FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – February 19, 2020

I made some nice calls throughout last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks but one of our stacks really hurt us and could have kept us out of the money in GPPs.

The call on the Flyers to put up some offense against the visiting Blue Jackets was a good one as Philadelphia scored five goals on the night, but unfortunately only one came from our stack.

Sean Couturier scored a goal on his only shot of the game, Claude Giroux racked up two assists and a shot on goal himself but unfortunately Ivan Provorov was held pointless with two shots and two blocks. Would like to have had more here on a five-goal outburst.

Our three-man Blues stack hurt. The Blues didn’t produce as much as I expected with three goals on the night, and the entire second line was held pointless. In fact, we mustered a brutal three shots on goal combined from our trio.

Some more Jets exposure would have helped as our Jets mini-stack prevailed with Mark Scheifele tallying two assists and three shots on goal while Neal Pionk contributed an assist and two shots of his own. Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor were moved onto a like with Blake Wheeler for that one, and knowing that in the morning would have been helpful, so make sure you’re adjusting your lineups accordingly throughout the day.

Finally, he didn’t rack up a ton of saves with just 17 on the night, but the Blues’ Jordan Binnington registered a shutout in a 3-0 win over the visiting Devils to snap a five-game losing streak.

It would have been a real nice lineup had our Blues stack grabbed some value, but we’ll have to put this one behind us and move onto tonight’s six-game slate!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns

C – Elias Pettersson (VAN) – $7,000 vs. MIN

It’s been an interesting few days in Vancouver as the team traded for winger Tyler Toffoli before announcing that Brock Boeser could be out for the remainder of the regular season, but it’s back to hockey tonight as they take on the Minnesota Wild in what is a favorable home matchup for the Canucks.

The Wild enter this one ranked 29th with 3.67 goals against per game on the road this season where their penalty kill checks in at 25th with a 75.6% clip. On the flip side, the Canucks sit in a share of fourth alongside the Philadelphia Flyers with 3.55 goals per game on home ice this season where their power play has been dangerous to the tune of a 26.9% clip, good for sixth-best on home ice across the league.

For his part, it’s been a quality sophomore season for the reigning Calder Trophy-winning Pettersson as he looks to steer the Canucks towards the postseason in Boeser’s absence. Pettersson has tallied 24 goals and 58 points in 58 games on the season while he’s shot the puck a lot more this time around with 142 shots on the season which is just two shy of his mark from last season, but in 13 fewer games. Pettersson scored the team’s lone goal in a 5-1 loss to the Ducks on Sunday to snap a four-game goalless drought and I’ll look for him to build on that tonight in an excellent home matchup.

C – Vincent Trocheck (FLA) – $5,400 vs. ANA

This is a little more of a GPP-type play as the Panthers go into Anaheim tonight to take on the Ducks with a chance to slide back into a playoff spot and overtake the Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division.

It won’t be totally GPP as the Panthers are indeed a high-scoring offense, albeit a little bit of a struggling one, as they are tied for sixth with 3.21 goals per game on the road this season where their power play has slipped to 13th with a decent 19.1% clip. The Panthers’ offense generated just 1.86 goals per game over a seven-game stretch earlier this month, but bounced back with a five-goal showing in San Jose to begin this lengthy road trip and I think they can build off that one tonight.

The Ducks are a much stronger defense at home where they sit 16th with 2.92 goals against per game on the season but they’ve also allowed 10 goals over their last two games at home as well.

Enter Trocheck who hasn’t enjoyed a productive season after rushing back from a gruesome leg injury last year as he’s scored just nine goals and 33 points in 52 games to go along with 126 shots on goal, a far cry from the guy that scored 31 goals on 287 shots just two seasons ago. He’s been bitten by a low shoot rate in back-to-back years now with a 7.1% mark that’s well under his 10% career rate this season and he’s amazingly not scored a power play goal this season with just five power play assists on the year. Nonetheless, his ownership will be suppressed for all these reasons tonight but I think he can go in there and give this lineup a shot in the arm tonight from Orange County.

W – J.T. Miller (VAN) – $6,500 vs. MIN

Next man up in our three-man Canucks stack is Miller who has enjoyed a huge season in his first year with the Canucks after a draft-day trade that cost Jim Benning a first-round pick in June.

Miller has made his general manager look brilliant with a season that’s included 22 goals and 57 points in 59 games, a pace that is by far a career-best while he’s also added 135 shots on goal and another eight goals and 19 points on that dangerous Vancouver power play. Miller is also getting a big role on this team while skating alongside Pettersson on what I believe is the team’s top line as well as the top power play unit as his 19:54 of average ice time on the season is more than five full minutes above the 14:40 he had last season while with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Miller’s been a little more productive at home this season where he’s recorded 12 goals and 32 points in 29 games compared to 10 goals and 25 points in 30 road contests, but otherwise his numbers are quite similar between his home and road splits. He’s had a productive February with three goals and seven points in eight games for the month, so I’ll simply look for that to continue in this matchup tonight.

W – Tyler Toffoli (VAN) – $5,600 vs. MIN

Completing our three-man Canucks stack is Toffoli who will make his Canucks debut tonight in front of what should be an excited fan base after the win-now move from their GM to bring him in despite the injury to Boeser.

The veteran winger was having a solid season with a weak Kings offense has he had 18 goals and 34 points in 58 games with the Kings this season and the guy likes to shoot the puck with 165 shots on the year after putting at least 226 shots on goal in each of the last two seasons. It’s been a bounce-back year for Toffoli who scored just 13 goals and an identical 34 points while skating in all 82 games a season ago, in part due to a shooting rate that’s come roaring back to 10.9%, much closer to his 10.2% career mark than the minuscule 5.8% mark he posted last year.

Now, he’ll get an excellent chance alongside one of the best young centers in the entire league. Keep in mind that Toffoli’s final game as a King featured a hat trick in the outdoor win over the Avalanche on Saturday and he also scored in his second-to-last game with L.A., so he has four goals and nine shots on goal over his last two games entering this one and 16 shots over his last three. To say he’s coming in hot would be a little bit of an understatement, so while I like that fact I also like his spot to the right of Pettersson at 5v5 and on the top power play unit as part of a high-powered Canucks home offense in a wildly favorable matchup for his Canucks debut.

W – Mike Hoffman (FLA) – $6,600 vs. ANA

In order to get their offense going, Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville has put his lines in the blender and it appeared to work in San Jose, so I’m not expecting many chances for this one tonight.

The line juggling has ended up with Hoffman to the left of Trocheck at 5v5 and while the duo won’t skate on the same power play unit we do get some exposure to the top group here with Hoffman who skates alongside the likes of Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on that unit. Nonetheless, I’m not opposed to having exposure to both groups, either.

It’s been a nice season for the goal-scoring wizard as Hoffman has tallied 22 goals on the year along with 25 helpers for 47 points on 171 shots on goal in 59 games. He’s not going to score 17 power play goals as he did last season but he’s been productive there as well with eight goals and 18 power play points on the season. The 30-year-old has been a little more productive at home but he’s shot the puck more on the road with the difference being in his shooting rate between the splits. Nonetheless, Hoffman snapped a four-game goalless drought with a tally on one of his four shots in San Jose on Monday while he’s registered four shots in each of his last three games. He’s one of the better quick-strike threats in the NHL and I’ll look for him and Trocheck to combine for some production on that Panthers’ second line tonight.

W – Brandon Saad (CHI) – $5,200 vs. NYR

Another GPP-type look tonight is Saad who, I believe, makes his inaugural appearance in one of these lineups for this season as he and the Blackhawks line up against the visiting Rangers on home ice.

The 27-year-old Saad has been a fairly reliable goal-scorer in his NHL tenure as he’s tallied 18 goals this season which marks the seven consecutive season he has reached that mark, and he’s played in just 47 games this season while he scored 23 in 80 games a season ago. However, for tonight, I like the upside even more as it looks like he will skate on a line with Patrick Kane not only at 5v5 but also on the top power play unit, so we’re getting some nice mid-priced exposure to one of the world’s best players.

The Rangers have cleaned things up on the back end over the course of the season despite still owning terrible possession numbers, but they’ll enter this one ranked 15th with 3.11 goals against per game on the road this season and actually a decent T-11th with an 80.6% mark on the penalty kill away from home as well. Nonetheless, it’s not likely to be rookie sensation Igor Shesterkin in goal for the blueshirts with his current ankle injury, so I think there’s some offense to be had for the Blackhawks here and I like Saad’s spot in the lineup a lot at this price.

D – Aaron Ekblad (FLA) – $5,000 vs. ANA

Completing our three-man Panthers stack tonight is Ekblad who will skate with Trocheck on the Panthers’ second power play unit while making this a three-man 5v5 stack for a good chunk of ice time tonight as well.

It’s hard to believe that he’s still just 24 years old – just turned 24, in fact – as this is his sixth season in the NHL and it’s been a productive one with five goals and 34 points in 57 games, knocking on the door of his career-high of 39 points with six weeks remaining in the regular season. Ekblad also brings solid peripherals to the table with 132 shots on goal and 72 blocked shots to boot.

Now, he’s scored at least 10 goals in each of his first five seasons in the league and he’s in jeopardy of falling short of that number this season with those five goals mostly due to a 3.8% shooting clip that is not only well under his 6.6% career mark but would also easily mark a career-low of the season ended today. I’m not expecting a surge in that number at this point in the season, but it’s still quite reasonable to expect some better fortune over the remainder of the season for the talented youngster. Nonetheless, I like the sneaky-good matchup tonight on a Panthers offense that appeared to get their mojo back in San Jose on Monday.

D – Erik Gustafsson (CHI) – $4,500 vs. NYR

Completing my Blackhawks mini-stack tonight is Gustafsson who will line up with Saad on the team’s top power play unit as he’s managed to get his spot back as the lone defenseman on that group.

Gustafsson was pretty fortunate to score 17 goals last season as he posted a huge 10.6% shooting rate while doing so – a massive number for a defenseman. His rate has normalized to a 6.1% mark this season which has him sitting with six goals on 98 shots this season with 26 points in 58 games as well. He’s notched two goals and eight points on the power play this season as well. Despite getting his role back on the power play, the production hasn’t exactly followed as he’s tallied just two assists in eight games for the month of February after finishing January on a tear with a goal and six points over the final three games of the month.

Nonetheless, I do like the matchup tonight against what’s become a middle-of-the-pack Rangers team, but I can certainly see this cross-conference affair opening up a little bit and potentially becoming a high-scoring game. Nonetheless, I believe that Saad and Gustafsson both have potential to give us some production tonight and what I believe will be extremely reasonable ownerships for GPPs.

G – Jacob Markstrom (VAN) – $8,600 vs. MIN

With this lineup we can afford any goaltender on the slate. While Tuukka Rask and Ben Bishop certainly look like nice options at more expensive prices – and I usually don’t leave as much as $600 on the board as I’m doing tonight – but my gut and the numbers are telling me that Markstrom could be in for another big game against the Wild tonight.

The Wild are a decent road offense that will enter this one ranked 17th with 2.89 goals per game on the road this season, but also with a 23rd-ranked road power play. It’s also an offense that was shut out despite putting 39 shots on goal in their last game against the Sharks and I want a similar fate tonight.

In fact, Markstrom is coming off a similar game as he turned aside all 49 shots he faced in a shutout win over the Blackhawks in his last start and improved to 12-6-2 at home with a 2.44 GAA and .928 Sv% across 20 starts. He now owns a .978 Sv% over his last two starts, both of which have come at home and both of which resulted in wins.

The Canucks are -130 favorites on the moneyline to win this one tonight and with a white-hot Markstrom in goal I think we’re in good hands with this play tonight.


Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.