We have another massive slate with 11 games on tap tonight in the NHL. The only team skating in the second half of a back-to-back is the Blackhawks, who will take on the Golden Knights in Vegas tonight after suffering a 4-2 loss to Anaheim last night. The big news ahead of tonight’s slate (hence the featured photo) is the fact that despite line combinations from yesterday’s practice suggesting otherwise, the Maple Leafs will put William Nylander with Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau tonight. Washington’s Tom Wilson is not expected to play after taking a late hit from Ryan Reaves the other night in Vegas. Max Pacioretty’s status for tonight’s game against Chicago is still unclear.
NYI @ PIT – 7:00pm EST
COL @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
CBJ @ PHI – 7:00pm EST
DET @ TOR – 7:00pm EST
MTL @ OTT – 7:30pm EST
BOS @ TBL – 7:30pm EST
MIN @ CGY – 9:00pm EST
WSH @ ARI – 9:00pm EST
NSH @ VAN – 10:00pm EST
CHI @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
NJD @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Anaheim’s top line had a very disappointing evening last night, with Ryan Getzlaf earning just 1.6 fantasy points with one shot on goal. His 40 percent ownership made up for his terrible night, but it was still a frustrating result. However, value winger Pontus Aberg had a strong game, recording an assist, two shots and three blocks for 16 FP. Both Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture found the scoresheet; Pavelski scored a goal and added two shots and two blocks for 18.4 FP, while Couture chipped in a power-play assist and three shots for 11.7 FP. That being said, Timo Meier had a massive game, recording a goal and two assists as well as four shots and three blocks for 39.2 FP. Connor McDavid had a relatively quiet night, recording an assist, four shots and one block for 16 FP, the same output as the $3,700 Aberg. Sebastian Aho managed six shots and two blocks for 12.8 FP, while Adam Henrique earned the same 12.8 FP with an assist and three shots. Ryan O’Reilly picked up just 4.8 FP with three shots. As for the other Anaheim wingers, Ondrej Kase came through once again with a goal and six shots for 21.6 FP, while Nick Ritchie tallied an assist, one shot and one block for 11.2 FP. On the back end, Oscar Klefbom scored a goal on three shots for 16.8 FP, while Hampus Lindholm tallied an assist, one shot and three blocks for 14.4. Brandon Montour scored a goal and added one shot and two blocks for 15.2 FP. In net, both John Gibson and Martin Jones picked up wins, earning 24 FP and 39.2 FP, respectively.
Magically, Mikko Koskinen was the goalie in my FanDuel lineup despite the fact that I went with John Gibson and Leon Draisaitl over Koskinen and Vladimir Taraseko. Fortunately, I was able to cash even with Koskinen’s 0 FP, since he didn’t even start for the Oilers.
Here are some plays to consider for tonight’s slate:
Elite Options: Sidney Crosby ($8,800), Auston Matthews ($8,600), Sean Monahan ($7,800)
Sidney Crosby is coming off a very disappointing performance in which he played no part in any of Pittsburgh’s six goals against Colorado. However, Crosby tends to play well against the Islanders; in fact, he has more points against the Islanders in his career than against any other franchise. When these teams met in Pittsburgh earlier this season, Crosby scored a goal and an assist on seven shots for 31.2 fantasy points. He skates on the Penguins’ top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 18.4 fantasy points per game. However, his price tag is more suitable on DraftKings, and most people may lean towards the Evgeni Malkin line since that line had such a huge game the other night against the Avs.
Auston Matthews could be a popular play tonight, especially with the return of William Nylander, who will make his season debut skating alongside Matthews on the Leafs’ top line. Matthews has scored five goals and seven points in three games since returning from injury, earning 43.2, 18.9 and 42.6 fantasy points in his last three games, respectively. He is averaging 25.1 fantasy points per game and skates on Toronto’s top power-play unit. Matthews scored two goals and two assists in three games against Detroit last season.
Sean Monahan and the Calgary Flames have a favorable matchup on home ice against the Minnesota Wild, who have been giving up an uncharacteristically high number of goals in recent games. Monahan has goals in three straight games and points in seven out of his last nine games. He has recorded four goals and seven points as well as 12 shots in his last three games, earning 44.2, 28.5 and 20 fantasy points, respectively. Monahan skates on Calgary’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game. Even when the Wild had much better goaltending last season, Monahan managed two goals and three points in three games against Minnesota.
Also consider: Nathan MacKinnon ($9,100), Aleksander Barkov ($7,500)
Mid-Range Options: Matt Duchene ($6,800), Anze Kopitar ($6,700), Max Domi ($6,500)
Value Options: Boone Jenner ($4,900), Cody Eakin ($4,800), Dylan Strome ($4,600), Colby Cave ($3,600)
Elite Options: Johnny Gaudreau ($8,300), Cam Atkinson ($7,200)
Johnny Gaudreau has points in five straight games and in eight out of his last nine games, tallying four goals and nine points in his last five and six goals and 16 points in his last nine. He skates on Calgary’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.7 fantasy points per game. Gaudreau is coming off a four-point performance in which the Flames scored nine goals.
Cam Atkinson and the Columbus Blue Jackets will take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, a team under a lot of pressure with recent changes in management. That being said, these games are sometimes tight, but Atkinson scored twice in Philadelphia earlier this year and has been on a roll of late. In fact, he has points in 11 straight games, collecting 13 goals and 19 points in that time. Atkinson has scored two hat tricks in his last eight games and is averaging 19.1 fantasy points per game this season. He skates on Columbus’ top line and top power-play unit.
Also consider: Mikko Rantanen ($8,600), David Pastrnak ($8,400), Mitch Marner ($7,800), Claude Giroux ($7,800), Mikael Granlund ($7,300), Gabriel Landeskog ($7,200), Evgenii Dadonov ($7,100)
Mid-Range Options: Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,600), Elias Lindholm ($6,400), Jonathan Drouin ($5,800), William Nylander ($5,500)
Jonathan Huberdeau somehow has quietly been on an absolute tear, recording six consecutive multi-point games. He’s been moved up to Florida’s top line and is now skating with Aleksander Barkov and Mike Hoffman, as well as on the top power-play unit. Huberdeau has three goals and 14 points during his current six-game point streak and is averaging 15.5 fantasy points per game this season.
Elias Lindholm is the third member of Calgary’s top line, all of whom are highlighted in today’s post because of their recent play. Lindholm has points in four straight games, putting up two goals and seven points as well as 19 shots and one block. He has earned 25.3, 28.5, 26.1 and 18.1 fantasy points in his last four games, respectively. He skates on Calgary’s top power-play unit and is of particular appeal because of his recent uptick in shot volume, as he’s recorded 2, 5, 6 and 6 shots in his last four games, respectively.
Jonathan Drouin is coming off a strong performance against the Senators and will have another go at them tonight in Ottawa. Drouin skates on Montreal’s second line and first power-play unit and has points in three straight games, scoring one goal and five points in that stretch. He is averaging 14 fantasy points per game.
William Nylander will make his season debut tonight for Toronto after an extensive contract holdout kept him out of the lineup. He will skate with Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau on Toronto’s top line but will be on the second power-play unit. He could be a popular option tonight given the excitement surrounding his return as well as his price tag, but there are other mid-range options that might garner legitimate ownership as well, such as Patric Hornqvist, who is coming off a hat-trick performance in which he generated 60.5 fantasy points.
Also consider: Mike Hoffman ($6,800), Mark Stone ($6,700), Matthew Tkachuk ($6,600), Brendan Gallagher ($6,300), Dustin Brown ($6,200), Patric Hornqvist ($6,200), Gustav Nyquist ($5,700), Patrick Marleau ($5,500), Alex Tuch ($5,400)
Value Options: Andrew Shaw ($3,700), Josh Leivo ($3,000)
Andrew Shaw continues to be a strong value play and tallied an assist and 16 fantasy points against the Senators just the other night. He skates on Montreal’s second line and second power-play unit and has assists in back-to-back games and points in five out of his last seven games.
The true value play of the night is Josh Leivo, who will skate with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser on Vancouver’s second line as well as on the team’s top power-play unit for just $3,000. Leivo was recently acquired by the Canucks in a trade with the Maple Leafs, and he got off to a great start by scoring a goal in his Canucks debut the other night.
Also consider: Jake DeBrusk ($4,900), Brady Tkachuk ($4,800), Kevin Fiala ($4,700), Nick Schmaltz ($4,500), Josh Anderson ($4,400), Artturi Lehkonen ($4,300), Eeli Tolvanen ($3,900)
There are a lot of strong defensive plays on tonight’s slate, though not a lot of true standouts. Selecting defensemen could come down to stacking or salary availability, but here are some top plays at each price range to consider. I likely will go with two value plays, though we can discuss options in chat later today.
Elite Options: Roman Josi ($6,400), Morgan Rielly ($6,600), Mark Giordano ($6,200)
Mid-Range Options: Torey Krug ($5,900), Thomas Chabot ($5,800), Keith Yandle ($5,800), Shea Weber ($5,700), Seth Jones ($5,500), Zach Werenski ($5,100), Alex Edler ($5,000)
Value Options: Alec Martinez ($4,100), Mike Matheson ($4,100), Noah Hanifin ($4,000), T.J. Brodie ($4,000), Alex Goligoski ($3,900), Scott Mayfield ($3,800), Jakob Chychrun ($3,500)
Elite Options: Pekka Rinne ($9,100), Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,900)
Mid-Range Options: Casey DeSmith ($8,200)
Value Options: Jonathan Quick ($7,800), Adin Hill ($7,700), Garret Sparks ($7,600)
There are several strong value plays on tonight’s slate, including Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, who has a very favorable matchup at home against the visiting New Jersey Devils. The Devils have struggled mightily on the road this season, which should play into Quick’s favor. Quick has been solid since returning from his second injury of the season, giving up just five total goals in his three recent starts. He may not face a ton of shots, which could hurt his overall output, but he has a good shot at taking home the win.
Adin Hill is another value option in play tonight. Hill has been outstanding for the Coyotes this season, giving up just two total goals in three starts. He has earned 28, 28, 43.2 and 16 fantasy points in his last four games, respectively, and will take on backup netminder Phoenix Copley tonight in Arizona. The Capitals likely will be without Tom Wilson, who was injured after hitting his head on the ice following a late hit by Ryan Reaves the other night in Vegas. Wilson has been a sparkplug for the Capitals, and his absence could be noticeable. Washington has lost two games in a row, and while it’s always tough to go up against Alex Ovechkin, Hill could very well end up with a win and save you a ton of money at the same time.
Lastly, Garret Sparks is expected to get the start for the Maple Leafs tonight. He will go up against a Detroit offense that has scored a lot of goals in recent games, but he and the Leafs are massive -230 favorites for the win, which could make Sparks the chalk goalie of the night.
Join me in the FTA+ NHL discord chat to further discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Photo by Claus Andersen-Getty ImagesFantasy Hockey