Last night was one of the more frustrating nights of the NHL season as our FanDuel NHL DFS Picks missed out on the cash line.
Sometimes you can have the right idea but select the wrong players and that was indeed the case on Monday. I stacked the Philadelphia Flyers against a Vegas Golden Knights team that was tied for fifth with just 2.33 goals against per game. The Flyers went on to score six goals on the night, and in truly frustrating fashion, the we managed just one assist between Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere – the latter of which notched the helper. Giroux and van Riemsdyk were two of only five Flyers not to register a point on the night. Pretty unbelievable there.
Our Dallas Stars stack didn’t work out well as their low-scoring ways continued in a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. All three of Roope Hintz, Corey Perry and Miro Heiskanen missed the scoresheet in this one, tallying only five shots combined.
Our Maple Leafs stack was the home run in the lineup as Auston Matthews notched a goal and an assist on six shots on goal while Andreas Johnsson tallied two assists on two shots on goal.
Finally, Ben Bishop didn’t get the start due to a personal issue, and I pivoted to Frederik Andersen who took the upset loss while making 34 saves on 38 Blue Jackets shots.
Let’s move onto tonight’s 10-game main slate and see if we can rebound from a tough night.
C – Aleksander Barkov (FLA) – $7,300 vs. PIT
The Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins get together tonight from Sunrise in a battle of a couple of talented, yet injured offenses. I think it’s the Panthers that get the lion’s share of the offense going in this one despite the Penguins sporting some solid defensive numbers this season. The Penguins enter tonight’s contest sporting the league’s eighth-ranked defense while allowing just 2.56 goals per game, however I think there’s regression to be had in that number for a team that allowed 2.90 goals per game a season ago. In addition, this is a good Florida Panthers offense, led by the 24-year-old Barkov who has yet to find twine this season but has six helpers to his credit. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the big Finnish pivot gets his first tally of the season after he scored a career-high 35 goals a season ago on 206 shots on goal. He’s also a monster on the power play where he notched 13 goals and 18 assists on what was the NHL’s second-ranked power play a season ago. The power play has regressed a little bit this time around, however Barkov is overdue for a tally regardless so I’ll spend up for what I believe is a nice home matchup tonight.
C – Charlie Coyle (BOS) – $4,300 vs. TOR
The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs meet for the second time in four nights tonight, this time from Boston after the Maple Leafs won a 4-3 decision in overtime on Saturday night in Toronto. While the Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak does much of the heavy lifting for this Bruins offense, I am going to duck under them tonight in GPPs and role with the second line against a Maple Leafs team that will play their second game in as many nights tonight. That means that Michael Hutchinson gets the nod tonight after Frederik Andersen took on the Blue Jackets last night. Hutchinson has made two starts and three appearances this season and will bring an ugly 3.98 GAA and .886 Sv% into this one while allowing 10 goals combined between his two starts against the Canadiens and Capitals. As a result, I think there’s plenty of value in the Bruins’ second line tonight, led by Coyle who is also looking for his first goal of the season while notching a pair of assists in eight games on 13 shots on goal. He’s moved from the third line to the second line with David Krejci out with an upper-body injury, so the opportunity to increase his production is right there in front of him tonight on top of the time he spend on the team’s second power play unit.
W – Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) – $7,100 vs. PIT
Next man up in our three-man Panthers stack is Huberdeau who will flank Barkov on the team’s top line while also skating alongside him on the club’s top power play unit. It’s been a real nice start to the season for the 26-year-old forward as Huberdeau has notched three goals and eight points in as many games this season to go along with 20 shots on goal. Huberdeau is coming off a career-year in which he notched 92 points in 82 games while his 30 goals and 226 shots on goal also represented a career-high. Like Barkov, Huberdeau was also electric on the power play in scoring 11 goals with 23 helpers on the man advantage. Three of his eight points this season – all assists – have come on the power play. His best work this season has indeed come on home ice where Huberdeau has tallied two goals and five points on the season to go along with 11 shots in three games. Compare that to his three points and nine shots in five games on the road and it’s clear he’s been at his best on home ice here in the early going. The 2011 first-round pick looks the part of a point-per-game player again this season so I’ll certainly pay up for his services alongside Barkov this evening.
W – Evgenii Dadonov (FLA) – $6,500 vs. PIT
Completing our three-man Panthers stack is Dadonov who also skates with Barkov on the team’s top line and top power play unit, making this a three-man stack in essentially all offensive situations tonight. His second stint with the Panthers is going swimmingly after returning home to Russia following the 2011-12 season as the 30-year-old posted 65 points in j the 2017-18 season before notching 70 points last season. This season, he’s off to a fine start with four goals and seven points in eight games played to go along with 25 shots on goal. Dadonov has been the goal-scorer of the group on the power play to this point with two goals on the man advantage early on. Dadonov tallied eight goals and nine assists on the power play a season ago. The slick Russian had a three-game streak of notching a goal and an assist snapped over the weekend while he also tallied goals in four straight games prior to Friday’s overtime loss to the Avalanche. He’s coming off perhaps his worst outing of the season in which he was held pointless with zero shots on goal in just 13:14 of ice time on Saturday in Nashville, so tonight represents a big bounce back opportunity for the winger.
W – Jake DeBrusk (TOR) – $4,800 vs. TOR
Next man up in our three-man Bruins stack is DeBrusk who has had some nice success against the Maple Leafs in his career including notching his first goal of the season in Saturday’s loss in Toronto. He’s notched just two goals for his only two points in seven regular season games against the Maple Leafs, but scored five goals and seven points in seven postseason games against them in the 2018 playoffs before adding a pair of points against them in seven more postseason games a season ago. That’s eight goals against the Maple Leafs in 21 career games against them, a 31-goal season if you stretch that over 82 games. Nonetheless, expect DeBrusk to stay hot in this one. He’s fired 23 shots on goal in eight games this season and was finally rewarded with his first goal on Saturday, but still sits with a minuscule 4.3% shooting percentage on the season compared to his 13.7% mark for his career. DeBrusk will skate on the team’s second line with Coyle this evening, but I also love the fact that he’s a member of the Bruins’ top power play unit, a group that’s helped Boston rank second with a 37.5% clip on the power play this season. That spot helped him notched eight power play tallies last season and I’ll look for his first power play goal in this one tonight.
W – Blake Wheeler (WPG) – $7,100 vs. LA
The Winnipeg Jets finally snapped their three-game home losing streak with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, but the opportunity for more offense presents itself tonight as they take on the Los Angeles Kings on home ice. The Kings enter this one tied with the Wild for the worst defense in the league to this point while averaging four goals against per game. The Kings have received some poor goaltending from Jonathan Quick which has hurt that number, and Quick gets the starting nod in this one. He’s coming off a strong outing against the Flames in which he allowed just one goal on Saturday, however he’s allowed at least five goals in his other three starts this season and at least six twice in four starts. Add it up and Quick sports a terrible 5.06 GAA and .828 Sv% on the season with a 7.17 GAA and .750 Sv% across two road starts on the campaign. While he’s due for positive regression because no NHL goaltender is that bad, I think the Jets can get what has been a stagnant offense going tonight with Wheeler as a primary contributor. The 33-year-old has notched three goals and six points in 10 games this season with 30 shots on goal in that time. After back-to-back 91-point seasons, we know Wheeler will be at or above a point-per-game this season, which means more production should be imminent for the veteran.
D – Torey Krug (BOS) – $5,900 vs. TOR
Completing our three-man Bruins stack is Krug who I certainly don’t mind paying up for given his production on the season and the fact I think he will be among the top point-producing defensemen in the NHL this season. Krug was actually cooled off from his hot start against the Maple Leafs on Saturday when he failed to register a point, however he still put five shots on goal and has six points in eight games this season on 17 shots on goal. Of course, Krug is an integral part of the Bruins’ power play as he’s notched five assists on the man advantage this season and posted two goals and 30 points on the power play a season ago. Perhaps one of the more underrated offensive blueliners in the NHL, Krug was on pace to produce 68 points last season but played just 64 games, tallying 53 points in the process. He notched 59 points in 76 games in the 2017-18 season, so we know there is plenty of upside for Krug to eclipse the 60-point barrier this season and he’s already on his way of doing so. He forms a three-man stack with Coyle and DeBrusk but also a power play mini-stack with DeBrusk against a vulnerable Maple Leafs club this evening.
D – Neal Pionk (WPG) – $4,200 vs. LA
Completing our Jets mini-stack is Neal Pionk who I believe carries plenty of value upside this evening in a favorable home date against the Kings. Pionk came over from the Rangers in the Jacob Trouba trade this summer and has already provided real nice value with two goals and six points in 10 games this season to go along with 17 shots on goal. He is a logging a healthy 22:58 of average ice time this season, and that ice time will include top power play unit minutes alongside Wheeler in this one tonight. Two of his four assists this season have come on the man advantage after he notched 13 of his 26 points from last season on the power play while with the Rangers. The 24-year-old has notched just one assist over his last four games while the Jets have scored just five regulation goals in that span, however he logged 24:25 in the shootout win over the Oilers on Sunday and I expect more big minutes on a thin Jets blueline in this one tonight. Keep in mind the Jets were the league’s second-best home power play a season ago and the third-best home offense as well, so let’s look for their recent offensive woes to be blown out of the water in a very favorable home matchup tonight.
G – Alexandar Georgiev (NYR) – $7,500 vs. ARI
I really like what we can get from Georgiev tonight as the Rangers take on the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden tonight. The Coyotes are hot right now as they’ve averaged 4.67 goals per game over their last three after a terrible start to the season on offense, but that number is certainly due to cool off imminently and I think tonight is a nice opportunity for that regression to kick in. Sure, the Rangers have been bad defensively this season with their 3.67 goals against per game ranking 28th in the league right now. Georgiev wasn’t very good in his most recent start when he allowed four goals to the New Jersey Devils on the road, but he was also brilliant in allowing one goal on 32 shots in his season debut at the Senators. However, it’s his work at home last season that has me encouraged the most at the moment. Yes, home/road splits can certainly vary from year-to-year, however Georgiev posted a stout 2.23 GAA and .931 Sv% across 14 home appearances last season compared to a brutal 3.44 GAA and .902 Sv% on the road. The Rangers tend to also play much better at home, so let’s look for Georgiev to backstop the home side to victory tonight.