Last night’s Daily Fantasy Hockey Puck Guide was one of our best ones yet! Our top cash stack did some notable damage as the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak combined for two goals, two assists, 11 shots on goal and four blocks in the Bruins’ route of the Rangers. If you added Torey Krug to the mix you tacked on another assist, two shots and a block to the ledger. Our forward value play Connor Brown notched an assist and a shot on goal while our top two ranked goalies combined for a .939 Sv% while both earned wins as well. Let’s build off that momentum and move onto tonight’s busier slate!
After just a trio of games last night, Thursday night’s slate brings us nine games to sort through.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. VAN: Nikita Kucherov ($8,400) – Steven Stamkos ($8,400) – Victor Hedman ($6,500)
For the second time in less than a week the Lightning and Canucks get together, this time in sunny Florida. Tampa Bay ended their eight-game road trip by taking a 6-2 thumping from the Edmonton Oilers, but the Lightning are rested and happy to be home entering tonight’s contest. While they aren’t the NHL’s highest scoring home team, they do pump in 3.61 goals per game at Amalie Arena, good for third best in the NHL while their 3.53 goals per game overall is the top mark in the league. They also have a lethal power play wherever they play as their 23.4% clip on the man advantage checks in at fifth while the Canucks’ penalty kill checks in at 26th both overall and on the road.
Not much explanation needed here for this three-headed monster. Kucherov still paces the NHL with 66 points on the season while his 27 goals checks in at fourth. Stamkos’ 60 points are in an eighth place tie with Sidney Crosby while his 41 assists also come in at eighth. Hedman’s 34 points for the season sit 10th among NHL defenseman despite him missing time with a lower-body injury prior to the All-Star break. These three are also the top three shot-takers on the Lightning, combining for 465 shots in 154 games, or just over three shots per game each. If you are looking for a four-man stack, adding Chris Kunitz ($3,500) to the mix lowers the overall cost of the stack. Kunitz should skate on the top line again tonight where he has tallied six points over his last seven games.
New York Islanders @ BUF: Josh Bailey ($6,800) – John Tavares ($8,200) – Nick Leddy ($5,300)
The New York Islanders are in our second favorite spot tonight as they get set for a road matchup against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo’s home defense improves over their road defense, but still yield 3.20 goals per game at home which ranks 25th in the league. Obviously, the Islanders’ offense is a lethal one as their 3.30 goals per game ranks third while their 3.07 goals per game on the road checks in at fifth. They are coming off a real nice offensive game with a four-goal showing against one the NHL’s best defenses in the Nashville Predators.
With Anders Lee sliding down to the second line alongside Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, my three-man Islanders stack includes a defenseman, similar to the Tampa stack above. Bailey and Tavares will skate together at both 5v5 and on the power play all night long while Leddy is lone rear guard on the Islanders’ top power play unit. Tavares and Bailey are also the Islanders top two point-getters as well as ranking 10th and 14th in NHL scoring with 59 and 57 points, respectively. Tavares’ 27 goals are in a fourth place tie in the NHL while Bailey’s 44 helpers are in a third place tie. Leddy is having a nice season offensively with 31 points and 113 shots in 54 games to go along with 76 blocks. If you wish to add a fourth to this stack Anders Lee ($6,600) is the obvious choice. His 27 goals are tied with Tavares while he finds himself next to this trio on the Isles’ top power play unit.
Minnesota Wild vs. ARI: Jason Zucker ($6,600) – Mikko Koivu ($5,700) – Mikael Granlund ($7,500)
Using a strong home offense against the visiting Arizona Coyotes usually produces good results. This is the second time in three nights we will target the Coyotes for a cash stack after they yielded four goals to the Jets on Tuesday night. That same night the Wild lit up the St. Louis Blues by scoring six goals against their Central Division rival, continuing an offensive trend that has seen them score an average of 3.71 goals per game over their last seven. Tonight they’re back at the Xcel Energy Center where they average 3.23 goals per game, good for 10th in the league. The Coyotes sports the NHL’s 29th-ranked road defense at 3.54 goals against per game.
The above trio is a little lighter on the wallet than the Tampa Bay and Islanders groups and they’re arguably in just as good of a matchup, albeit with lower floors. Jason Zucker is enjoying a career year with 22 goals in 53 games for the season and has scored seven goals and nine points over his last nine games. Mikael Granlund is once again quietly one of the NHL’s top wingers again this season. After a 26-goal, 69-point campaign last year, Granlund has 15 goals and 43 points in 48 games this season. Koivu is the playmaker of the bunch as he enters play tonight with 21 assists in 53 games to go along with 123 shots as well. These three are three of the top four shot-takers on the Wild and combined for 37 points on the power play as well. If you wish to add a defenseman to this stack, we suggest going with Ryan Suter ($5,700) who is the top cash play on the Wild blueline. He leads all Wild rearguards with 34 points and 110 shots in 53 games to go along with 14 points on the man advantage.
St. Louis Blues vs. COL: Alexander Steen ($5,800) – Paul Stastny ($5,300) – Vince Dunn ($3,700)
The St. Louis Blues are coming off a brutal 6-2 loss to the Wild on Tuesday night and their offense is struggling right now. They have scored just four goals over their last three games and averaged just 2.14 goals per game over their last seven. That said, these types of factors are what should keep ownership lower on the Blues, but even lower when it comes to the above stack. The Avalanche have surprised to the upside this season and tonight’s starter Jonathan Bernier has been stellar. That said, the Avalanche and Bernier aren’t all that impressive on the road. Colorado has surrendered at least three goals in five straight road games and yield 3.28 goals per game on the road, good for 24th league-wide. Bernier has been stellar at home this season with a 2.31 GAA and a .930 Sv%, however on the road his numbers drop to a 2.98 GAA and a .907 Sv%. The Blues have already gotten to Bernier twice this season, scoring seven goals across two games with Bernier sporting a 3.59 GAA and an .887 Sv% in that stretch.
As mentioned, there should be very little ownership on the above trio tonight, but I see upside. Steen and Stastny skate together on the Blues’ second line while Steen and Dunn skate together on the Blues’ top power play unit. Stastny retains his spot on the second power play group. That said, the floors aren’t high on this group, which is exactly what makes them a GPP play. Stastny has 11 goals and 36 points in 55 games this season while averaging just over two shots per game. Steen fits the same mold with 11 goals and 32 points in 49 games while averaging a few ticks over two shots per game as well. Dunn only gets 16:32 of average ice time per game, but over the last month he is seeing about 2:20 of power play ice time per game on the top unit with the Blues’ big guns. The Blues power play has struggled this season, but Colorado touts the NHL’s 24th-ranked road penalty kill. Their floors aren’t high, but I like their upside tonight at what should be very small ownership.
Nashville Predators @ OTT: Kevin Fiala ($5,000) – Kyle Turris ($5,100) – Ryan Ellis ($4,900)
It’s a big night in Ottawa tonight as Kyle Turris makes his return to Canada’s capital just months after a blockbuster 3-way trade that sent him to Nashville. After a hard-fought 3-2 shootout loss in Toronto last night where they fired 46 shots on goal, the Predators have a more favorable matchup tonight in Ottawa. Ottawa owns the league’s 30th-ranked home defense at 3.52 goals per game while Craig Anderson has been lit up for a 3.36 GAA and an .897 Sv% at home this season. Nashville also owns the league’s third best power play at 23.8% while the Senators are the league’s 28th-ranked penalty kill at 74.5%.
Fiala was questionable for last night’s contest but ended up suiting up and skating over 16 minutes in the loss. Prior to last night, he had scored two goals in each of his last two games. He is having a real nice season and is up to 17 goals (four on the power play), 18 assists and 122 shots in 51 games this season. Split between Ottawa and Nashville, Turris has 31 points in 48 games. He has just nine goals on the season, but five of those have come on the power play. He doesn’t shoot the puck much, however, with just 90 shots in those 48 contests. Lastly, Ellis should go lower owned tonight than both P.K. Subban and Roman Josi on the Predators’ blueline. He missed a big chunk of the season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, but Ellis hasn’t missed a beat with three goals and seven points in 14 games since his return. He’s also recorded 30 shots and 28 blocks in those 14 contests. If the Senators get into penalty trouble tonight, this trio could really pay GPP dividends as they form 3/5 of Nashville’s second power play unit. Considering the Senators’ ghastly penalty kill, I like the upside this mid-priced GPP stack carries.
*For the purpose of this section we try to avoid listing a player who is a member of the teams stacked above. If there is cheap player listed above, we believe he is a strong value play. However, we want to ensure we cover the whole slate so we will use this section to list alternative value plays.
C – Evan Rodrigues (BUF) – $3,400 vs. NYI
The unfortunate part of rostering Rodrigues tonight is the fact that he is listed as a center. However, it appears he is going to skate on the Sabres’ top line tonight alongside Jack Eichel, so perhaps you can gut it out and use him down the middle in a GPP format tonight. You have to like the exposure to Eichel tonight in a favorable home matchup against the NHL’s worst defense with the Islanders in town. Yes, the Sabres’ offense is bad, however Eichel has still managed 51 points in 53 games, so riding shotgun to Eichel still provides opportunity for production. He’s got just two goals and seven points in 24 games, but I am comfortable with throwing those stats away as he has mostly been a bottom-six forward this season with just over 13 minutes of average ice time. He should see an increase in ice time tonight while also seeing his 1:42 of average ice time on the Sabres’ second power play unit.
D – Thomas Chabot (OTT) – $3,500 vs. NSH
While the Predators are a good defensive club with a good penalty kill, they are on the second half of back-to-back nights and Ottawa will avoid Pekka Rinne tonight with Juuse Saros likely getting the nod in goal for Nashville. Chabot has a decent 11 points in 33 games as a rookie while he sees just shy of two minutes of power play time per game, but on the top unit with the Senators top offensive players, including Erik Karlsson. He picked up an assist in Tuesday’s win over the Devils to snap a four-game pointless drought. I would avoid anyone on Ottawa in cash games tonight, but lining up with arguably the world’s best offensive defenseman on the power play provides Chabot the opportunity to eclipse value.
*Goalie rankings are for cash purposes with our top GPP plays noted.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $9,200 vs. VAN
- Devan Dubnyk (MIN) – $8,700 vs. ARI
- Carter Hutton (STL) – $8,600 vs. COL
- Juuse Saros (NSH) – $8,300 @ OTT
- Brian Elliott (PHI) – $8,000 vs. MON
- Martin Jones (SJ) – $8,300) vs. VGK
- Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) – $8,400 @ SJ
- Carey Price (MON) – $8,300 @ PHI *GPP*
- Ben Bishop (DAL) – $8,800 @ CHI
- Anton Forsberg (CHI) – $7,800 vs. DAL
- Jaroslav Halak (NYI) – $7,600 @ BUF *GPP*
- Keith Kinkaid (NJ) – $7,500 vs. CGY
- Jonathan Bernier (COL) – $8,400 @ STL
- David Rittich (CGY) – $7,800 @ NJ *GPP*
- Antti Raanta (ARI) – $7,200 @ MIN
- Craig Anderson (OTT) – $7,600 vs. NSH *GPP*
- Robin Lehner (BUF) – $7,400 vs. NYI
- Anders Nilsson (VAN) – $7,300 @ TB