The NHL trade deadline is in the rear view mirror, signalling the beginning of the home stretch of the NHL regular season.
While the races across the league intensify, let’s take a look at tonight’s massive 13-game NHL schedule and see if we can get ourselves into the money!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Sean Couturier (PHI) – $7,400 vs. SJ
This lineup is going to feature some higher-owned players such as Couturier, but also some lower-owned players that end up forming an optimal lineup that is a nice fit for both cash and GPP formats.
Couturier and the Flyers should see some ownership tonight as they get a favorable home matchup with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks enter this one ranked 20th with 3.28 goals against per game on the road this season and team has been absolutely decimate1d by injuries and trades of late, leaving a rather thin group of players behind for the remainder of the regular season.
The Flyers, on the other hand, have loaded up for what they hope will be a deep playoff run and they’ve been an excellent offense at home all season long. Philly enter this one ranked fifth with 3.57 goals per game at the Wells Fargo Center this season where their power play checks in at a decent 15th with a solid 21% clip on the campaign, so I will be issuing a three-man 5v5 and PP1 stack for this one tonight.
Enter Couturier who has quietly had a huge season for the Flyers, tallying 19 goals and a team-leading 55 points in 62 games while putting 167 shots on goal in that time. He’s been better at home where he’s tallied 30 points in as many games while he enters this one red-hot with six goals and nine points over his last eight games. He should kick off a stack that gives us a real nice foundation tonight.
C – Nick Suzuki (MON) – $5,300 vs. VAN
The Canadiens shouldn’t see a ton of ownership considering the 13-game slate, at least not the Canadiens I will be using at forward as they take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight on home ice.
Now, the Canadiens haven’t been a great offense at home where they rank 26th with 2.73 goals per game on the season and sit tied for second-last with a 13.5% mark on the power play at home as well. They’re also all but finished in their playoff chase, so motivation could be a factor as well, but this has been a proud team all season long.
Where I see the opportunity tonight is in the Vancouver crease where All-Star Jacob Markstrom will not be for the foreseeable future. Rather, it will be Thatcher Demko and his 3.29 GAA and .902 Sv% in 19 road outings between the Canucks’ pipes in this one. Demko was shelled for five goals against a brutal Ducks offense in his last start, and has allowed eight goals over his last two starts, so I believe the Habs can get something going here at low ownership, beginning with Suzuki.
The rookie has been a bright spot in a dim Canadiens season as he’s notched 13 goals and 40 points in 64 games with 116 shots. He’s certainly a playmaker by trade with elite-level vision and that vision has helped him tally 14 points on the power play as well where he resides on the top unit.
The Canucks have been a solid defense and penalty kill on the road this season, but I want to test Demko in this one with some players that have had real nice seasons for the Canadiens and I think we can get ahead of the field with this stack tonight.
W – Claude Giroux (PHI) – $7,700 vs. SJ
Next man up in our Flyers stack is Giroux who will flank Couturier on the team’s top line and top power play unit tonight.
Expect much of the damage to come at 5v5 in this one as the Sharks have actually been the NHL second-best road penalty kill this season at over 85%, but they sit 24th with 2.91 goals against/60 at 5v5 on the road, so while my stack is going to cover both 5v5 and the Flyers’ PP1, don’t be surprised if the power play doesn’t muster anything in this one as the Sharks have been ripe for the taking at even strength.
Giroux hasn’t had the season he’d like here in 2019-20 as he’s notched 17 goals and 47 points in 62 games on the season to go along with 171 shots on goal. This is a player that notched 85 points in 82 games last season and a whopping 102 points in 82 games back in the 2017-18 season, so the pace is certainly off his lofty standards, but the matchup tonight is most definitely a favorable one.
I like the fact that he’s looked much more like himself of late with four goals and 12 points over his last eight games, so perhaps he’s bringing his best when the team needs him the most in a late-season playoff race. Add it all up and I think Giroux is a must if you’re using Couturier to anchor a Flyers stack tonight.
W – Jakub Voracek (PHI) – $6,000 vs. SJ
Same thing goes here for Voracek who has had a solid season and his humming right around his previously-set standards in most categories, but the one disappointing facet of his game as come in the shots on goal department.
Voracek enters this one with just 115 shots in 62 games on the season, good for 1.85 shots per game on the season. Last year, his 210 shots in 78 games represented 2.69 shots per game and he’s been right around that mark for several season prior to that. While I’m not going to sit here and explain the lack of shots, I do know that it dips his floor a bit, but it hasn’t hurt his production.
He’s tallied 12 goals in 62 games, but Voracek isn’t a goal-scorer by trade as he’s tallied 34 helpers as well for a solid 46 points in 62 games on the season. That represents a 0.74 point-per-game clip that sits right around the 0.75 mark he’s posted for his career if slightly under the marks he’s posted in recent seasons. The bottom line here is that he too has a big opportunity tonight in a favorable home matchup alongside Giroux and Couturier in all offensive situations.
He’s also been much better at home with 26 points in 30 games at Wells Fargo compared to just 20 points in 32 games on the road. With three points and seven shots over his last three games, I’ll look for the production to keep coming in this one tonight.
W – Joel Armia (MON) – $4,600 vs. VAN
I don’t really see Armia getting too much ownership at all on this big slate tonight as the majority of Canadiens ownership will likely go to their top line consisting of Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault, but I think there’s a ton of value potential at low ownership here.
Like Suzuki, Armia has been a bright spot in what has amounted to a career-year for the 26-year-old. He’ll enter this one with 15 goals and 28 points in 51 games, the former of which is already a career-high and he’s just one point away from tying his career high of 29 points established two seasons ago. Armia also brings a solid floor considering the price as he’s also put 142 shots on goal this season while tallying a trio of power play goals this season.
I will concede that it hasn’t been a productive stretch which has hurt the optics of his surface stats. He has just one goal for his only point over his last eight games and just 12 shots on goal in that time as well. He is still getting solid minutes as a second-line player and also a player that will get first-unit power play reps for this one.
The Canadiens’ offense has clicked of late, averaging 3.25 goals per game over their last four after an ice-cold stretch, so I want to see if they can keep up the good work at low ownership against a weak netminder in this one tonight.
W – Zach Parise (MIN) – $6,100 vs. CBJ
Just 24 hours ago it looked like Parise’s tenure on the Wild was coming to an end as a trade with the Islanders was supposedly in the works, but the complicated financial nature of the deal proved to be too much and thus he suits up for Minnesota for their home matchup with the Blue Jackets tonight.
It’s a Blue Jackets team that will be playing their second game in as many nights tonight after grabbing a 4-3 OT win at home against the Senators last night, and also one that will be starting goaltender Joonas Korpisalo who hasn’t made a start since late December in Chicago. Korpisalo was forced into duty last night actually as Elvis Merzlikins was injured in that one while Korpisalo turned aside 14 of 15 Senators shots to notch the win in that one.
While the 25-year-old has had a nice season, the Jackets give up much more on the road than they do at home while this is almost a back-to-back for him as well as he played more than 30 minutes last night, and considering it’s his first NHL action in two months I also want to test this goaltender tonight with a Wild team that’s been much, much better at home than on the road.
The Wild rank 19th with 3.06 goals per game at home this season where they sport some quality possession metrics while their home power play shoots up to sixth with a 26.5% mark on home ice this season. For his part, Parise enters this one with 21 goals and 37 points in 61 games to go along with 132 shots on goal. He’s been a little more productive at home this season, but he’s also been a beast on the power play where he’s scored 11 of his 21 goals this season. The Jackets have scuffled to a 22nd-ranked 76.8% penalty kill on the road this season, so let’s see if this Wild power play can get to the Jackets’ PK tonight as I roll out my Minny mini-stack tonight.
D – Jeff Petry (MON) – $4,400 vs. VAN
I think we’re getting an excellent price here with Petry as he forms a 5v5 and PP1 stack tonight alongside Suzuki and Armia on that top power play unit.
Petry was likely asked about by plenty of clubs leading up to yesterday’s trade deadline, but the Canadiens weren’t about to give his valuable skills away as he’s been a nice contributor this season as well.
He’ll enter this one with nine goals and 37 points in 64 games on the season while also bringing real nice peripheral stats to the table in the form of 147 shots on goal and another 74 blocked shots as well. For a guy that’s producing this much across the board, this $4,400 price tag seems awfully low regardless of the matchup, but it’s a matchup I like nonetheless.
I’m not predicting doom for the Canucks with Markstrom out, but I simply want to test Demko in this spot knowing he’s the No.1 guy moving forward. This is also a Canucks team that’s averaged four goals against per game over their last three and have allowed at least three in all three of those contests. He’s logging big minutes on that Habs blueline right now and he has two points over his last three games with five shots in that time. At this price, he cannot be left out of any Canadiens stack in this big slate tonight.
D – Ryan Suter (MIN) – $4,800 vs. CBJ
Completing the skater portion of our lineup as well as my Minnesota mini-stack is Suter who will line up on the Wild’s dangerous top power play unit alongside Parise for this sneaky-good home matchup tonight.
Suter isn’t logging the mammoth minutes he once did earlier in his career, averaging more than 29 minutes per game several years back, which is just an insane number and three more minutes – per game – than this year’s leader Roman Jose (25:55). Nonetheless, he’s averaging a healthy 24:44 still and a team-high 2:52 on the power play, and combined with Parise’s 2:44 of average power play time per game and we have the top two power play ice time leaders for the Wild in this lineup tonight. As a result, if the Wild indeed produce on the power play tonight, there’s a strong chance we’ll be involved in that action.
Suter has had a nice season with seven goals and 41 points in 61 games to go along with an even 100 shots on goal and another 79 blocked shots as well. To me, his price tag is also a valuable one considering the cross-category potential we get for less than $5K. Of course, he’s been a power play contributor as well where he’s notched 17 of his 41 points this season.
I don’t think this duo is bound for a much ownership tonight, either, but it would appear the matchup is presenting an opportunity for low-owned production.
G – Carter Hart (PHI) – $8,400 vs. SJ
To me, this is a pretty easy to decision to roll with Hart regardless of format tonight.
I mean, there’s just multiple angles that clearly pinpoint a super-favorable home matchup for the young netminder.
The first would be his numbers at home. Hart has posted an eye-popping 1.64 GAA and .942 Sv% across 20 starts at home this season. He’s also gone a cool 16-2-2 in that time for a Flyers team that has dominated their home ice to the tune of a 21-5-4 record on the season.
The second would be the fact that the Flyers rank first in the NHL with just 2.08 goals against per game at home as a result and seventh with an 84.8% mark on the PK on home ice.
Third is the fact that the Sharks rank 27th with just 2.31 goals per game on the road this season and are not only missing their top two centers in Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, but also now Barclay Goodrow who was traded to the Lightning yesterday after serving as the top center in the absence of the aforementioned duo. For good measure, Erik Karlsson is also out for the season, so the Sharks’ offense is razor-thin at the moment.
Finally, the Flyers are huge -240 favorites to win this one on the moneyline tonight, the win upside is substantial and a goose egg is certainly not out of the question for the young netminder in this mouth-watering home matchup tonight.