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
– Arizona Coyotes vs. St. Louis Blues – 5.5
– Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars – 5.5
– New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers – 5.5
Braden Holtby ($8,000): Holtby is the top goalie starting on this Tuesday night with some high quality netminders on the board. He leads the league with 16 wins, and has a sterling 16-4-1 record overall. On top of the record he sits third in GAA at 1.95 and is well inside the top-10 in SV% with a .928 marker. Holtby has already bested the Red Wings once this season in a 25 save, 2-1 win November 18. That win added to his already fantastic career record vs the Wings which now stands at 5-2-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .933 SV%. Pay the price to put Holtby in your lineup tonight at home, where he’s 10-2-0 this season for the Capitals.
Top Line of the Night
I have used this line as my top line of the night before and their matchup with Carolina on Tuesday is too juicy to pass on for another top line. Seguin and Benn continue to be the NHL’s dynamic duo, each putting up 35 points on the season and sitting in a tie for second in the scoring race behind Patrick Kane, who I’ll get to later in the post. Benn continues to lead the league in goals with 18 despite being held off the scoresheet for his last three games. In those three games he has put up nine shots on goal in that span, and seems destined to break back into a scoring streak soon. Seguin has a lone goal in his last three games, but has continued to shoot the lights out more than Benn with 17 shots on goal, as well as four blocked shots, and has just not had the puck luck to find the back of the net. Sharp is in a longer points slump with only a single point in his last four games. However this line will have a great chance to break out of their recent funk on Tuesday when the Hurricanes, who have given up 21 goals against their last four games, come to Dallas.
Top Upside at Defense
Drew Doughty ($5,600): Doughty is a great all-around defenseman and has begun to turn up his offensive game as of late. He has points in three straight games for the Kings which has turned into two goals and two assists, as well as eight shots on goal. He sits tied for fourth on the Kings with 16 points, fourth in shots on goal with 66, first in power-play points with seven and third in blocked shots with 35. Doughty offers a great all-around solution for your defense without breaking the bank like some other defenders available on Tuesday night, and has a very favorable matchup with the Columbus.
Shayne Gostisbehere ($3,500): His play keeps out-performing his value and almost every night now “Ghost” should be in your lineup until his price gets too high. Currently riding another three-game point streak (1G, 2A), the Flyers rookie blueliner has an impressive eight points in 11 games, and has managed points in six of his last seven games overall. He has seen an even split in points this season with four each at home and on the road. Tuesday night the Flyers welcome the Islanders, and earlier this season he posted an assist, two SOG and two blocked shots in his first action vs New York in Brooklyn.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Patrick Kane ($8,800): All that needs to be said here is Patrick Kane, but I’ll say more. Kane just keeps adding to his record setting point-streak thanks to his empty-net assist on Sunday that pushed the streak to 22 games. That’s a record for both American-born skaters and the Blackhawks franchise. Kane has pushed his lead in the scoring race to seven points over Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, now sitting atop the NHL with 42 points in 27 games. Kane will have a tough divisional matchup with Pekka Rinne and Nashville on Tuesday night, but it’s been hard for anyone to keep him off the scoresheet and he’s a must play on any night at the moment no matter the matchup.
Andrej Nestrasil ($2,600): Nestrasil, the former Red Wings prospect, posted a solid 18 point campaign last season in 41 games for the Hurricanes and is on pace to break those numbers this season. Through 20 games for Carolina he has managed to put up seven points and is seeing major time in their top-six forward rotation. He has picked up his scoring as of late with six of his seven points this season coming in his last six games, including two multi-point games in that span. He’s riding a two-game scoring streak right now and at $2,600 is a great low-risk, high-reward play in what could be a high scoring affair in Dallas tonight.
Mikhail Grabovski ($3,100): Coach Jack Capuano wanted to see more depth scoring from the Islanders and Grabovski has points in three of his last four games. His three points in those games have pushed him to 13 on the season in 28 games. He’s averaging two shots on goal his last five games, and as the Islanders travel to Philly on Tuesday, he has seven points in 12 road games this season.
Nick Bjugstad ($5,100) Bjugstad is dealing with an upper-body injury that will keep him out of the Panthers lineup, and their top-six, for Tuesday night’s contest against the Senators. Bjugstad has been sidelined since last week with the issue, and could return Thursday against the Capitals.
James Reimer ($6,600) Reimer returned from his injury that caused him to miss a number of starts in late November and put up a fantastic 27-save effort in a loss on December 3, but re-aggravated the injury at some point and will now miss tonight’s game and at least the Maple Leafs next game as well. It’s been a great season for Reimer so far, so monitor his return to put him in your lineups when he comes back.