The Ottawa Senators have been a disaster defensively all season long, and selling off several key pieces at the deadline – including potential Selke finalist Mark Stone – is only going to make things worse…
HIGH KEY STACKS
EDM1: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid, Sam Gagner
Possible add-on: Darnell Nurse
The Ottawa Senators have been a disaster defensively all season long, and selling off several key pieces at the deadline – including potential Selke finalist Mark Stone – is only going to make things worse. Their forward core is littered with inexperienced players and/or fringe NHLers, and I don’t think there is a worse defense core in the NHL. Call me crazy, but I think the league’s best player and his linemates will be able to take advantage of that.
CBJ1: Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cam Atkinson
Possible add-ons: Zach Werenski (PP1), Seth Jones
After trying out Matt Duchene on the top line, the Blue Jackets quickly decided to go back to the OG CBJ1. I think that was a smart decision. With this trio on the ice, the Blue Jackets average 63.09 attempts, 31.54 chances and 4.55 goals(!!) per 60 minutes of 5v5 play. Few lines generate offense as they do. If those numbers aren’t enough to pique your interest, perhaps this will be. Over the last 10 games, the Flyers sit 31st in shot attempts against/60 and 29th in chances against/60. They’re really struggling defensively, and Carter Hart still isn’t back to help clean up the mess.
MID KEY STACKS
VGK2: Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, Mark Stone
Possible add-on: Nate Schmidt or Colin Miller (both on PP2 with Pacioretty and Stastny)
Stone, arguably the best two-way winger in the game, joins a line featuring a high-end goal scorer (Pacioretty) and high-end playmaker (Stastny). This trio has everything you need to dominate, and they showed that in their debut game, controlling *checks notes* 69% of the shot attempts and 70% of the chances. One game is one game, etc, etc. But this line is ultra-talented and has a nice matchup against a Florida team that ranks dead last in save percentage on the year. If the chances are there vs. Florida, goals usually follow, and I think the chances will be there.
TOR2: Andreas Johnsson, Auston Matthews, Kasperi Kapanen
Possible add-on: Morgan Rielly (PP1 with Johnsson, Matthews)
People will flock to the John Tavares line in his revenge game against the Islanders. Personally, I prefer TOR2. They’re playing out-of-this-world right now. At 5v5, they average 74.25 attempts and 35.36 chances per 60. They’ve also outscored opponents 12-2 in just over 120 minutes of ice. They’re insanely good, they’re cheaper than TOR1, and I think they might carry less ownership. I like them a lot.
LOW KEY STACKS
TB3: Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli, Yanni Gourde
Possible add-on: Mikhail Sergachev (PP2 with Killorn, Gourde)
They’ve only spent a handful of games together, but the early returns are fantastic. They’ve out-attempted opponents 57-32 (64 CF%) and out-chanced them 21-13 (61 SCF%) while piling up those shots and chances at really high rates. Two of the three play on the power play, and they should almost exclusively see Boston’s bottom-2 lines at evens which, while improved, are not scary.
LA2: Ilya Kovalchuk, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli
Possible add-on: No strong correlation play
Dallas’ forward core has been shredded by injuries. Tonight, they’re expected to be without Jamie Benn, Mats Zuccarello, Andrew Cogliano and Martin Hanzal, among others. LA2 will avoid their only real potent line (Hintz/Seguin/Radulov), they’re all talented shooters, they all see power play time, and they’re all cheap (on DK, they’re below $4K). I know the numbers haven’t been there this year. I know Kovalchuk and Carter aren’t what they once were. They still have talent, though, and the opportunity is there for them to take advantage of it.
As always, I recommend correlating in GPPs. If you’re not and/or have extra money to spend, my three favorite plays on the slate are:
- Marc-Andre Fleury
- Sergei Bobrovsky
- Darcy Kuemper
If you don’t have a ton of money, I don’t mind taking a gamble on Anthony Stolarz or targeting goaltenders from the Arizona/Vancouver + Dallas/Los Angeles games.
Paul Stastny (4.9 DK, 5.3 FD) – Has at least 2 DK points in eight of his last nine, centers a pair of high-end wingers, and has a favorable matchup. Too cheap.
Vincent Trocheck (4.8 DK, 5.4 FD) – If you’re not playing Fleury, I don’t mind Trocheck at all in GPPs or cash. Has piled up 43 shots+blocks over the last 10 and has upside with Dadonov and Hoffman on his wings.
Christian Dvorak (3.9 DK, 3.1 FD) – Expected to center Clayton Keller and Alex Galchenyuk vs. a mediocre Vancouver team in a road back-to-back.
William Nylander (3.7 DK, 4.7 FD) – Continues to pile up shots/chances at a high rate and looks very dangerous if you watch him play. Still too cheap for the upside he brings.
Oskar Lindblom (4.5 DK, 4.7 FD) – Is shooting the puck a ton right now. If Bobrovsky is off at all, he’s the kind of guy who can take advantage.
Sam Gagner (4 DK, 3.3 FD) – Should skate on the top line with RNH + McDavid in a dream matchup against the Sens.
Anthony Duclair (3.3 DK, 3.2 FD) – Riding shotgun with Tkachuk and White on Ottawa’s top line. The Sens don’t have many offensive options so he should get plenty of run.
Lawson Crouse (2.9 DK, 3.9 FD) – Has recorded at least two shots in five of the last six and is skating on the ‘top’ line with Derek Stepan and Josh Archibald.
Shea Theodore (4.6 DK, 4.3 FD) – Piling up the peripherals of late, PP1, good matchup.
Alex Biega (3.7 DK, 3.5 FD) – Has always been very good peripherally. If the minutes are there, the fantasy points will be. Right now the minutes are there.
Nick Leddy (3 DK, 3.6 FD) – Top pairing, top power play, in what is a nice matchup against a high-paced Toronto team that gives up a fair bit defensively.
Philippe Myers (2.5 DK, N/A FD) – He has some offensive upside and is worth a shot at the minimum.
Numbers courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com