After another fantastic weekend of NHL hockey we are back on this Monday with a clean week ahead of us. I will be on vacation beginning Wednesday the 29th, returning December the 7th to continue with these articles. In the meantime, you may not see NHL DFS articles during my absence. With that in mind, let’s get to tonight’s five-game slate!
C – Artem Anisimov (CHI) – $5,600 vs. ANH
The way this line is going right now they are a very tough fade. Anisimov has racked up five goals and an assist over his last five games and had a four-game point streak snapped his last time out against the Panthers. The Ducks are a solid defensive team and rank 10th with just 2.78 goals against per game on the season, but Chicago ranks 10th in the NHL with 3.50 goals per game at home. Centering Patrick Kane on the second line and one of the two power play units is never a bad thing either so let’s go with Anisimov to kick off this lineup.
C – Riley Sheahan (PIT) – $3,400 vs. PHI
I am going a little contrarian tonight with the Penguins beginning here with Sheahan. The obvious move tonight for Penguins exposure is to go to the Sidney Crosby line, but Sheahan finds himself in a nice spot with Evgeni Malkin sidelined. He will be on the Penguins’ second line, centering Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel. Sheahan has just one goal and five assists on the season, but one goal and four of those assists have all come within his last six games. He also has 12 shots over his last six games, a much higher clip than the 27 over his 24 games this season.
W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $8,400 vs. ANH
As Kane goes, so does this offense. Chicago’s top offensive player enters play tonight riding a six-game point streak with four goals, two power play goals, four assists and 25 shots over that span. He has 22 points in as many games for the season with 75 shots to boot. When this guy is hot there isn’t another player in the league more dangerous and it certainly appears he is hot given his recent production. It’s likely a good idea to ride Kane while he is producing, especially on home ice.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $7,900 vs. PHI
Kessel has been Pittsburgh’s best offensive player and most consistent scoring threat this season so he is a must for tonight’s lineup. Kessel is also a very productive player at home. Last season, he scored 43 points at home with 133 shots compared to 28 points and 99 shots on the road. This season, he has 15 points in ten home games with 43 shots compared to 16 points in 15 road games with 52 shots. He has seven points over his last three games and with Kessel we get a stack with Sheahan as well as first unit power play exposure.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $5,900 vs. PHI
Guentzel is also enjoying his expanded role with Malkin out of the Penguins’ lineup. Guentzel has been the lucky one to slide up onto the first power play unit, and the result has been three power play goals over his last three games. Like Kessel, our Guentzel exposure gets us a stack on a line with Sheahan as well as the aforementioned first unit power play exposure as well. This could be a nice little stack we have for tonight’s matchup against the rival Flyers.
W – Taylor Hall (NJ) – $7,200 vs. FLA
Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils welcome the Florida Panthers to town tonight which could be an intriguing matchup. The Panthers have been recently aided by dynamite play from Roberto Luongo, but this is a team that bleeds shots. The Panthers rank 30th with 35.9 shots against per game this season, which can wear down any goalie. Hall is obviously not afraid to shoot the puck with 81 shots on the season to go along with his eight goals and 26 points in 23 games. He brings a solid floor and a high ceiling into play tonight.
D – Cody Franson (CHI) – $3,500 vs. ANH
While his playing time continues to fluctuate, Franson is a nice low-cost player with some upside tonight against the Ducks. I expect offense from the Blackhawks tonight as the Ducks rank 31st with 36.6 shots against per game. Furthermore, Franson skates on the same power play unit as Kane and Anisimov, so we have a three-man power play stack with him here as well. He has taken 11 shots over his last four games and has three assists in that span as well.
D – Will Butcher (NJ) – $4,300 vs. FLA
With some enticing offensive defensemen on the slate perhaps Butcher gets lost in the wood work. After all, he is producing among the game’s elite defenders with 18 points in 23 games, just don’t expect a lot of shots with only 25 on the season. However, he skates on the same power play unit as Hall so it doesn’t hurt to have another stack on our hands, even if it is only of the mini variety.
G – Carey Price (MON) – $8,400 vs. CLS
Carey Price returned from an extended absence to blank the Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night, and will be back in action tonight against the visiting Blue Jackets. After his 36-save shutout, perhaps Price is back into form after what as a horrendous start to his season. The Blue Jackets have won six straight, but they rank 18th in offense and somehow have just a 9.7% power play, easily the worst mark in the NHL. Let’s roll the dice here with Price in what should be a goalie showdown between him and Sergei Bobrovsky.