It’s back! NHL season is finally upon us and we have a nice 4 game slate to get us going. Hopefully you have all had chance to check out the new roster construction and scoring on DraftKings for NHL. If not, take a look! Tonight is the perfect night to get in some contests and try it out before the big slates of games start tomorrow!
As stacking players from specific teams and/or lines is very common in NHL DFS I will go game-by-game in this breakdown, rather than position by position, to allow me to group players in a clearer way. As ever, please feel free to leave comments on the format if there is another style you would like to see going forward. For now, lets start on some picks!
Montreal @ Toronto
Games between these two have a history of being very open affairs. I do not see that changing tonight. As such I won’t really be looking to either goalie other than maybe to take a chance in a GPP.
The first line that I am drawn to here is the top line of the Leafs. Tyler Bozak ($4,200) will centre James Van Riemsdyk ($6,400) and Phil Kessel ($7,300). I love this line at even strength and obviously it has great potential as the top power play line too. JVR had a really solid pre-season tallying 4 goals and 3 assists in 5 games played, I’d look to him to start the season hot. I don’t mind any combination of this line and would also add that with Cody Franson starting the season on IR Stephanie Robidas ($2,500) will now be skating on the top defensive line both at even strength and on the PP and makes a great value play along side Dion Phaneuf ($4,100).
On the Montreal side of the puck its a bit more tricky for me. Max Pacioretty ($6,800) has a great history against the Leafs. In 5 games last season he totalled 29 shots with 7 points (5 goals) against Toronto. I actually think that pairing him with either line mate P.A. Parenteau ($4,100) or David Desharnais ($4,000) makes a nice move and will probably be lower percentage owned than the Kessel line in GPPs. Again, if you are looking for a defensive player, as with Toronto I am looking to Andrei Markov ($3,900) as the better play based on price over the more expensive and bigger named P.K. Subban ($6,100), though obviously Subban is a great play if you can afford him.
Philadelphia @ Boston
Tuukka Rask ($8,500) is the most expensive goalie on the slate but certainly with good reason. If you are playing cash games I think he is certainly the ‘safest’ way to go when trying to lock down a W.
On offense, I’m looking to the Bergeron ($6,100) line to do a lot of damage tonight. Skating with Reilly Smith ($4,100) and Brad Marchand ($4,700) they are VERY stackable. I think if i’m taking two from this line in a GPP it will be Smith+1, I feel like anyone looking to take 2 players from this line will automatically eliminate Smith as the ‘lesser’ name, so taking him and leaving out either Marchand or Bergeron could be a great GPP approach. With David Krejci starting the year on IR I was interested to see the Bruins lines today, but with Chris Kelly playing on the second line i’m not overly excited to take anyone else though in a GPP maybe a Carl Soderberg ($4,300) and Loui Eriksson ($4,800) combination from the second line could be contrarian. Defensively I like Torey Krug ($4,900) even though he is priced above the others he is on the first PP unit and being on the 3rd defensive pairing at even strength usually means he is up against ‘weaker’ opponents, so I don’t see it as as much of a negative as some may.
The Flyers I am not going to spend much time on. I see them as a GPP only play. As I said, I like Rask today and probably won’t be using any Flyers other than in GPPs where I have multiple lineups.
San Jose @ Los Angeles
This is the highest profile game of the night. The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Kings will raise the banner tonight and face off against the team who held a 3-0 series lead against them in last seasons playoffs before the Kings came back. You know its going to be a punch in the gut for the Sharks to have to watch that banner go up and will no doubt serve as extra motivation for them to spoil the party.
In terms of plays, both teams are stacked. If you can pick out which goalie will get the win, they could make a great GPP play with the high volume of potential shots to face, but picking the winner is tough. I think i’d go Jonathan Quick ($7,700) if pressed to choose between the two.
On offence there is plenty to choose from. Starting with the Kings, Kopitar ($6,300) and Gaborik ($5,300) will be a popular (and great) play, however i’m looking to the second line at Jeff Carter ($5,600) and Tyler Toffoli ($4,100) as a sneaky combination in GPPs. Drew Doughty ($4,800) is your clear cut number one defensive option from the Kings.
As for the Sharks, I am a big fan of Tomas Hertl ($4,700), he had his rookie season cut short by injury last year but slotting in on the top line to start this season along side Joe Thornton ($4,800) and Joe Pavelski ($6,500) his points upside is huge. The Kings are obviously not the ideal matchup but I can see me using a lot of Hertl/Pavelski this season and it may start tonight. Couture ($6,600) and Marleau ($6,000) off the second line are also both great plays and both serve on the top power play unit. I’m not a big fan of the defensive players on San Jose in this game but if I had to pick one it would be Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($3,100) at his relatively cheap salary.
Vancouver @ Calgary
Ryan Miller is my number 2 goalie on the night behind Rask. I like him to get the win though would have a few concerns over how many shots he will face. This won’t stop me playing him however in either GPP or cash formats.
The top line for the Canucks has been hot in pre-season, adding Radim Vrbata along side the Sedin brothers seems to have really made a difference to a team who, in my opinion, massively under performed last year. Daniel Sedin ($5,800), Henrik Sedin ($4,300) and Vrbata ($5,700) are probably going to be up there with the Bergeron line on Boston for most popular of the night. I really think the potential is there for a multi-goal game from this line tonight. Personally the Canucks are one of my favourite teams to take defensemen from tonight with Alexander Edler ($4,400) the clear top of the list and Christopher Tanev ($3,300) and Dan Hamhuis ($3,200) viable cheaper options.
Calgary I am not very high on at all tonight though if you want to take a GPP punt on the top line of Curtis Glencross ($4,400), Jiri Hudler ($4,000) and Sean Monahan ($4,600) I couldn’t blame you.
As you can see its a lot of top lines tonight, with pricing as it is I don’t see the need to delve too deep into 3rd and 4th lines, there is too much to gain from top two line players who work on the PP unit.
I hope this article helps you with lineups tonight and I big you good luck once the puck drops! I’m sure we can all agree its just great to have NHL back!