There are six games on tonight’s slate; none of the teams are skating in the second half of a back-to-back.
COL @ TOR – 7:00pm EST
CHI @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
MIN @ PHI – 7:00pm EST
STL @ WSH – 7:00pm EST
MTL @ BOS – 7:30pm EST
BUF @ EDM – 9:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Kyle Connor didn’t have a strong night, though his ownership went as high as 85 percent in several of my FanDuel cash contests. However, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele found the scoresheet, as did second-line center Bryan Little, while defenseman Jacob Trouba tallied an assist and 11.2 fantasy points. Brandon Tanev extended his point streak with an assist, five shots and a block for 17.6 FP. It wasn’t a great night for the popular goalies, though I ended up going mainly with Connor Hellebuyck in cash because of the price tag and because of how poorly Sergei Bobrovsky has been playing of late (Andrei Vasilevskiy was difficult to accommodate with the elite forwards on the slate, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the Islanders ran over Tampa Bay by a final score of 5-1). Hellebuyck earned 22.4 FP with a 4-3 overtime win over the Ducks, who have now lost 11 straight (not 10; I was incorrect in yesterday’s article about the length of Anaheim’s losing streak). Value recommendation Mike Smith got quite a bit of goal support from his teammates, who netted seven goals on the night en route to a 7-1 win against Smith’s former team. Smith made 22 saves and came away with an easy win, earning 25.6 FP. Since the Flames scored seven, that meant that Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Michael Frolik and Mark Giordano had strong nights (as did Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, etc.). In the end, I opted to play Brayden Point and Pierre-Luc DuBois at center in order to be able to accommodate at least one member from each of the top lines on the slate (CBJ 1, TBL 1, CGY 1, WPG 1). Fortunately, Gaudreau bounced back after a few off games, scoring a goal and an assist on five shots for 28 FP. Frolik extended his scoring streak with two assists and 17.6 FP, while Giordano stole the show with two goals and an assist as well as four shots and a block for a whopping 40 FP. SOMEHOW his ownership was roughly 25 percent in cash contests, which made his massive night even more rewarding. One person who had a down night, however, was Conor Garland (as well as Alex Galchenyuk), though Arizona managed just 23 shots on goal. Garland still delivered 4.8 FP with three shots, but his point streak came to an end. That being said, he will remain one of my favorite value plays moving forward. Lastly, Alex Edler picked up 9.6 FP in Vancouver’s 5-1 win over Florida.
TOP PLAY: The Elite Six
There are six elite centers on tonight’s slate, all of whom are worthy of consideration for cash contests. Toronto’s top two centers in Auston Matthews and John Tavares have a favorable matchup against an Avalanche team that can’t get consistent goaltending, though Nathan MacKinnon and the other members of Colorado’s top line will be eager to bounce back after getting shut out by Montreal over the weekend. One of the more interesting matchups on the slate is the head-to-head battle between 2015 first-round picks Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and then there’s Patrice Bergeron who will host the rival Canadiens. There’s a case to be made for all of them, though it’s possible McDavid, Matthews and Tavares will be the most popular choices.
McDavid did not participate in an Oilers community event yesterday (a skills competition), so it’s unclear if he’s hurt or just needed a maintenance day. However, he and Eichel were selected first and second overall in the 2015 NHL Entry draft, so there’s definitely at least a mini-rivalry between the two. McDavid doesn’t have great career numbers against Buffalo, though both skaters have missed out on several Oilers-Sabres matchups with various injuries over the last few seasons. McDavid will be eager to play tonight, though his status for tonight’s game is up in the air.
Eichel returned to the Sabres’ lineup a few games ago and has yet to record a point, though he registered eight shots on goal Saturday against Tampa Bay. He’s in a good spot to get on the board, it’s just unclear whether he’ll have an explosive performance. The same is true of McDavid, though he will have home-ice advantage. Both centers have had their linemates shuffled in recent games, so it may also depend on what the final line combinations end up being during today’s morning skates.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be a solid pivot, assuming he remains on the top line with McDavid. Sean Couturier could be a decent play as well, though it’s difficult to say with the Flyers, especially since the lines could change with James van Riemsdyk listed as questionable for tonight’s contest. Ryan O’Reilly tallied two assists against the Capitals earlier this month and could still hard-match against Washington’s top line, which would put him in a good spot for another productive game. All in all, though, there isn’t much depth at the center position tonight.
Also consider: Jonathan Toews ($7,100), Eric Staal ($6,000)–forever a pest against the Flyers, Nico Hischier ($5,800), David Krejci ($5,200), Pavel Zacha ($3,600), Vladimir Sobotka ($3,400)
TOP PLAY: Alex DeBrincat ($6,500)
Alex DeBrincat has goals in four straight games, recording five goals, 18 shots and two blocks in that stretch. He skates on Chicago’s first line and first power-play unit and is showing no signs of slowing down. Though the Devils have gotten decent goaltending of late, Chicago’s offense has been impressive, and DeBrincat re-joining Chicago’s top six makes him a strong play.
Just to point it out, David Perron very quietly has points in 10 straight games, recording four goals and 13 points in that span.
Also consider: Patrick Kane ($8,700), Alex Ovechkin ($8,600), Mitch Marner ($8,400), David Pastrnak ($8,300), Brad Marchand ($8,200), Mikko Rantanen ($7,600), Jeff Skinner ($7,300), Gabriel Landeskog ($7,100), Zach Parise ($7,000), Leon Draisaitl ($6,800)–if on EDM1, T.J. Oshie ($5,800), David Perron ($5,300), Tom Wilson ($5,000)
VALUE PLAY: Blake Coleman ($4,400)
Blake Coleman has points in three straight games and in four out of his last five games, scoring three goals and four points in that time. He skates on New Jersey’s second line and has provided a consistent floor with an average of 11.1 fantasy points per game this season. He has registered 22 shots and five blocks in his last five games, which comes out to an average of 5.4 shots+blocks per game. Marcus Johansson ($3,800) is now skating on New Jersey’s top line with Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri, and he also saw time on the team’s second power-play unit Saturday against Philadelphia. Coleman generally offers a safer floor, but Johansson offers exposure to the Devils’ top offensive players at an affordable price.
Another inexpensive player of interest is Oskar Sundqvist, who is now skating on the Blues’ top power-play unit in addition to centering the team’s third line. Sundqvist scored a goal against Washington a few weeks ago and has motivation to do so again tonight after being on the receiving end of one of Tom Wilson’s questionable hits during the preseason, which led to what amounted to being a 16-game suspension for Wilson.
There are plenty of other value wingers on tonight’s slate, like Andreas Johnsson, for example. Additional options are listed below, and more options will be discussed later in chat.
Also consider: Jason Zucker ($4,600), Alex Chiasson ($4,300)–if on EDM 1, Kasperi Kapanen ($4,400), Zach Hyman ($4,200), Tage Thompson ($3,900)–if on BUF 1, Andreas Johnsson ($3,900), Miles Wood ($3,800), Brett Connolly ($3,700), Joel Armia ($3,000)
TOP PLAY: Erik Gustafsson ($5,200)
Erik Gustafsson extended his point streak to eight games with two assists Saturday against Vegas. He now has 11 assists as well as 15 shots and seven blocks in his last eight games. Gustafsson skates on Chicago’s top power-play unit.
Also consider: Morgan Rielly ($6,200), Tyson Barrie ($5,900), Darnell Nurse ($5,300), Alex Pietrangelo ($5,300), Jeff Petry ($5,100)
VALUE PLAY: Rasmus Dahlin ($4,500)
Rasmus Dahlin skates on Buffalo’s top power-play unit and has points in three straight games, tallying four assists, nine shots and four blocks in that span. He isn’t the safest play since he’s had trouble with consistency in his rookie campaign, but Dahlin has been productive in recent games and offers exposure to Buffalo’s best forwards given his role on the top power-play unit.
Also consider: Erik Johnson ($4,400), Michal Kempny ($4,000)
TOP PLAY: Devan Dubnyk ($8,500)
Devan Dubnyk can be a hit-or-miss play, but while Carter Hart has played very well for Philadelphia, the Flyers are still struggling to put pucks in the net. Philadelphia could be without James van Riemsdyk, which would further limit the team’s already-thin offense. However, this recommendation could change later today depending on other confirmations, line changes, etc., so make sure to check in with us in chat for the latest suggestions.
Note: Frederik Andersen’s status is something that will play into tonight’s goalie selection.
Also consider: Tuukka Rask ($9,100), Pheonix Copley ($7,800)
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Claus Andersen-Getty Images