The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into the top lines and line changes, fantasy studs, value picks and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Top Lines of the Night
Minnesota Wild vs LA Kings
Mikael Granlund ($6,500) – Mikko Koivu ($5,800) – Jason Zucker ($4,700)
Even with a tough matchup looming against Jonathan Quick, this line has anchored the Wild this season and Granlund continues his impressive breakout year. Granlund has back-to-back multi-point games, is riding a three-game point streak, and has 12 points in his last 10 games overall, with five power play points (PPP). Koivu has a three-game point streak of his own, has points in four of his last five games, and all four of those games have been multi-point games. Zucker has been slumping as of late with only three points, all in one game, in his last eight games.
Ottawa Senators @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Mike Hoffman ($5,900) – Kyle Turris ($5,800) – Zack Smith ($4,000)
With the rash of injuries to the Senators’ forwards lately this line has emerged as the top option. Hoffman has hit the 40-point mark for the third season in a row and has three points in his last three full games. Turris has six points in his last six games, including two goals and 11 shots on goal (SOG) in his last three games. Smith netted a short-handed goal last night against the Panthers and two SOG. He’s the value play on this line, but doesn’t have the upside of Hoffman or Turris. This trio has combined for five points in two games against the Lightning this season.
Superstar to Build Around
Nikita Kucherov ($7,300) – Kucherov has consistently performed near a point-per-game level this season and his recent run of five points in his last two games has pushed him to 54 points in 53 games. The Bolts’ star winger has two goals and three assists in his last two games and has 18 SOG in his last three. He has 30 points in 26 home games this year and faces the Senators tonight, against whom he has two points and five SOG in two games this season.
Value on Offense
Jason Pominville ($4,900) – Pominville has been skating on a very solid third line for the Wild and that could get even better if Martin Hazal debuts and slots in there tonight. Pominville has a three-game assist streak and has 12 points in his last nine games. I think he is a solid value play tonight despite a tough matchup.
Kyle Palmieri ($4,900) – Palmieri is riding a three-game point streak, with two multi-point games, and he is coming off a two-goal game on Saturday. He has PPP in each of those games and has eight points in his last 10 games overall.
Al Montoya ($7,600) – With the Canadiens starting a back-to-back tonight, look for Montoya to get the nod tonight, with Price starting tomorrow against Columbus. Montoya has lost his last two starts, but one was a 1-0 shootout loss to Edmonton. He faces the Devils tonight, who he has already beaten once this season, and I believe that he will get the win despite the possibility of a high-scoring game.
Jonathan Quick ($7,100) – Quick made his return to the net in a big way on Saturday night, stopping 32 of 33 shots against the Ducks. It was his first start since opening night when he only played one period before his injury. He gets another tough test out of the gate with a matchup against the Wild, but Quick looks in great form and is a price that is hard to pass up.
Value on Defense
Andrei Markov ($4,100) – Markov has slotted back onto the top defensive pair for the Habs next to Shea Weber, and he has points in three of his last four games, with one PPP. He has a goal, two assists, eight blocked shots and five SOG in those four games and is averaging almost 23 minutes of ice time per game.
Kevin Gravel ($2,900) – Gravel has been in and out of the Kings’ lineup this season as a depth defender but has drawn into the lineup the last three games. Despite having only five points on the season he has points in back-to-back games, including a power play (PP) goal. He is playing on the Kings third pair and running the point on their second PP unit with Alec Martinez.
Power Play Defensemen
Erik Karlsson ($7,300) – Karlsson netted his third multi-point game in his last five games with two assists (one short-handed) last night against Florida. The All-Star defender has 10 points, four special teams points and 25 SOG in his last eight games, and has three points in two games against Tampa this year.
Victor Hedman ($6,300) – Like Karlsson, Hedman is having a very strong season, currently sitting third in the league in scoring among defensemen behind Brent Burns and Karlsson. Hedman is tied with Rasmus Ristolainen for the lead among defensemen with 21 PPP. Hedman has seven points and three PPP in his last five games.
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet every day and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is HardingJ2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.