The CGY1 trio is going to be ultra-chalk and rightfully so. They are an elite line, they’re at home, and they have a very attractive matchup against a bottom-feeding Devils team that has been absolutely decimated by injuries.
HIGH KEY STACKS
CGY1: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm
Possible add-on: Mark Giordano
This trio is going to be ultra-chalk and rightfully so. They are an elite line, they’re at home, and they have a very attractive matchup against a bottom-feeding Devils team that has been absolutely decimated by injuries. For perspective of how bad things are, the Devils have just four forwards in their lineup with more than 10 points in the NHL this year. Their core is littered with replacement level AHL veterans and kids who have yet to establish themselves. At home, Gaudreau and co. should avoid the one respectable line the Devils do have (centered by Travis Zajac). Making them even more enticing is New Jersey’s disciplinary issues. Over the last 25 games, only three teams have spent more time killing penalties. I know CGY1 has let a lot of people down over the last month or so, but this seems like an ideal spot to get back on track.
PIT1: Jared McCann, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel
Possible add-on: Justin Schultz
PIT1 is everyone’s flavor of the month. It’s easy to see why. Crosby and Guentzel have been dominant together for much of the season, and McCann has had some really solid games alongside them in their short period of time together. While the Capitals have defended better of late, they are one of the worst 5v5 shot and chance suppression teams in the league on the year. Crosby’s line should draw plenty of Alex Ovechkin’s, and that is good news, as the Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson trio has controlled just 43.75% of the chances in 270 minutes together.
MID KEY STACKS
MTL1: Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Brendan Gallagher
Possible add-on: Shea Weber
On paper, they are a solid line. Statistically speaking, they are flat out elite. The Canadiens have controlled 62.3% of the attempts, 62.2% of the chances and 68% of the goals with this trio on the ice. Those numbers are out of this world. What’s most impressive is their dominance has not come over a short period of time. They have spent more than 520 minutes together. If their shockingly good 5v5 numbers aren’t enough to entice you, perhaps full power-play correlation against a Detroit team that can’t kill penalties will do the trick.
WPG2: Kyle Connor, Kevin Hayes, Nik Ehlers
Possible add-on: Tyler Myers (PP2 with Hayes, Ehlers)
Through six games together, they’ve controlled 58% of the attempts and 63% of the scoring chances. Small sample size, I know, but this line has a lot of talent, they all skate on a power-play unit, and tonight they’re going up against a tired San Jose team that will either start Martin Jones in a B2B situation (proven to be -EV) or Aaron Dell and his putrid .892 save percentage. Either way, WPG2 is capable of taking advantage and I doubt they’ll carry much ownership.
Note: If NSH1 is any combination of Granlund/Forsberg/Arvidsson/Johansen, I have interest in them too. Not listed due to injury concerns to Forsberg and Arvidsson.
LOW KEY STACKS
BUF1: Jeff Skinner, Casey Mittelstadt, Jason Pominville
Possible add-on: Brandon Montour (PP2 with Mittelstadt, Pominville)
Over the last 10 games, the Stars rank 29th in attempts against and 27th in high-danger chances against/60. Remarkably good goaltending has masked the fact they’re not defending very well right now. While that could always continue tonight, I think it makes some sense to take a chance on an elite goal scorer and two offensive-minded linemates (on the cheap) when they’ll carry almost no ownership.
ANA1: Max Jones, Ryan Getzlaf, Daniel Sprong
Possible add-on: No preferred correlation play
Ryan Getzlaf has not had his best season, but I don’t think anyone will dispute he is still one of the better playmakers in the game. Tonight, he’ll center a pair of dirt cheap wingers who happen to rank 1st and 2nd on the Ducks in shot attempts/60. A matchup vs. Nashville is far from ideal, however, you can certainly justify playing a line featuring a high-end passer and two volume shooters in GPPs.
As always, I recommend correlating with one of your stacks. If you can’t, or have extra money to spend, here are my top-5 goaltenders:
- David Rittich
- Carey Price
- Jordan Binnington
- Pekka Rinne
- Matt Murray
I try not to list names mentioned in line stacks but, as usual, cheap guys (like Jones, Sprong, Mittelstadt) deserve to be listed here as well.
Blake Coleman (4 DK, 4.1 FD) – With all the injuries NJ is dealing with, Coleman is skating on the top line, top power play, etc. He shoots a lot, and if the Devils do manage to pot a couple goals, he’s likely to be involved.
Michael Frolik (3.9 DK, 3.7 FD) – He is a pretty good chance generator. Any time he is skating on the 2nd line with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund, he’s in play (especially so vs. New Jersey).
Robert Thomas (2.8 DK, 3.7 FD) – With Vladimir Tarasenko out, he gets to ride shotgun on the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn. Not much else needs to be said at this price.
Sam Bennett/Austin Czarnik – Both have played well on L3, and both skate on PP2. If you want dirt cheap exposure vs. a horrendous Devils team, you can justify playing either.
Alex Nylander (2.5 DK, 3 FD) – Very talented prospect skating on the 2nd line against a team that’s given up a lot of shots and chances of late.
Zach Werenski (4 DK, 5.1 FD) – Averaging better than 24 minutes per game over the last 10 and skates on PP1. Provides a solid floor with potential for a high ceiling.
Marcus Pettersson (3.3 DK, 3.8 FD) – Sees steady ice at evens and is expected to play PP1 on a Penguins team loaded with stars.
John Moore (3.3 DK, 3.7 FD) – Likes to shoot the puck and could see a bigger role with Matt Grzelcyk out.
Rasmus Andersson (2.9 DK, 3.8 FD) – What I wrote about Bennett and Czarnik can be applied here. Andersson’s been one of my favorite punts for a while now. That’s not going to change against the Devils.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com