This Monday brings us a tiny two-game NHL slate. With such a small slate you better be in on just about every goal if you want to earn some dough. Let’s see if we can accomplish this with our Monday FanDuel NHL Picks!
C – Mikael Backlund (CGY) – $5,100 vs. STL
The Flames and Blues get together tonight in Calgary and while the Monahan line will get a lot of ownership, let’s slide down to their second line for a GPP look. Backlund won’t come at tiny ownership, but he brings nice value to the table thanks to tallying ten points on 33 shots in 16 games. He gets plenty of ice time as his 19:21 of ice time per game paces all Flames’ forwards. He skates 2:18 on the power play per game but also gets plenty of penalty killing time at 2:50 per game. While we obviously don’t rely on shorthanded points, it’s always nice to put yourself in a spot where a shorthanded point could be a big bonus on a tiny slate.
C – Jason Spezza (DAL) – $5,100 vs. CAR
Spezza has had a fairly quiet season with just a single goal across 16 games, but could be a nice GPP play tonight as center ice is a loaded position for the Stars on FanDuel. The good news here is that said goal came in Spezza’s last game where he also fired five shots on goal. He currently skates on the third line with Martin Hanzal and he is getting second unit power play minutes, but perhaps the veteran has a point streak in him after a slow start and it would be nice to be there for that at lower ownership.
W – Jamie Benn (DAL) – $8,300 vs. CAR
While he and Spezza do not skate together at even strength or on the power play, Benn has a nice floor on the wing tonight and it’s nice to get both of Dallas’ power play units covered as well. The Stars’ man advantage has clicked at a whopping 31.3% to lead the league, and that number actually increases to 39.1% on the road. Two games ago Benn fired a whopping 11 shots on goal, and while a repeat performance can’t be expected tonight, it’s a shining example of what kind of floor the former Art Ross winner brings to the table.
W – Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) – $5,500 vs. STL
Tkachuk is a very impactful player for the Flames and is putting up numbers to show it. In 16 games, Tkachuk has four goals and 11 points on 45 shots. He also has a goal on the power play where he will skate tonight next to Backlund on the Flames’ second unit. Tkachuk skates 2:18 per game on the man advantage, but also ends up with solid ice time overall at 16:18 per game. He and Backlund should be a lower owned duo on tonight’s small slate.
W – Michael Ferland (CGY) – $4,800 vs. STL
The nice thing about getting Ferland in here is that we get exposure to the Johnny Gaudreau line which also means we get exposure to Calgary’s top power play unit as well. Ferland skates with the Monahan/Gaudreau duo at both even strength and on the power play as he sits with six goals on 37 shots in 15 games this season. One of those markers did come on the power play so let’s hope our widely casted net on the Flames pays off tonight.
W – Alexander Steen (STL) – $5,400 vs. CGY
Some Blues ownership is likely required tonight and Steen is a good place to start. He is relied upon heavily by Mike Yeo and has seen 18:41 of ice time per game, 2:56 of which comes on the power play. Steen also kills penalties as evidenced by his 1:19 per game on the man disadvantage. With Steen we get first unit power play exposure and second line exposure and penalty kill exposure as well, so let’s go with the human swiss army knife tonight.
D – Dougie Hamilton (CGY) – $5,200 vs. STL
You could easily go with Mark Giordano here if you want to as he and Hamilton skate together at even strength and on the Flames’ second power play, but I like Hamilton’s offensive upside a little more tonight at a cheaper price. Hamilton’s 52 shots on goal are the seventh most by a defenseman this season, but he has just two goals to show for it. That 3.8% shooting percentage is well under his 5.8% career mark so some positive regression in the goals scored column is due for the Flames’ rear guard.
D – Alex Pietrangelo (STL) – $6,400 vs. CGY
With the money to spend let’s go ahead and use Pietrangelo as a mini-stack with Steen. He and Steen skate together on the Blues’ top power play unit, a group that has interestingly only clicked at 15% (23rd) in the early going. Regardless, Pietrangelo’s 61 shots ranks only second to the Sharks’ Brent Burns for defenseman while his seven goals scored paces all blueliners. He has also pitched in nine assists, skates 26:22 per game and has blocked 31 shots to boot. Very nice floors with our defensemen tonight.
G – Ben Bishop (DAL) – $8,600 vs. CAR
The Hurricanes are the top possession team in the NHL and I will try and catch them before their offensive positive regression kicks in. Despite dominating the possession game, the Hurricanes rank 23rd with 2.67 goals per game and their 2.29 goals per game at home ranks 29th. Enter Bishop who has had a solid season overall for his new team in Dallas with a .915 save percentage for the season. Consistency has been an issue but he has yielded one goal or less in five of his 13 games this season and is coming off of a shutout of the Islanders. Perhaps another could come tonight against a low-scoring Canes’ offense.