It’s our last Wednesday night of the regular season (all the sads…), and we have just 3 games tonight.
Remember on these small slates – stacking is key, find unique ways to differentiate, and spend a little extra time picking your defensemen. Here’s a quick overview of our games tonight, followed by some analysis on my favorite stacks and goalies.
OTTAWA SENATORS @ NEW YORK RANGERS
- 7:35pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: NY Rangers 61% | Total: 6.0
Zibanejad will hard-match the “top line” – this much we know. Which is the top line for these Senators? Or rather, who will Rangers coach David Quinn identify as the “top line?” That is a mystery. Regardless of the matchup, we’ve got small samples all around. The combo of Zibanejad/Strome/Kreider has been a defensive liability thus far – with the Rangers allowing 20 shots against, 18 chances against (9 high dangers) and 2 goals against in the 25-ish minutes they’ve spent together. They’re going to be quite popular, but I can get behind an NYR1 stack tonight. Zibanejad has 4 goals in five career games against the team that drafted him…and then inexplicably traded him away for Derick Brassard. Ottawa is just 3-11-1 on the road since February 1, and are allowing just about 4.5 goals against per game in those 15. The biggest reason for an NYR1 fade, however, may be a struggling PP – converting just 14% of their chances since March 1 (ranked 26th) – trying to find a way to solve a Sens PK that ranks 5th in the league since 3/1 (killing 87.2% of their opponent’s chances).
This is a tough game to project. We don’t have a single line with more than 35 minutes on the ice together. On paper, you can really make a case for almost any of these trios. As far as ceilings go, though, I think NYR1 is the safest, and most probable stack to hit tonight from this game. As an MME player, I will have numerous combinations of the expensive chalk lines (namely, STL1) with just about every line from the Sens side of this one. They’ve shown a knack for having a random line go off just about every night, but it’s been as unpredictable as an earthquake.
Either of these goalies can be considered for GPP’s tonight – as long as you’re fading their opponent’s skaters. The Rangers rank 29th, and Ottawa 31st in shots against. Lundqvist and Nilsson will both see decent shot volumes, and each comes with some upside in a rather meaningless game for either team.
Favorite Stacks/Goalies: NYR1 – Zibanejad/Kreider/Strome; NYR2 – Vesey/Namestnikov/Chytil; G Henrik Lundqvist (NYR); G Anders Nilsson (OTT); Also interested in all OTT lines for MME pairings with the expensive chalk
ST. LOUIS BLUES @ CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
- 8:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: St. Louis 56% | Total: 6.0
Chicago is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, while St. Louis continues a three-team battle for home ice advantage for the first two rounds. I’ve been burned by STL1 a number of times this past month, but I’m going right back tonight, as this sets up to be a smash spot for O’Reilly/Tarasenko/Schenn. Not only do the Blackhawks have nothing but bragging rights to play for, but their PK ranks dead-last in the league over the past month – killing just 73.2% of their opponent’s chances, in what were very meaningful games for Chicago. Perhaps caring less about the game’s outcome will help their killers, but I wouldn’t bet on it. In road games, the Blues are averaging 41.9 shots, 35.6 chances and 18.7 high danger chances per 60 minutes with STL1 on the ice – scoring at a rate of 4.9 GF/60. This will likely be the chalkiest stack of the night, so perhaps you look elsewhere for single entry contests. The MME player should have a lot of exposure here tonight, though. If you’re looking to differentiate a bit, Alex Pietrangelo is the point-man on the St. Louis PP1. David Perron takes the fifth spot on that unit and could be added, as well.
In fact, STL2 makes a fine stack for a more contrarian approach to getting St. Louis exposure. We’ve seen them break more than a couple slates in previous weeks, so we know they’re capable of getting the job done. The Blues are scoring at a rate of 4.2 GF/60 with Schwartz/Perron/Sundqvist on the ice, and the trio is controlling 62.5% of the Corsi share in 25 minutes together in road games. A Blues mega-stack of STL1+Pietrangelo+Perron/Schwartz is an extremely high-upside build on DK tonight.
Thomas/Bozak/Maroon makes a decent value option, as well. Cam Ward starts for Chicago, and this game could get ugly very fast – it should be all St. Louis tonight.
Favorite Stacks: STL1 – O’Reilly/Tarasenko/Schenn (Pietrangelo optional, Perron optional); STL2 – Schwartz/Perron/Sundqvist; STL3 – Thomas/Bozak/Maroon
CALGARY FLAMES @ ANAHEIM DUCKS
- 10:35pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Calgary 60% | Total: 5.5
It’ll be a late night for us east-coasters, as the third and final game doesn’t drop the puck until 10:35pm. Neither team has much to play for tonight, with Calgary having clinched the top seed in the West last week, and Anaheim having been eliminated from playoff contention back in November…or so it seems. The Ducks just got trounced in Calgary, by a score of 6-1. Sean Monahan scored 2 goals and 2 assists, while Gaudreau, Lindholm and Giordano all had a point each. It would be CGY1 that would be the target again tonight, except that Monahan and Lindholm will both sit this one out. Tkachuk and Backlund return to the lineup tonight, and CGY2 is the only Flames stack on my radar tonight. I don’t love them, but they’ll see increased ice time and additional power play time, likely on the top unit.
While Monahan and Lindholm were late additions to the list, we already knew that Calgary would be without each of their top 4 defenseman – Hamonic, Brodie, Giordano and Hanifin will all be in the press box tonight. The Ducks should get a lot of attention in GPP’s tonight. Would you be surprised if I told you these Anaheim Ducks have the league’s 2nd-ranked power play since March 1? It’s true – they’re converting on 26.2% of their chances with the man advantage in their last 16 games.
At 5v5, this line of Rakell/Silfverberg/Steel has looked really good thus far. They’ve logged only about 40 minutes of time together, but the Ducks have racked up 28 SOG and 6 goals in those 40 minutes. They’re getting a lot of good looks and should see a bunch of time against the Flames depth forwards tonight.
I’m not sure who will skate with Perry and Henrique, as Chase De Leo was returned to the AHL yesterday, but I could be talked into that line as well, dependent on the third player. Daniel Sprong seems to be the likely option.
A full ANH PP1 stack sounds a little nuts, but I like it in this situation, and frankly, you’ve got to get a little nuts sometimes to take down GPP’s on 3-gamers. I’ll also have lots of exposure to John Gibson if he gets the start. Gibson is cheap and has won 7 of his last 8 starts, generally seeing a decent shot volume.
One more note – Rasmus Andersson is a nice play for all formats tonight – just $3,500 on DK, and getting top pair minutes, as well as the quarterback spot on Calgary’s PP1.
Favorite Stacks/Goalie: CGY2 – Backlund/Tkachuk/Frolik; ANH1 – Rakell/Silfverberg/Steel (Fowler/Henrique optional for PP1 stack); ANH2 – Henrique/Perry/Sprong (check pre-game lines); G John Gibson (ANH)
- STL1 – O’Reilly/Tarasenko/Schenn (Pietrangelo optional; Perron optional)
- NYR1 – Zibanejad/Kreider/Strome
- STL2 – Schwartz/Perron/Sundqvist
- ANH1 – Rakell/Silfverberg/Steel (Fowler/Henrique optional for PP1 stack)
- CGY2 – Backlund/ Tkachuk/Frolik
- STL3 – Thomas/Bozak/Maroon
- ANH2 – Henrique/Perry/Sprong (check pre-game lines)
- Literally any Ottawa line lol (more for MME players)
- John Gibson, ANH
- Henrik Lundqvist, NYR
- Anders Nilsson, OTT