We had another fairly solid lineup going last night, but John Gibson and the Ducks dropped a 4-1 decision to the lowly Canucks which pretty much sealed our fate. Sidney Crosby scored a goal, Kyle Palmieri had two to go with an assist and Kris Letang also scored, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t enough. Let’s get things going on tonight’s four-game slate!
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $8,900 vs. PHI
MacKinnon and the Avalanche are in full-on desperation mode tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. The red-hot Blues have leapfrogged the Avs for a Wild Card spot in the west, so the Avs should be at their best in a nice home matchup tonight. With the Flyers’ goaltending situation in shambles, MacKinnon has big upside tonight. At home this year, he’s notched an insane 64 points in just 36 games. He’s on track to be a Hart Trophy finalist as he sits fourth in league scoring with 92 points despite missing eight games with a shoulder injury.
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $6,700 vs. NYR
The Washington Capitals are hot again and they get a solid matchup against a rebuilding Rangers squad tonight at home. The Rangers rank 28th in road defense on the year while the Capitals have shot up to eighth in terms of home offense. The Capitals are also red-hot offensively, scoring north of four goals per game over their last seven. Enter Backstrom who is white-hot entering tonight’s contest with six assists over his last two games and 14 points over his last nine. He will center the second line, but also the top power play unit alongside Alex Ovechkin.
W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $7,300 vs. PHI
Rantanen’s stats have been aided by the season MacKinnon is having, but that is of little concern as we will stack up the Avalanche tonight. In just his second NHL season, Rantanen has notched 80 points in 75 games, 27 of which are goals. Like MacKinnon, Rantanen is a beast on home ice as he has notched 52 points across just 37 home games. He’s scored 10 of his 27 games on the power play this season and should have every opportunity for more production on that front against the Flyers and their 28th-ranked penalty kill tonight.
W – Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – $6,100 vs. PHI
We have a three-man Avs stack complete here with the addition of Landeskog whose production has also been boosted by MacKinnon. Landeskog has buried 24 goals on the campaign to go along with 33 assists on 163 shots on goal. Eight of his 24 goals have come on the power play while he’s notched 15 of his 24 goals at home and has 35 points in 34 home games compared to just 22 points in 38 road contests. I have high hopes for this trio tonight.
W – Andre Burakovsky (WAS) – $3,400 vs. NYR
I believe we have real nice upside with this value play. Burakovsky is currently skating on the second line alongside Backstrom while he will also get second unit power play time tonight as well. He’s notched just nine goals and 12 helpers on the season, but a good chunk of that time was spent in a bottom-six role. Against a poor road defense and as part of white-hot Capitals’ offense, I like his chances of eclipsing value tonight at a very attractive price.
W – Alex Tuch (VGK) – $4,100 vs. ARI
Tuch is one of many Golden Knights to have a breakout season this year. He has notched 14 goals and 18 assists on the campaign to go along with 159 shots in 72 games. Tuch also brings nice value upside to the table as he skates on the top power play unit alongside the Golden Knights’ big boys where he’s notched three of those 14 goals. He scored in his last game against the Avalanche and I will look for back-to-back games with a goal tonight against the league’s 26th-ranked road defense tonight.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $5,900 vs. NYR
He will see a big chunk of ownership tonight, but you have to like Carlson’s matchup against the visiting Rangers. He could very well be in line for the Norris Trophy this season as Carlson leads all defensemen in points with 64 on the season while he’s also taken 218 shots and blocked 131 to boot. He is hot right now, notching 11 points over his last nine games, and it would come as zero surprise to see him improve on that mark in a real favorable matchup tonight.
D – Shea Theodore (VGK) – $4,000 vs. ARI
With Theodore and Tuch we get a PP1 mini-stack tonight against the visiting Coyotes. He’s had a real nice season for Vegas, scoring five goals and adding 20 helpers for 25 points in 55 games. He’s also taken 121 shots on goal in that stretch. Like many others in this lineup, he’s red-hot entering play tonight with a goal and four assists as part of a four-game point streak he brings into play this evening. Arizona has tightened up their back end as of late, but we should get this pair at decent ownership as part of the league’s third-ranked home offense.
G – Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) – $8,500 vs. ARI
With the way Fleury is playing right now it’s tough to roster anyone but him on this slate. He has yielded just two goals across his last three starts and four appearances, good for a .981 Sv% during that stretch. The Coyotes have been producing offensively lately, but they still rank 26th in road offense and the Golden Knights rank in a ninth place tie in terms of home defense. Simply put, we have no problem rostering the league’s hottest netminder tonight on home ice.