Last night’s DraftKings NHL picks were an extreme disappointment. The Minnesota Wild just couldn’t get anything going against the visiting Vancouver Canucks who were playing their last game of a five game road trip. The Blackhawks also stunk the joint out by losing 4-2 to the upstart Golden Knights in Vegas. Let’s put this one behind us and make good on tonight’s tiny two-game slate!
C – Brayden Schenn (STL) – $6,200 vs. CGY
Schenn has enjoyed a fruitful start to the season in his new digs in St. Louis. The former Flyer has recorded seven points in nine games on 29 shots and he will skate in between Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko on the Blues’ top line tonight. The Blues need to get things going on the power play where they have scored at just a 14.3% clip in the early going, but Schenn was part of a three-way tie for the league lead in power play tallies last season with 17. It’s only a matter of time before this unit begins to click and a home date with a Flames team playing their second game in as many nights should produce some offense tonight.
C – Nick Foligno (CLS) – $5,600 vs. BUF
Foligno has been moved up to first line duties with Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson which of course will provide him with more upside as well. Foligno already skated with the duo on the team’s top power play unit, but the bump up to the first line will give him chances to add onto his impressive seven points through his first eight games on the season. Foligno has always been a big contributor to the Blue Jackets by averaging over 18 minute of ice per game and 2:47 worth of power play time per game as well.
W – Artemi Panarin (CLS) – $6,700 vs. BUF
Panarin will be a very high owned player on tonight’s slate, but he and his Blue Jackets’ teammates have an excellent matchup against the Sabres tonight. The Sabres are a lot like the Flames in the sense that they are playing their second game in as many nights and will likely throw their backup into action tonight as Chad Johnson is the Sabres’ projected starter in goal. Panarin is playing big minutes for the Blue Jackets with 20:33 of average ice time per game, 3:04 of which has come on the power play. He has nine points on 23 shots in nine games so let’s lock the talented Russian into this lineup tonight.
W – Jaden Schwartz (STL) – $6,100 vs. CGY
It’s a calculated risk taking Schwartz and leaving Tarasenko out of the lineup, but unless we Tarasenko scores a couple of unassisted goals we will have enough exposure to him not to get hurt by a big performance from the Russian. Besides, Schwartz has notched six goals, 13 points and 24 shots to go with five blocks across nine games this season. Those 13 points are good for third best in the NHL and he should be able to use his speed and skill tonight to keep producing against a tired Flames team and backup goaltender Eddie Lack.
W – Alexander Steen (STL) – $4,800 vs. CGY
Steen has played in just three games this season and while he hasn’t found the scoresheet yet, he has skated upwards of 18-19 minutes in all three contests. The veteran forward has a nice spot on the team’s second line but an even loftier spot on the team’s top power play unit. He isn’t a big shooter, but he gets the job done as he has tallied at least 50 points in four straight seasons for the Blues. He is a nice play at a very reasonable price tonight.
D – Zach Werenski (CLS) – $5,500 vs. BUF
The NHL’s best rookie defenseman from a season ago should be in for a productive night tonight against the visiting Sabres. Werenski has produced solid cross-category contributions this season with three goals, three assists, 22 shots, nine blocks and a power play goal as well in eight games. He skates an average of 22:23 per game, 3:02 of which has come on the man advantage. With the Blue Jackets’ power play sitting at just 9.1% this season, an explosion is due and tonight would be a good night for that to happen given our exposure.
D – Victor Antipin (BUF) – $3,500 vs. CLS
Antipin is a rookie defenseman who recorded an assist and three shots on goal in last night’s victory over the Red Wings and is mostly in the lineup due to his offensive upside. Last season in the KHL, Antipin recorded 24 points in 59 games but also added seven goals and 11 points in 18 playoff games. Despite playing on the team’s third pairing, Antipin is seeing time on the top power play unit as well. Therefore, he has a good amount of offensive upside and makes for a real nice GPP look on tonight’s slate.
G – Jake Allen (STL) – $8,000 vs. CGY
By no means has Allen been a rock for the Blues this season, but he sports a decent .912 save percentage and I like his chances of getting the win tonight against the Flames. The Blues are only giving up 2.67 goals per game which is 10th in the NHL while they are a very strong team on home ice as well. The Blues are a clean 2-0-0 at home this season and went 24-12-5 at home last season. I like the Blues chances to score some goals tonight and Allen should be able to do enough to secure a victory on home ice as well.
UTIL – Beau Bennett (STL) – $3,600 vs. CGY
Bennett will make his season debut tonight for the Blues after tallying three points in five games in the AHL to begin the season. He will likely skate on the team’s third line tonight but should also see some minutes on the second unit power play as well. On a two-game slate tonight, a big night from a low owned player like Bennett could be the differentiation tool needed to get this lineup to the top of some GPPs.