Happy Monday everyone! Tonight’s NHL schedule delivers a seven-game slate so let’s get started and begin the week on a positive note!
C – Ryan Johansen (NSH) – $6,000 vs. PHI
We will kick off tonight’s lineup with Johansen as he and his Preds teammates take on the Flyers on home ice. The Predators were one of the league’s highest scoring teams on home ice last season with 131 goals (4th) at Bridgestone Arena while they also connected on 22% of their power plays at home last season, good for 6th overall. Therefore, let’s fire up a Preds stack beginning with their top center at both even strength and on the power play in Johansen. He isn’t a huge shooter as he fired 154 shots on goal last season, but he led the team in assists by a wide margin with 47 and plays next to one of the game’s top young talents in Viktor Arvidsson so the helpers should pile up again this season.
C – Paul Stastny (STL) – $4,900 vs. NYR
Stastny is fortunate to play the overwhelming majority of his shifts alongside one of the best snipers in the league in Vladimir Tarasenko. Stastny skates next to the superstar at both even strength and on the power play while he ranked second among all Blues forward with 19:08 of average ice time per game last season. Stastny played in just 66 games last season but tallied 40 points thanks to his role as the team’s number one center. Look for the duo to click tonight against Henrik Lundqvist who will make another start tonight after starting last night’s win over the Canadiens.
W – Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) – $7,600 vs. NYR
I believe we have a real nice concoction for success here as Tarasenko and the Blues visit the Rangers. The Rangers were pummeled for eight goals against on Saturday in Toronto and clearly looked very poor defensively in that contest. Henrik Lundqvist is not at his best these days and is in a back-to-back start scenario as age concerns continue to linger for the Swedish netminder. Tarasenko on the other hand has come out of the gates hot with three goals (two on the power play) and an assist on seven shots through three contests. He scored 39 goals on 286 shots last season and a similar, if not better season is on the horizon for the Russian sniper.
W – Viktor Arvidsson (NSH) – $6,000 vs. PHI
As mentioned, Arvidsson is a budding young talent after tallying 31 goals on 246 shots last season, the latter of which led the team and the former of which was good enough for a share of the team lead. Interestingly, Arvidsson scored more shorthanded goals (5) than he did power plays goals (4) last season. That said, if the Predators can keep up their stellar power play Arvidsson should connect on some more power play markers while boasting a solid floor due to the shots on goal.
W – Clayton Keller (ARI) – $4,600 vs. VGK
Keller scored a goal in the Coyotes’ first game of the season and he has fired nine shots on goal in just two games already on the campaign. Keller will skate on the team’s top line with Max Domi and Derek Stepan at both even strength and on the power play, a spot where the young forward can thrive in his rookie season. Keller is my favorite to win the Calder Trophy this season and brings plenty of value to the table at his price tonight.
D – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) – $4,800 vs. VGK
Ekman-Larsson is part of a three-man stack as the new Coyotes’ captain is in a nice spot tonight in Vegas. He ranked second on the team last season with 39 points, first by a wide margin with 27 power play points and first by a wide margin with 24:36 of average ice time per game. He also fired 145 shots on goal and is clear-cut anchor of this team’s top power play group. With more skill around him this season Ekman-Larsson should see a bump in production this time around.
D – Colton Parayko (STL) – $4,600 vs. NYR
While Parayko likely won’t see top unit power play minutes with Stastny and Tarasenko, I still like his upside tonight against Lundqvist and the Rangers. He had an excellent season last year with 35 points on 188 shots, the latter of which were the second most on the team. He only scored four goals, however he also sported just a 2.1% shooting percentage, so I believe he is in for an uptick in goals should he continue to shoot as much as he did last season.
G – Antti Raanta (ARI) – $7,600 vs. VGK
Raanta is more geared towards GPPs tonight, but I love his upside against the Golden Knights. The reason he is a GPP play is because the Coyotes have given up an average of 41.5 shots per game over their two contests on the season and have given up 7 goals, but Raanta made 40 saves on 42 shots on Saturday against these same Golden Knights. Vegas doesn’t have the best forward group around and I don’t expect them to be a high scoring team as they have just four goals across two games so far this season. Plenty of value to be had here with Raanta.
UTIL – Christian Dvorak (ARI) – $3,900 vs. VGK
Dvorak is coming off of a nice 15-goal rookie campaign with the Coyotes and I expect him to take a step forward in this category this season. Dvorak will see first unit power play ice time with Keller and Ekman-Larsson which should help his production with the man advantage after scoring only two power play goals last season. He has six shots in just two games this season to go along with an assist and three blocks and played 22 minutes his first game of the season, so plenty of value to be had with the young pivot tonight.