The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into the top lines and line changes, fantasy studs, value picks and more to help you navigate your fantasy hockey lineups. Here’s a look into Friday night’s six-game NHL main slate on DraftKings.
Top Lines of the Night
Buffalo Sabres vs. Vancouver Canucks
Jack Eichel ($6,900) — Evander Kane ($6,800) — Jason Pominville ($4,900)
This line has been one of the Sabres’ lone bright spots this season. Eichel has looked very good so far, posting nine points and four multi-point contests in seven games. Kane leads the Sabres with 10 points and is tied for second in the NHL with 39 shots on goal. Pominville is enjoying a good start in his return to Buffalo, as he, too, has nine points — four goals and five assists — and five multi-point outings. The trio each had multi-point outings against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, as the three produced seven total points.
New Jersey Devils vs. San Jose Sharks
Nico Hischier ($4,500) — Taylor Hall ($5,700) — Drew Stafford ($4,500)
Hischier is proving the Devils’ faith in drafting him No. 1 overall this past June with seven points in seven games this season. He’s coming off his best game of the year Thursday, posting his first two goals and adding an assist. Hall is coming off his biggest game of the season, collecting four assists and three shots on goal. Stafford recorded an assist in that game, and comes into tonight riding a three-game point streak. The Devils also have a great matchup against the Sharks, who have struggled defensively this season and are allowing 3.2 goals per game.
* Superstar to Build Around*
Sidney Crosby ($8,100) — Crosby is off to another blistering start with nine points through his first seven games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He enters Friday’s meeting with the Florida Panthers riding a two-game goal streak, with three tallies in his last two games. One of those outings was a two-goal game last Saturday against these same Panthers. He has eight shots on goal in his last two games, and 22 shots and four power-play points so far this season. Also, in 34 career games against the Panthers, Sid the Kid has 23 goals and 47 points.
Value on Offense
Kevin Labanc ($4,500) – Labanc has been a nice surprise for the Sharks. He’s tied with Logan Couture for the team lead with three goals, two assists and five points. LeBanc has points in four of the Sharks’ five games this season, including three power-play points, and he’s skating with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton at even strength.
Brock Boeser ($4,200) — Boeser is living up to the hype, as the Canucks’ rookie forward enters tonight riding a four-game point streak. After being scratched from the first two games of the season, Boeser has two goals and three assists in his last four outings. He also has 11 shots on goal and two power-play points.
John Gibson ($8,300) — Gibson has been playing strong hockey of late for the Anaheim Ducks. After opening the season allowing seven goals in his first two games, he has bounced back and has given up just seven goals in his last four outings. He’s 2-2-1 with a .924 save percentage on the season and faces the Montreal Canadiens, who rank last in the league in offense this season.
Matt Murray ($7,800) — Murray has not looked as strong as he has in the past, allowing 20 goals this season in six appearances. He’s getting the wins, however, posting a 4-0-1 record in five starts. He posted one of his best games of the season last Saturday against the Panthers, whom he faces tonight, stopping 43 of 46 shots in the Penguins’ 4-3 win. Murray should turn it around and see his numbers improve, so DFS players should not shy away.
Value on Defense
Michael Del Zotto ($3,600) — Del Zotto has been a huge beneficiary of Alex Edler’s injury for the Canucks, seeing a bigger role with the defense, especially on the power play. Del Zotto enters Friday riding a three-game point streak with four assists in three games this week. He has two power-play assists, five blocked shots and 12 shots on goal in his streak.
Olli Maatta ($4,200) — Maatta comes into Friday against the Florida Panthers with a career-high five-game point streak for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Maatta has points in six of the Penguins’ seven games this season, and has one goal and five assists on his current streak. He has one assist and three shots against the Panthers this season.
* Power-Play Defensemen*
Ryan Suter ($5,300) — Suter is being counted on for the offense because of all the injuries to Minnesota Wild forwards at the moment. Suter has three points in his last three games and is coming off a multi-point game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with two power-play assists. He’s always good for solid category coverage with nine blocks and 14 shots on goal in four games.
Brent Burns ($7,200) — Burns is off to a very slow start to his season, but he’s due for a turnaround, and that could come against the New Jersey Devils. Burns has one power-play assist on the season but continues to be a category-coverage beast with 14 blocked shots and 20 shots on goal in five games. The Devils rank 27th in the NHL in penalty kill this season and are starting backup Keith Kinkaid, who had to relieve starter Cory Schneider (lower body injury) in Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet every day, and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is HardingJ2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.