come at tiny ownership, but he brings nice value to the table thanks to tallying ten points on 33 shots in 16 games. He gets plenty of ice time as his 19:21 of ice time per game paces all Flames’ forwards. He skates 2:18 on the power play per game but also gets plenty of penalty killing time at 2:50 per game. While we obviously don’t rely on shorthanded points, it’s always nice to put yourself in a spot where a shorthanded point could be a big bonus on a tiny slate.
C – Jamie Benn (DAL) – $7,300 vs. CAR
Benn has played the last few games as the Stars’ number one center, and the Stars’ offense has been good since the switch. Their man advantage has clicked at a whopping 31.3% to lead the league, and that number actually increases to 39.1% on the road. Two games ago Benn fired a whopping 11 shots on goal, and while a repeat performance can’t be expected tonight, it’s a shining example of what kind of floor the former Art Ross winner brings to the table.
W – Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) – $5,500 vs. STL
Tkachuk is a very impactful player for the Flames and is putting up numbers to show it. In 16 games, Tkachuk has four goals and 11 points on 45 shots. He also has a goal on the power play where he will skate tonight next to Backlund on the Flames’ second unit. Tkachuk skates 2:18 per game on the man advantage, but also ends up with solid ice time overall at 16:18 per game. He and Backlund should be a lower owned duo on tonight’s small slate.
W – Alexander Radulov (DAL) – $6,200 vs. CAR
Benn’s linemate at five on five and on the power play, Radulov has been white-hot as he enters play tonight riding a seven-game point streak including four goals and six assists over that stretch. Of some concern is the fact that he hasn’t recorded a shot on goal in his last two games and has just one over his last three. Hopefully the talented winger can get some pucks through tonight and click with Benn for some production.
W – Alexander Steen (STL) – $4,800 vs. CGY
Some Blues ownership is likely required tonight and Steen is a good place to start. He is relied upon heavily by Mike Yeo and has seen 18:41 of ice time per game, 2:56 of which comes on the power play. Steen also kills penalties as evidenced by his 1:19 per game on the man disadvantage. With Steen we get first unit power play exposure and second line exposure and penalty kill exposure as well, so let’s go with the human swiss army knife tonight.
D – Dougie Hamilton (CGY) – $5,300 vs. STL
You could easily go with Mark Giordano here if you want to as he and Hamilton skate together at even strength and on the Flames’ second power play, but I like Hamilton’s offensive upside a little more tonight at a cheaper price. Hamilton’s 52 shots on goal are the seventh most by a defenseman this season, but he has just two goals to show for it. That 3.8% shooting percentage is well under his 5.8% career mark so some positive regression in the goals scored column is due for the Flames’ rear guard.
D – Colton Parayko (STL) – $4,300 vs. CGY
Parayko has just one goal this season, but he continues to throw plenty of pucks on goal with 47 shots across 18 games this season. He could form a nice mini-stack with Steen at even strength, but with Parayko we also get exposure to both of the Blues’ power play units as he skates 1:48 per game on the team’s second unit. He also ranks second only to Alex Pietrangelo with 21:07 of ice time per game and could be of nice value tonight as a result.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $7,600 vs. CAR
The Hurricanes are the top possession team in the NHL and I will try and catch them before their offensive positive regression kicks in. Despite dominating the possession game, the Hurricanes rank 23rd with 2.67 goals per game and their 2.29 goals per game at home ranks 29th. Enter Bishop who has had a solid season overall for his new team in Dallas with a .915 save percentage for the season. Consistency has been an issue but he has yielded one goal or less in five of his 13 games this season and is coming off of a shutout of the Islanders. Perhaps another could come tonight against a low-scoring Canes’ offense.
UTIL – Gemel Smith (DAL) – $3,500 vs. CAR
The move to the Stars’ top line alongside Benn and Radulov has paid early dividends for Smith as he scored a goal in the Stars’ last game and has three points over his last three games. Smith doesn’t see any power play time for the Stars, but is always an intriguing option at this price playing next to one of the best scorer’s the NHL has to offer. Plenty of value to be had here with Smith.