We didn’t make nearly enough noise with last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks, but man did we have the right idea.
For one, I had the low-scoring Ducks to put some offense up on the usually stout defensive Coyotes, but also a team that has struggled defensively of late.
That was indeed the case as the Ducks scored four goals in that one, but the fourth line scored two of the goals and the other two came from second-line center Adam Henrique. I had stacked the Ducks’ top line, and a Troy Terry assists was all the action we got in there.
I also stacked the Oilers at home against the Flames on back-to-back nights, to no avail. Connor McDavid and James Neal recorded assists, but that was about it in a 4-3 shootout loss.
I also had the right idea with the Predators exposure in Washington, and one half of my mini-stack worked out. Filip Forsberg tallied two assists and two shots on goal, although Mattias Ekholm had just one shot and two blocks.
Finally, Frederik Andersen had a solid outing in Dallas, turning aside 31 of 34 shots (.912 Sv%) and earned a win in the Leafs’ 5-3 road upset over the Stars.
Sometimes you can pick the right teams and the wrong players, and that was the case on this night as I turn my attention to tonight’s three-game slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns
C – Kyle Turris (NSH) – $4,200 vs. NJ
The Predators will play their second game in as many nights tonight in New Jersey after a wild 5-4 upset win over the Capitals in Washington just last night.
The five-goal output was an excellent rebound from the two goals they scored at home against Toronto coming out of the break on Monday, but it’s not overly surprising. That’s because the Predators rank third with 3.58 goals per game on the season, a number that’s substantially behind their 3.04 mark at home. Furthermore their 20.3% mark on the power play on the road – good for 11th league wide – also sits well above their 28th-ranked 14% mark on home ice. Some teams just score more on the road and this Predators team has been doing that for the majority of this season.
For his part, it’s been another tough year for Turris. He’ll enter tonight’s contest with just six goals and 20 points in 42 games on the season – numbers well below his standards. That said, Turris notched an assist in last night’s win and skated a whopping 20:46 in that one. The big increase in ice time is due to the fact that he’s been put between Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson – the team’s two best offensive players – in an effort to get him going. The assists is a good start, but I can see a much bigger night coming tonight against a Devils teams that ranks 29th with 3.35 goals against per game at home this season.
C – Phillip Danault (MON) – $5,900 vs. BUF
The Canadiens and Sabres get together tonight in Buffalo in a battle of two teams that desperately need to start racking up points in a hurry if they want any sniff at a postseason chance this season. That said, the Canadiens have largely done their best offensive work on the road this season and will get a key piece back into their lineup tonight against a Buffalo team that lost its starting goaltender to injury in their loss on Tuesday night.
The Canadiens enter this one tied for fourth with 3.38 goals per game on the road this season, a number that towers over their 27th-ranked 2.70 mark on home ice. Furthermore, their 28.3% mark on the power play on the road is the second-best mark in the NHL and more than double their 29th-ranked 13.9% mark on home ice. As a result, they’re very similar to Turris’ Predators in the sense that their offense game takes off on the road.
Danault will get Brendan Gallagher back to his right in this one tonight on the Habs’ top line, and the two will skate on the power play as well, and while it might not be together, the Canadiens spread their power play time out pretty evenly between the two units, so I don’t mind having exposure to both groups if that’s the case. Danault enters this one with 12 goals and 36 points in 51 games on the season and has an even 100 shots as well. He’s skating 19:04 per game as the first-line center and should be able to get some offense going against a Sabres team that looked uninterested in a 5-2 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday.
W – Filip Forsberg (NSH) – $7,600 vs. NJ
Forsberg might not have the most points in the league but I consider this guy one of the more underrated goal-scorers in the game. He’s went on some epic goal-scoring binges in the past and he’s a multi-goal threat every time he takes the ice and that is certainly the case in this matchup tonight.
For the season, the 25-year-old has tallied 16 goals and 35 points in 43 games to go along with a healthy 138 shots on goal. The good news is that like his team’s offense as a whole, Forsberg has been more productive on the road as he’s tallied nine goals and 20 points in 22 road contests compared to seven goals and 15 points across 21 home games.
The Devils are a weak defensive team at home, but they do allow more goals per game on the road than they do at home. That said, Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood’s splits are reversed as he owns a 2.97 GAA and .896 Sv% at home this season and a 2.92 GAA And .914 Sv% on the road. He’s also just 5-7-6 at home and 10-5-0 on the road. AS a result, it appears we have a goaltender that’s struggled at home against a Predators offense that’s flourished on the road. Forsberg’s floor is solid, but his ceiling is sky-high as my favorite player on this slate tonight.
W – Viktor Arvidsson (NSH) – $6,700 vs. NJ
Next man up in our Predators stack is Arvidsson who, as noted, will skate on the same line as Turris and Forsberg at even strength tonight. That said, it appears that Arvidsson will skate with Matt Duchene on what’s been labelled as the team’s top power play unit, but like the Canadiens, the Predators are a team that’s spread the wealth on their power play, so I don’t mind having exposure to both units especially when they’ve been good on the road.
While I believe Forsberg is the team’s best goaltender, Arvidsson isn’t far behind as he’s notched 12 goals in 37 games on the season and scored 34 goals in only 58 games a season ago. Arvidsson has chipped in nine assists on the year for 21 points in 37 games and has 86 shots on goal. While the goal-scoring has been there, the rest of the numbers are a little bit lower than career norms, but I’m not too worried about that in this matchup tonight.
Arvidsson scored on Monday against the Maple Leafs and has three goals over his last seven games, but for tonight that is all about him being in a position to succeed on a line with Forsberg and a spot on the team’s top power play unit against one of the worst defensive teams the NHL has to offer.
W – Brendan Gallagher (MON) – $7,300 vs. BUF
As mentioned, Gallagher gets back into the lineup tonight after dealing with some concussion issues that have held him to just one game since December 31st. He returned on January 9th for one game, but experience headaches after and was put back on the shelf, but returns in time for a dandy matchup tonight in Buffalo.
The heartbeat of the Montreal Canadiens enters tonight’s contest with 15 goals and 32 points in 42 games on the season, but Gallagher is also a shot-on-goal machine with 162 on the season and even eclipsed the 300-shot barrier with 302 pucks on goal just last season. One area that I’ve shocked at is in the power play goals department where he has precisely zero goals on the season and four power play assists. He’s more effective at 5v5 clearly with just 12 power play goals over the last two seasons combined, but I’d be surprised if the goose egg in that column remained for much longer. He gets a good chance to break out of that slump against a Sabres penalty kill that ranks 24th with a 78.3% mark on home ice this season.
I also like the Canadiens here considering the Sabres lost starting netminder Linus Ullmark for a few weeks in their loss on Tuesday. Ullmark had been playing real well and has been getting the starts almost every night for Buffalo, but the Sabres will now turn to backup Carter Hutton who has struggled to a 3.31 GAA and .892 Sv% on the season. The floor and ceiling are both big for the pesky winger in this matchup tonight.
W – Michael Grabner (ARI) – $3,000 vs. LA
I had just $3,200 to play with after rostering my goaltender and main stacks in this lineup, and I actually have a few choices there but my pick of the litter is Grabner who lines up to take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight on home ice.
I considered a Coyotes stack as they’ve been better offensively since acquiring Taylor Hall, but they are still a weak offense and the Kings have actually played better defensively for the most part, although both teams are playing their second game in as many nights tonight. Nonetheless, the Kings are still a weak road defense and I think there’s some value potential in the veteran Grabner at the minimum price.
After all, Grabner has tallied eight goals on the season in 44 games on the season – a decent number considering he’s seeing just 12:10 of average ice time per game, a good chunk of which is short-handed ice time. He does have a short-handed goal on the season and scored six shorty’s last season, so the potential is always there. Otherwise, he’ll take on a Kings team that is tied for 24th with 3.43 goals against per game on the road and it won’t take much for Grabner to reach value in this one tonight.
D – Roman Josi (NSH) – $6,600 vs. NJ
That’s right, it’s a four-man Predators stack tonight as I think they can build off last night’s five-goal performance – and a victory – against the NHL’s best team and go into New Jersey and beat up on a bad Devils back end tonight.
The fact that Josi is by far the team’s leading scorer also plays a big part in this, as well. The Norris Trophy candidate has tallied 14 goals with a team-leading – by a mile – 49 points in 49 games. Of course, Josi brings plenty to the table in the peripheral stats as well with 175 shots and 83 blocked shots as well. Those 175 shots on goal lead all NHL defensemen and his 25:53 of average ice time per game ranks third in the NHL overall.
It appears that Josi will skate on the same power play unit as Arvidsson while Forsberg and Turris will skate on the other unit together. As a result, we get a ton of power play exposure tonight in the form of the rare power play mini-stacks on both units. While these Preds will see some ownership tonight to be sure, getting a four-man stack is a nice differentiation tool and won’t be as highly owned as a three-man stack would have been, so I don’t even mind rolling with this four-man group in GPPs as well.
D – Jeff Petry (MON) – $4,800 vs. BUF
Here’s a guy coming at a nice discount in a favorable matchup as Petry completes our three-man Canadiens stack tonight.
With Gallagher back it’s unclear how the power play units are going to work, but we should at least get a mini-stack with Danault or Gallagher skating with Petry or perhaps Danault and Gallagher skating on the same unit together. Regardless of how you slice it, we have nice exposure to the Canadiens second-ranked road power play against the Sabres’ 24th-ranked home penalty kill, which is a very good thing.
Petry is having a nice year for the Habs, tallying seven goals and 29 points in 52 games to go along with a healthy 121 shots on goal and another 60 blocked shots to boot. The 32-year-old has also been quite productive on the road this season where he’s notched 15 points in 24 games and is averaging more shots per game than he does at home.
Petry scored his first goal in nine games on Monday against the Capitals and put four shots on goal in that one as well. In a better matchup as part of a better road offense, I look forward to seeing if he can match or exceed that production in this one tonight.
G – Carey Price (MON) – $8,700 vs. BUF
The Sabres are a solid home offense – mostly coming from one guy – but I like the Canadiens on the road in this one as -115 favorites as I believe they’ll give their goaltender enough goal support to get him a win. Furthermore, Price is also better on the road than he’s been at home this season and the Canadiens have certainly played better on the road as a team.
Montreal will enter this one ranked 14th with 3.04 goals against per game on the road this season which is superior to their work at home while Price has been much better on the road personally than he’s been at home. At home, the former Hart Trophy winner has posted a 2.97 GAA and .897 Sv% in going 9-11-2 in 22 starts. However, on the road, Price has put together a 2.71 GAA and .920 Sv% to go along with a much better 11-6-2 mark in 19 outings. Most of his work has come at home of late, but Price has been absolutely brilliant over his last two road starts, posting a .976 Sv% while allowing just one goal in each outing, the latter against a very good Flyers home team.
For the month of January, the veteran has turned in a sparkling 2.21 GAA and .933 Sv% and has given his team a chance to win every night. Against a one-line Sabres offense, I’ll look for Price to show up big in this one tonight.