Happy New Year! It sure would be nice to ring in the New Year with some profits on the first NHL DFS slate of 2018, so let’s dive right into tonight’s large 12-game slate!
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $8,400 vs. PHI
Special teams have been an issue for the Flyers on home ice this season, so we will go ahead and target their atrocious penalty kill with some of the best power play players in the game tonight. It begins here with Crosby who has tallied six of his 14 goals this season with the man advantage while also recording 18 of his 35 points on the power play as well. The Flyers kill penalties at a brutal 72.7% clip at home, good for 30th overall, while the Pens’ road power play is tied for best in the NHL at 25.8%.
C – Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – $7,300 vs. NYI
The Islanders are another team that have struggled on the penalty kill at home while they have been one of the worst defensive groups in the league overall as well. The Isles check in with a 77.8% mark on the penalty kill (24th) and yield 3.54 goals per game, tied for last alongside the dreadful Arizona Coyotes. Enter Bergeron who will certainly put Jaroslav Halak and company to the test tonight as he has already taken 119 shots in just 32 games this season. He’s also scored five of his 11 goals with the man advantage this season.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $5,900 vs. PHI
Skating with Sidney Crosby at 5v5 and on the power play certainly has its merits, so let’s lock in Hornqvist tonight in that opportunistic spot. He’s got 12 goals and 12 assists on the season, but it’s worth noting that seven of his 12 tallies have come on the power play. Hornqvist puts plenty of rubber on net as well with 122 shots across 36 games and should get some chances tonight as the net front presence on that aforementioned lethal Penguins’ power play.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $7,200 vs. BYI
It’s sometimes tough to decide between Marchand and Pastrnak to pair with Bergeron, but today that argument was settled via their respective prices, with Pastrnak coming in cheaper. He hasn’t scored in his last nine games, but has 15 goals and 19 helpers on the season to go along with an even 100 shots. With the Islanders defensive woes apparent, tonight would be a good night to turn things around as Pastrnak is more than due at this point.
W – Travis Konecny (PHI) – $3,600 vs. PIT
We need to utilize some value in this lineup with some high priced pieces going tonight. Konecny has tallied points in back-to-back games since being moved to the Flyers’ top line. He has three points in that span, and although his ice time isn’t up where we’d like to see it, skating with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier at 5v5 is a nice spot to be considering the seasons those two are having.
W – Tage Thompson (STL) – $3,200 vs. NJ
Similar idea here with Thompson. Thompson is skating on a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Paul Stastny for the Blues while also receiving second unit power play time as well. He’s scored the first two goals of his NHL career within his last five games and could see his production continue to increase with the top-six opportunity he’s been given by head coach Mike Yeo.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,600 vs. PHI
If we are utilizing the Penguins for power play purposes tonight then Letang is simply a must-have. He will once again anchor the top power play unit tonight after missing the last three games with a lower-body ailment. He’s tallied 14 of his 25 points for the season while on the power play and is averaging almost 26 minutes per game on the Pens’ blueline. He’s an easy choice here alongside power play gurus Crosby and Hornqvist.
D – Ivan Provorov (PHI) – $4,300 vs. PIT
The Penguins are tied with the Sabres for 30th place in road defense this season, so adding another Flyer here can’t hurt. Provorov and Konecny form somewhat of a stack, although they don’t play together on the second power play unit that Provorov skates on. However, we have plenty of value here with the young rear guard. He’s a cross-category producer with five goals, 15 points, 88 shots and 88 blocks on the season. He’s recorded 12 shots over his last three games.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $8,300 vs. CBJ
Goaltending isn’t too cut-and-dry tonight, so we will roll with the streaking Bishop who has been excellent at home this season. Bishop has won four of his last five contests and most recently shut out the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. At home this season, he’s posted a sparkling 1.95 GAA and .933 Sv% across 17 starts and 18 appearances. The Blue Jackets will be no walk in the park for the veteran, but with Columbus’ road power play at only 10.9% (30th) I like his chances at a win again tonight at home.