The NHL was unkind to the DFS world last night, but at least the one game they offered up was very exciting. The action picks up this evening, with 24 teams set to hit the ice so let’s take a closer look at what Draft Kings has in store for us.
Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins – In your cash games today, it’s probably wise to simply open up the wallet and pay up the $8,900 needed for Rask. While Rask hasn’t been quite as sharp this season as we’ve grown accustomed to, don’t be too quick to forget his absolute dominance at home last season. In 32 starts at the TD Garden during the 2013-14 season, Rask posted a 22-7-3 record to go along with a sparkling 1.67 GAA and .941 SV%. He’ll welcome a Florida Panthers team to Bean Town who are only averaging 1.56 goals per game this season and who he defeated in all three meetings last season.
Others: Curtis McElhinney, Ondrej Pavalec, Jake Allen, Steve Mason
Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers – With the Penguins heading to Minnesota to battle an underrated (and defensively sound) Minnesota team, I’ll be playing Giroux over Crosby in all my lineups. Giroux has somewhat quietly racked up 13 points over the first 11 games this season and has a terrific matchup on tap tonight at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton has allowed 17 goals in just three road games this season (5.67 goals against per game) and Giroux posted a goal and two assists in two meetings against them last season. He’s second in the NHL in shots on goal thus far (52 SOG) and I’m expecting a multi-point performance from him this evening.
David Krejci – Boston Bruins – His dismantling of the Florida Panthers last season just simply can’t be overlooked. In their five meetings, Krejci racked up five goals, added three assists and skated at a +9. He owned some of the most dramatic home vs road splits in the league last year, posting 15 goals, 27 assists and a +31 at home (versus just four goals, 23 assists and a +8 on the road). Make sure to monitor his status as game time approaches as he’s was forced out of their last game with an undisclosed injury, but if he laces them up tonight, he’s a bargain at $5,300. UPDATE: After not practicing yesterday, his availability tonight is certainly in doubt.
Others: Pavel Datsyuk, Nathan MacKinnon, Nicklas Backstrom, Ryan Johansen, Tyler Seguin
Value: Jori Lehtera, Antoine Vermette, Mark Scheifele, Chris Kelly
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – We know that could streak wasn’t going to last long, and Ovie finally exploded for a goal and three assists in the Capitals last game. He’s racked up four goals and four assist in his six home games thus far this season and thrives on the point of the teams #1 power-play unit where he’s already racked up three power-play goals and added a pair of assists. Tonight, with Calgary and their ugly 75.7% penalty kill coming to the Nation’s Capital, Ovechkin is an elite play at one of your “W” spots. He’s not cheap ($8,700), but lit the lamp twice against the Flames in their two meetings last season and tends to be rather streaky.
Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues – With both Oshie and Stasny still out of the lineup for St. Louis, it’s been Tarasenko holding down the fort offensively for them. His stills were on full display last night in Madison Square Garden where he scored a pretty goal, added an assists and then sent the Blues home with a “W” in the shootout. With six goals, two assists and a +6 over his last four games, I’d say it’s safe to say that he earned the NHL Player of the week award that he just received. He’s seeing big minutes on the wing of the Blue’s #1 power-play unit and gets a crack at New Jersey’s dreadful 68.8% Penalty Kill. He was solid last season, but he looks ready to emerge as the pure goal scorer that St. Louis has been looking for over the past few seasons and while his asking price is on the rise ($7,200), it’s still quite possibly the lowest we’ll see it going forward.
Others: Bobby Ryan, Phil Kessel, Jakub Voracek, Jamie Benn, Scott Hartnell, Gustav Nyquist, Cam Atkinson
Value: Michael Raffl, Filip Forsberg, Tomas Tatar, Tanner Pearson, Reilly Smith, Mark Stone, P.A. Parenteau, Linden Vey
Niklas Kronwall – Detroit Red Wings – Kronwall has established himself as the backbone of this Detroit blue-line and is off to another nice start this season, posting a pair of goals and six assists over the first 11 games. He’s the team leader in average ice-time by a fairly wide margin (24:15/game) and lives on the point of the team’s #1 power-play unit. He torched the Senators for seven assists in just four meetings last season and comes with a reasonable asking price of just $5,200.
Erik Johnson – Colorado Avalanche – After tallying just one point over the first seven games this season, Erik Johnson looks to be heating up for the Avalanche. He owns two goals and five assists over the last six games and leads the Avalanche in average ice-time per game (22:27 with nearly three minutes per game coming on the power-play). He scored a goal and added an assist when the Avalanche and Canucks squared off last week and has performed far better in Denver lately where he owns seven goals, twenty assists and a +13 in 45 home games since the beginning of last season.
Others: Keith Yandle, Mark Streit, Erik Karlsson, Duncan Keith, P.K. Subban, Dougie Hamilton, Shea Weber
Value: Tim Erixson, David Savard, Carlo Colaiacovo, Paul Martin, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Nick Holden
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)