The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into odds, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
– Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets – 5.5
– Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers – 5.5
– New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders – 5
Jaroslav Halak ($7,100): Halak is having a great start to his season for the Islanders and thanks to a strong outing last Friday night against the Panthers, despite losing in a shootout, he has moved into second in the league in goals against average with a 2.02 mark and sits just outside the top-10 in SV% at .921. Jaro has been particularly solid as of late allowing no-more than two goals against in four of his last five games, but he will have a tough matchup against the Ranger’s offense on Wednesday night.
Top Line of the Night
The Bruins top line has settled in nicely with each other led by Bergeron, who has been about as surprising as the Bruins start to the season as a whole. His 22 points sit second on the team behind David Krejci’s 24. Bergeron has been the hottest scorer on the Bruins as of late with 11 points in his last 10 games. He had an eight-game scoring streak snapped last week against Detroit but bounced back right away with a two-point night against the Rangers on Friday. Despite being scoreless in his last two games Marchand was riding a five-game point streak and currently leads the Bruins with 10 goals on the season. Vatrano has been up and down since his call up from Providence of the AHL. He has however shot the puck a lot and posted his first multi-point game last week against Detroit. He is averaging almost three shots per game so far (23 SOG in 8 games) and this line should see it’s fair share of offensive chances on Wednesday night against the Oilers.
Top Upside at Defense
Dustin Byfuglien ($6,500): With a matchup looming against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, Big Buff is the best defender on the evening. Byfuglien does it all for the Jets with 15 points, 33 blocked shots and leads the team in shots by a large margin with 81 on the season. He has points in five of his last seven games and is riding a nice three-game point streak that has produced a goal and three assists. Big Buff is a great play tonight when Toronto comes to town.
Colin Miller ($3,200): The relatively unknown Bruins defenseman has had a solid season to date for Boston. He possesses a polished all-around game with 10 points, 17 blocked shots and 34 shots on goal in 19 games for the B’s. He has put up points in back-to-back games for the Bruins, which snapped a five-game scoreless streak. Miller is seeing time in the Bruins top-four defense rotation and on their second power-play unit, where he has four points this season, and is a great value play for your lineup tonight.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Blake Wheeler ($7,100): There were a few players to consider here but Wheeler has been very productive as of late and has a favorable matchup against Toronto. He is a point per game player on the season with 25 points in 25 games and sits inside the top-10 league wide in scoring. He has points in five of his last six games and is riding a modest four-game point streak at the moment. Wheeler and the Jets have a home matchup with the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night and in 10 games on home ice at MTS Centre this season he is averaging almost three shots on goal and has managed nine points. He has the third highest FPPG on the evening with a 4.3 FPPG average and is my top forward play of the evening.
Ryan Strome ($4,400): Strome must have found the kick in the pants that he said he needed before he was sent down to the AHL in early November. In three games back with the Islanders he’s been fantastic with points in all three games. He has put up five shots and four points in his time back and has settled in nicely on the Isles third line with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin, as well as seeing time on NY’s second power-play unit where he has an assist in his time back as well.
Leo Komarov ($3,600): Komarov is seeing time on the Leafs top line with James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri. He has managed points in five of his last six games and has a goal in each of his last three outings, including a multi-goal game against the Oilers on Monday night. He’s been consistent with seven points at both home and on the road this year and faces the Jets 29th-ranked scoring defense on the road tonight.
James Reimer ($6,600) Reimer has been battling an undisclosed injury that has kept him from starting as of late. Coach Mike Babcock said that if Reimer is healthy enough he will start tonight. Reimer has been fantastic for the Leafs this season sitting comfortably inside the top-10 of the league in both major categories posting a 2.07 GAA (8th) and a .934 SV% (T-3rd).
Tyler Johnson ($5,200) Johnson has missed the Lightning’s last two games, but did practice on Tuesday and is slated to travel with the team on their up-coming road trip. Monitor his status, but should he play on Wednesday he should be immediately considered for your lineup playing in Tampa’s top-six.
Make sure to check out my NHL Line Stacks and Pete Jensen’s NHL Targets posts today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey