We have a fun, but manageable, nine-game slate on the docket tonight. Let’s dive right into it…
We have a fun, but manageable, nine-game slate on the docket tonight. Let’s dive right into it.
WPG1: Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler
Possible add-on: Jacob Trouba
WPG1 has a dream matchup tonight against the Senators. On the year, they rank a distant last allowing 66.66 attempts and 3.18 goals per 60 minutes of 5v5 play. They’re not much better when it comes to scoring chance suppression. If that’s not enough, they rank last, or close to it, in almost every key metric while killing penalties, and this line is fully correlated on PP1. Shot/chance volume should not be an issue for Winnipeg’s top line, and they certainly have the talent to take advantage of their opportunities. I like them a lot tonight.
CBJ1: Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cam Atkinson
Possible add-on: Zach Werenski
Chicago has piled up the wins of late, but don’t let that fool you. They are still a bad team, especially defensively. Over the last 10 games, eight of which were wins, they have given up more chances/60 at 5v5 than any team in the league. It’s not just because of a lack of depth, either. Their top guys aren’t getting it done without the puck. CBJ1 will surely see a lot of Drake Caggiula, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in this one. I think that’s a good thing. Chicago allows 65.18 attempts, 35.37 chances and 17.18 high-danger looks per 60 with this trio on the ice. That hasn’t resulted in a lot of goals against yet (2.02/60), but I’d bet on that changing sooner than later. Perhaps tonight against a Columbus top line that is only one on-ice goal behind CGY1/COL1 for most in the league.
SJ2: Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl, Joonas Donskoi
Possible add-on: Brent Burns (PP1 with Hertl, PP2 with Kane)
In better than 200 5v5 minutes, the Sharks are controlling 55.93% of the attempts, 55.15% of the chances, and 60% of the goals with this trio on the ice. They’re fantastic. Tonight they draw a pretty attractive matchup against a Vancouver team that ranks 29th in chances against/60 over the last 10. They’re struggling defensively at 5v5 and they’ve been very undisciplined all year long (only Colorado and Washington have taken more penalties). I think SJ2 could get a little overlooked.
VGK2: Brandon Pirri, Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch
Possible add-ons: Nate Schmidt/Collin Miller (both on PP2 with Stastny and Tuch)
This trio hasn’t spent a ton of time together but the early returns are very encouraging. They’ve controlled 60.87% of the attempts and 56.34% of the chances. Pirri and Tuch are both high-end finishers, making nice compliments for a high-end playmaker in Stastny. I don’t love stacking against Nashville but this line is very talented, their numbers are strong, and I expect their ownership to be low.
MTL3: Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Joel Armia
Possible add-on: Shea Weber (PP1 with Armia, Kotkaniemi)
This might be my favorite HULO (high upside, low ownership) stack on the slate. Their numbers together are insanely good. They own a 63.84 CF% and 68.18 SCF% in better than 100 minutes, which is ridiculous. They’ll mostly avoid Tampa Bay’s scary top-6 and, as a whole, they’ve been leaky defensively of late; only four teams have allowed more high-danger chances/60 over the last 10. Factor in 2/3 of this line is on PP1 with Montreal’s top offensive players and it’s hard to ask for more at this price.
TOR3: Connor Brown (yuck), Nazem Kadri, William Nylander
Possible add-on: No strong correlation play
This is more about Kadri and Nylander, who have posted insane numbers together this season. With that duo on the ice, the Leafs average 74.43(!!) attempts and 36.43 chances per 60 minutes. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been able to pile up shots and chances against opposing team’s depth players. I don’t expect anything to be different tonight against a mediocre Arizona squad that’s playing without four regulars (and their starting goaltender). If you want a low-ownership line in a good spot, I think TOR3 is worth consideration.
As always, I recommend correlating. If you have the money to spend, Robin Lehner (home favorite vs. a tired, shallow, Oilers team) and Laurent Brossoit (taking on a bottom-feeder) are my favorite options up top. I quite like Sergei Bobrovsky in the upper-mid range. If you want to throw a GPP dart, I don’t mind Carey Price (decent chance at a win and shot volume won’t be an issue) or Jonathan Quick (Bruins in road b2b and missing Pastrnak).
*To give you guys as many options as possible, I’m going to focus on options that aren’t mentioned above (such as Kotkaniemi, Nylander, etc.)
Paul Stastny (4.8 DK, 5.6 FD) – Centers a couple high-end shooters and sees consistent PP time. I like him at this price.
Jeff Carter (3.9 DK, 5 FD) – He is not what he once was but he can still shoot the puck and will be put in plenty of offensive situations (plays L2, PP1).
Nick Cousins (3.3 DK, 3.7 FD) – Is centering Arizona’s two best offensive wingers (Galchenyuk/Keller) and has a nice matchup against a fast-paced Toronto team that is still sorting itself out defensively.
Ilya Kovalchuk (4 DK, 4.8 FD) – Shooting the puck plenty of late (29 shots over last 10 games) and is seeing a little more ice, perhaps in an effort to showcase him. We’ll take the increased usage and hope he can take advantage.
J.T. Miller (3.7 DK, 3.7 FD) – 3rd line minutes may not be ideal, but PP1 on the league’s best power play certainly is. Montreal takes a fair amount of penalties so he should get some run on the PP.
Zack Kassian (3 DK, 3.6 FD) – If he is going to play with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, he is in play. It’s as simple as that.
Alex Goligoski (4.2 DK, 3.9 FD) – Is playing a ton of minutes and piling up the peripherals (45 shots+blocks over the last 10). The floor is there, as is the upside.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3.8 DK, 4.5 FD) – Has the potential to play 25+ minutes and pick up a couple points on any given night. Floor isn’t the highest, but his ceiling is much higher than most guys in his price range.
Oscar Fantenberg (2.8 DK, 3.6 FD) – Peripheral numbers are really strong of late and he’s likely, if not certainly, going to see 19-20+ minutes with Martinez now out as well.
Victor Mete (2.6 DK, 3.5 FD) – Should see 18-20+ minutes in a high-event game.