Last night’s DraftKings picks started off well as Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk combined for all three of Toronto’s goals, but the Stars were held in check by the Jets which ultimately sank the lineup. Let’s aim for some improvement on tonight’s nine-game slate!
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $8,000 vs. ARI
Tonight’s lineup will be an optimal lineup that can be used in cash or GPPs, and the cash portion will be the Penguins beginning here with Crosby. Crosby and the Pens get the weak defense and goaltending of the Coyotes tonight, and as a bonus they get them in their second game in as many nights. The Coyotes have yielded 4.06 goals per game (30th) and are killing penalties at just a 73.8% clip, good for 28th. Crosby is an easy choice tonight as he has racked up five goals, 13 points and a whopping 53 shots in 16 games this season.
C – Jonathan Drouin (MON) – $5,600 vs. VGK
With the Golden Knights playing in the second half of back-to-back games tonight in Montreal, I believe the Canadiens are nice GPP look. It begins here with Drouin who has had a solid start to his Canadiens tenure with three goals, 11 points and 46 shots across 15 games this season. While his connection with Max Pacioretty didn’t work, Drouin still gets first unit power play minutes and will be in a nice spot to notch his first power play goal of the season tonight against fourth string goaltender Maxime Lagace.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $5,600 vs. ARI
Hornqvist is in a very favorable position tonight against the Coyotes. He’s playing one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL, and he will do it alongside arguably the best player in the world in Sidney Crosby at both even strength and with the man advantage. While the Pittsburgh power play is sitting at just 10% at home this season, this is a number that will vastly improve moving forward. Hornqvist is enjoying a nice season with five goals, including three on the power play and 44 shots across 13 games on the campaign.
W – Artturi Lehkonen (MON) – $4,200 vs. VGK
Lehkonen will ride shotgun next to Drouin tonight at both five-on-five and with the man advantage. He has scored just two goals this season (both in the same game) but he has thrown plenty of pucks on net with 40 shots in 15 games this season. He is getting every opportunity to produce for the Habs as evidenced by his average ice time of 16:36 per game, almost a full three minutes more than he averaged in his rookie season last year.
W – Andrew Shaw (MON) – $4,000 vs. VGK
While Shaw doesn’t skate with Drouin and Lehkonen at even strength, he plays with them on the power play and also plays on the Habs’ top line with Max Pacioretty. Shaw is the net front presence on the power play and has recorded two of his three goals this season with the man advantage. He also has 38 shots in 15 games while averaging 16:23 of ice time per game, a career high for the gritty winger.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,200 vs. ARI
The three-man Penguins’ stack is complete here with Letang. He is my top player on the blueline tonight considering his opponent and the fact he has taken 51 shots, blocked 25 and added ten assists in 16 games on the season. With just one goal on those 51 shots you have to believe there is positive regression in the goal column moving forward for the slick rear guard. Look for a big night from Letang tonight.
D – Johnny Boychuk (NYI) – $4,100 vs. EDM
I really like the floor Boychuk brings with him to the table. He has taken a whopping 43 shots and blocked 32 so far in just 14 games this season while also adding a goal and four helpers. The veteran has a cannon for a shot and has utilized it lately while blasting 12 shots on goal over his last two contests. He scored his lone goal of the season in his last game so let’s make it two in a row with the veteran defender.
G – Jonathan Quick (LA) – $8,000 vs. ANH
Quick enters play tonight sporting a sparkling .939 save percentage on the season but he is also facing a banged up Ducks team who is missing some key offensive players at the moment. Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves and power play quarterback Cam Fowler are all out with injury, depleting the Ducks’ offensive attack in the process. Anaheim ranks 20th with 2.79 goals per game, but the Kings rank first with 2.21 goals against per game and first with a 91.8% penalty kill. Let’s lock in the expensive Quick tonight.
UTIL – Mathew Barzal (NYI) – $4,300 vs. EDM
I believe we are getting Barzal at a bargain price considering his production this season. Barzal is coming off of a five-assist game against the Avalanche and now has three goals, ten assists and 31 shots in 14 games this season. The Islanders lead the NHL with five goals per game on home ice this season and their power play at home is clicking at 23.8%, good for ninth overall. Barzal is now part of the Islanders’ first power play unit, a group that will take on the league’s worst penalty kill tonight at 67.4%.