The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into lines, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
– Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators – 5.5
– Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars – 5.5
– Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks – 5.0
Corey Crawford ($8,000): Fresh off a three-win week that saw him garner NHL “First Star” of the week honors, Crawford is your go-to goalie on Tuesday night against Colorado. In his three games last week Crawford was brilliant posting back-to-back shutouts to close the week after holding the Predators to just one goal last Tuesday. Crawford now sits with 15 wins, just a few shy of Braden Holtby’s league-leading 19, he leads the league in shutouts with four and has posted very good numbers in both GAA and SV%. After a week of production like that, look for Crawford to try to shut down the Avs potent offense on Tuesday night.
Top Line of the Night
Tyler Seguin ($8,700) – Jamie Benn ($8,400) – Valeri Nichushkin ($3,600)
This line has been very effective since Nichushkin was moved up there in place of Patrick Sharp to spread around the offense in Dallas. In his first game there he posted a goal and two assists, and despite being held scoreless his last two, he brings a power game to this line that it lacked in that past. Benn and Seguin continue to battle for second place in the scoring race behind Patrick Kane. Both sit at 40 points on the season with Benn leading the league in goals with 20 and Seguin sitting third in the league with 25 assists as well as being top four in shots on goal with 125. They’re my top line of the night thanks to their production and their matchup. Tuesday night the Stars welcome the Blue Jackets and Columbus, coming off a loss to Tampa Bay last night, will presumably be starting Curtis McElhinney and his 3.11 GAA and .891 SV% and the Stars offense is putting up over 3.5 goals per game this season at home.
Top Upside at Defense
Justin Faulk ($6,200): The NHL’s “Third Star” of the week last week, Faulk is riding a four-game point streak and has three consecutive multi-point outings for the Hurricanes. Faulk is third in the league among defensemen in scoring with 25 points, shots on goal with 94 and third in the NHL in power-play points with 14 and he leads all defensemen with 12 goals. The Hurricanes travel to Philly on Tuesday and this season Faulk has 11 points in 15 games away from home ice.
Niklas Hjalmarsson ($3,400): Hjalmarsson is one of the forgotten defensemen in the Blackhawks offense, overshadowed by Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, but he has been productive as of late with four points in his last five games. With only 111 points in 500 career games, Hjalmarsson’s value comes in his all-around game. While he has been productive offensively as of late he is averaging two blocked shots and over one shot on goal per game this season. In his current offensive streak he has 14 blocks and four shots on goal. He has done most of his damage at home this season, with seven of his 10 points coming at home, and the Blackhawks welcome the Avs on Tuesday night.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Zach Parise ($7,600): Parise is beginning to pick things up offensively for the Wild and is riding a four-game point streak, and has found the scoresheet in five of his last six. Any game that he has a point in over his last six, Parise has at least four shots on goal. Over this six game span he has two goals, four assists and 26 shots on goal. The Wild face the Canucks on Tuesday night who sit in the bottom-10 in the league in scoring defense and Parise has nine points in 15 games in his career against Vancouver.
Jeff Skinner ($4,200): Skinner looks like he’s beginning to find the scoring touch he has shown in years past and now sits at 11 on the season through 30 games. He has managed points in four of his last five games, is on a three-game point streak at the moment, and has a two-goal game and a hat-trick over that time span. He has settled in nicely on the Hurricanes third line with Victor Rask and has seen a spike in his production with nine points in his last 10 games. On the season he has 14 points and is averaging almost three shots on goal per game with 87 on the year. With a matchup against Philly on Tuesday night, take a shot on Skinner as a great value play.
Josh Bailey ($4,000): The Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment and Bailey has been huge for them their last four games. He has points in all four (1G, 3A) and has put up eight shots on goal playing primarily on the Islanders second line and second power-play unit. He has seen his best production on the season in his last 10 games with six of his 16 points and 19 of his 46 SOG coming in that span. The Islanders have a tough matchup with the Panthers on Tuesday night and last time against Florida Bailey found the back of the net during the Islanders Florida swing.
Logan Couture ($6,500) One of the best two-way centers in the game, Couture has unfortunately been hit hard with the injury bug this season and will again miss significant time, about two week at minimum. Couture underwent surgery to close a bleeding artery in his thigh and will be out for at least the Sharks upcoming five-game road trip.
Jaromir Jagr ($5,300) Jagr missed the Panthers practice on Monday due to an illness. His status for tonight’s game against the Islanders is unknown at the moment, but his loss would be a significant one for the Panthers in a tough tilt against the Islanders. Look for other options at the moment, but monitor his status during the day if you’re considering him for your lineups.
Make sure to check out my NHL Targets and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey