With the Blackhawks scoring just one goal and Nazem Kadri’s line not involved in the Maple Leafs offense it was a real poor night for our GPP-aimed lineup. This week’s light schedule continues with just three games on tonight’s slate. Let’s go!
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $6,600 vs. CAR
Backstrom and a guy named Ovi will be chalk tonight but that’s okay because they should certainly do some damage against the Hurricanes and Scott Darling on home ice. Backstrom may have a point total a hair under what we expect with 36 of them in 42 games, but he has rattled off eight points over his last four games so he is entering play red-hot tonight. The Capitals have won ten in a row at home so plenty of momentum for the home side tonight.
C – Brayden Point (TB) – $5,900 vs. CGY
I like Point’s spot tonight for a couple of reasons. First, he snapped a four-game pointless drought with three helpers in his last game against the Hurricanes. Second, his home/road splits are significant. On the road, he has only 13 points in 22 games, but at home he has registered 26 points in 21 games. It appears Point has moved onto the top power play unit as well, so some time spent with Stamkos and Kucherov shouldn’t hurt the production, either.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $8,800 vs. CAR
Pretty obvious why we are using Ovechkin in this spot. His 27 goals put him in a first place tie for most in the NHL with Nikita Kucherov while his 185 shots on goal ranks second next to the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko. Like Backstrom, Ovi enters play tonight on a roll as he has tallied nine points over his last four games. The Capitals could give Darling and his road .886 Sv% another rough go tonight.
W – Ondrej Palat (TB) – $5,200 vs. CGY
The Point/Palat duo could be in for a nice night. They skate together at 5v5, and like Point, it appears Palat has also been moved to the top power play unit as well. Palat hasn’t racked up points at the same clip as his linemates Point and Johnson this season, but he does still have 28 points in 43 games including three over his last two games. A move to the top power play unit could help considering the Lightning operate at a 24.7% clip, good for third best in the league.
W – Nick Foligno (CLS) – $4,900 vs. BUF
We have some higher owned guys above and with the small slate it’s important to diversify, so that begins here with Foligno. He has just nine goals and seven helpers on the season, but he has a modest two-game goal scoring streak going entering play tonight. Foligno operates on the top power play unit for the Blue Jackets, and although it’s the worst road power play in the league, Buffalo’s penalty kill checks in at 25th, albeit they are much better at home. Regardless, it’s a nice spot for the price.
W – Sam Reinhart (BUF) – $3,700 vs. CLS
It’s hard to classify Reinhart’s season, and most of his Buffalo tenure, as anything but a disappointment. He has only 13 points this season, but the good news for tonight is he still has a spot on the first power play unit. Three of his seven goals this season have come on that power play, and they will face the NHL’s 21st ranked penalty kill against Columbus. Reinhart could go overlooked even on a small slate, so I will roll the dice tonight.
D – Seth Jones (CLS) – $5,500 vs. BUF
I recognize that both of tonight’s defenseman are operating on bottom of the league power plays, but John Carlson and Victor Hedman will see ridiculous ownership tonight so let’s dodge that starting here with Jones. He’s having an excellent season with 28 points and 131 shots on goal. Those 28 points have him just outside the top ten for defenseman and he should be able to add to that total against a poor Sabres defense tonight.
D – Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) – $4,900 vs. CLS
Ristolainen isn’t having a great offensive season, like most of the Sabres, but it’s nice to see that he has racked up seven points over his last six games. Considering that is almost half his point total for the season, we can safely say he is streaking entering play tonight. He is still among the most used players in the NHL as his 26:07 of ice time per game ranks him fifth in the league. Like Foligno and Jones, Reinhart and Ristolainen form a power play mini-stack in this matchup tonight.
G – Braden Holtby (WAS) – $9,100 vs. CAR
For a small slate there are actually some real nice options in goal, but until Washington cools off at home we like Holtby. Holtby is a major reason why the Caps are dominating on home ice as he sports a 2.14 GAA and a .932 Sv% at home to go along with a 15-4-0 record. Carolina’s offense checks in at 21st in the league and their power play is 23rd, so I’m not too worried about the offense Holtby will face tonight.