A great start to a new week! Last night’s lineup was a successful one, led by Nazem Kadri who scored two goals. James van Riemsdyk scored a goal, Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and added six shots while John Carlson tallied a goal and an assist on four shots on goal. We also got assists from Patrick Marleau and Morgan Rielly to ensure ourselves a good night. Let’s make it two straight on tonight’s nine-game slate!
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $9,000 vs. ARI
Tonight’s lineup will be an optimal lineup that can be used in cash or GPPs, and the cash portion will be the Penguins beginning here with Crosby. Crosby and the Pens get the weak defense and goaltending of the Coyotes tonight, and as a bonus they get them in their second game in as many nights. The Coyotes have yielded 4.06 goals per game (30th) and are killing penalties at just a 73.8% clip, good for 28th. Crosby is an easy choice tonight as he has racked up five goals, 13 points and a whopping 53 shots in 16 games this season.
C – Matthew Barzal (NYI) – $4,000 vs. EDM
I believe we are getting Barzal at a bargain price considering his production this season. Barzal is coming off of a five-assist game against the Avalanche and now has three goals, ten assists and 31 shots in 14 games this season. The Islanders lead the NHL with five goals per game on home ice this season and their power play at home is clicking at 23.8%, good for ninth overall. Barzal is now part of the Islanders’ first power play unit, a group that will take on the league’s worst penalty kill tonight at 67.4%.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,300 vs. ARI
Hornqvist is in a very favorable position tonight against the Coyotes. He’s playing one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL, and he will do it alongside arguably the best player in the world in Sidney Crosby at both even strength and with the man advantage. While the Pittsburgh power play is sitting at just 10% at home this season, this is a number that will vastly improve moving forward. Hornqvist is enjoying a nice season with five goals, including three on the power play and 44 shots across 13 games on the campaign.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $6,400 vs. ARI
While he no longer rides shotgun next to Crosby on the team’s top line, playing on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel can’t hurt either. Guentzel has racked up four goals and four helpers on the season to go along with 38 shots in 16 games. He has also tallied two power play goals this season despite playing on the second unit. The talented winger should be all over the ice tonight against a vulnerable Coyotes squad.
W – Milan Lucic (EDM) – $4,700 vs. NYI
While the Islanders are a high scoring team on home ice and overall, they also yield three goals per game and have just an 80.8% penalty kill at home as well. Enter Lucic who is not having the best of seasons, but is a reasonably priced player who logs solid minutes and plays on a talented team. There is positive regression to be had for Lucic here as the five-time 20-goal scorer has just two on the season, but his 8% shooting percentage is well under his career mark of 14.4%. With the Oilers spreading out their power play minutes Lucic will skate with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl on the team’s second unit.
W – Anton Slepyshev (EDM) – $3,300 vs. NYI
With Kailer Yamamoto being returned to Spokane of the WHL, it appears Slepyshev will take his spot on the Oilers’ second line with Lucic and Nugent-Hopkins. He will be a very low owned player on tonight’s slate but should log solid minutes thanks to his spot on the depth chart. It’s unlikely he will see power play time, but he skated a season-high 17:18 in his most recent game before an injury on November 3rd.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,800 vs. ARI
The four-man Penguins’ stack is complete here with Letang who happens to be the most expensive blueliner on the board tonight. It makes perfect sense considering his opponent and the fact he has taken 51 shots, blocked 25 and added ten assists in 16 games on the season. With just one goal on those 51 shots you have to believe there is positive regression in the goal column moving forward for the slick rear guard. Look for a big night from Letang tonight.
D – Nick Leddy (NYI) – $4,900 vs. EDM
We have a nice little mini-stack with Leddy and Barzal here on the Islanders’ top power play unit. Leddy has quietly had a real nice start to his season with three goals including two on that power play, seven assists and 36 shots in 14 games this season. Leddy notched both of those power play markers in the Islanders’ win over Colorado on Sunday, and also added an assist. That’s eight combined points for Barzal and Leddy in that contest and here’s to that chemistry repeating itself tonight against the Oilers.
G – Jonathan Quick (LA) – $9,400 vs. ANH
Like Letang, Quick is the priciest player at his position tonight, and also for good reason. He enters play tonight sporting a sparkling .939 save percentage on the season but he is also facing a banged up Ducks team who is missing some key offensive players at the moment. Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves and power play quarterback Cam Fowler are all out with injury, depleting the Ducks’ offensive attack in the process. Anaheim ranks 20th with 2.79 goals per game, but the Kings rank first with 2.21 goals against per game and first with a 91.8% penalty kill. Let’s lock in the expensive Quick tonight.