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
– Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – 5
– Carolina Hurricanes vs. Calgary Flames – 5
Petr Mrazek ($7,700): Hockey fans should be in for a treat on Wednesday night in Tampa with a great goaltending matchup of Mrazek vs Bishop. I’m picking Mrazek to come out on top in this one and his stellar play his last eight games has moved him to the top of the league in two major categories. In his last eight games the Czech net-minder has not allowed more than two goals against in any game, while posting two shutouts, and that has moved him to third in the league with a 2.03 GAA and second in the league with a .932 SV%. He is continuing the strong play he showed last season down the stretch and he has taken command of the net for Jeff Blashill’s squad. His 18 wins on the season rank just outside the top-10 in the league as well. Tonight’s matchup will be Mrazek’s first against the Lightning this season but with his recent dominate streak I like him to shut down the Lightning’s potent offense.
Top Line of the Night
Tomas Plekanec ($5,100) – Brendan Gallagher ($5,900) – Alex Galchenyuk ($4,200)
The Canadiens are in a bad way right now and look like a lost team. They dropped another game last night to the Flyers and are the only team playing tonight who played yesterday. Despite not putting up as many shots on goal as their top-line teammates, this line was productive last night and even provided a point to the scoresheet. Galchenyuk spotted Andrei Markov for a tally in the first period to pull the Canadiens within a point at 2-1. The Flyers would go on to take the game 4-2 but this line played well and should be in line for a solid night tonight against the Sabres. The Canadiens are too good of a team to not snap out of this funk soon and start putting up the scoring numbers they were at the beginning of the season. I like this pairing a lot, Gallagher and Galchenyuk can feed off each other once they get the chemistry and Plekanec is a very underrated center. On such a limited night putting a line stack like this will also give you great lineup flexibility to put at least one more top player in your rotation.
Top Upside at Defense
P.K. Subban ($6,300): I wrote about him yesterday but it’s hard to not pick him again tonight for your lineups. He just continues to produce even though the struggles of the Canadiens as talked about above have held the team back. With an assist last night he has points in seven of his last eight games and is riding a three-game point streak at the moment. He had five shots on goal and two blocks last night in the Canadiens loss and posted a 5.5 fantasy point night. He’s a great pick any night he’s available, but right now he’s the most consistent offensive threat the Habs have going for them so expect him to be heavily involved tonight.
Danny DeKeyser ($3,700): DeKeyser has stepped up on the blueline lately for the Wings in an effort to fill the void left by Nik Kronwall’s stint on the DL. In the four games since DeKeyser has seen a slight uptick in minutes played and has points in three straight games. He’s added a goal in back-to-back contests while adding an assist against the Sabres 10 days ago. He’s shooting the puck more as well with seven SOG in the four games while adding a solid four BS. It’s a thin night on defense and DeKeyser is a great value pick for the Red Wings who have been offensively anemic from the blueline this season.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Johnny Gaudreau ($6,900): Gaudreau is fresh off his second All-Star appearance, where he had a goal and two assists. Before the he was setting the league on fire with points in five of his final eight games before the break. Overall on the season he has 47 points in 48 games for the Flames and is well on his way to smashing his rookie numbers from last year’s campaign. Before the break in those five games he had managed two goals and five assists while putting up 21 SOG. He facing the surprisingly tough Carolina Hurricanes tonight, but the matchup is in Calgary and on the season Johnny Hockey has 34 of his 47 points on home ice.
Marcus Foligno ($2,500): With the Canadiens playing last night I’ll take this opportunity to throw a Sabre in my value plays tonight and that Sabre is Foligno. He of 10 points this season, Foligno is penciled in to skate on the Sabres second line with stud rookie Jack Eichel. He has three points in his last 10 games, and before the break against the Rangers had one of his best games of the season with an assist and four SOG. Playing with Eichel might give him an offensive confidence boost and he’s seeing more playing time already with his expanded role. At $2,500 and playing in a top-six role with a skilled, young playmaker he’s worth a flier tonight for your lineups.
Kris Versteeg ($4,100): Versteeg stuck it to his former team last week right before the break with an assist against the Blackhawks. That followed up a multi-goal game against the Flames last weekend to give him points in back-to-back games going into the break. The Hurricanes have been playing very well lately and Versteeg, playing on the Canes top-line with Eric Staal, has been picking things up lately with nine points in his last 10 games. He has added seven blocks and 27 SOG over those 10 games as well. They play the Flames tonight in Calgary and as I said above just 10 days ago he posted a two-goal game in Carolina vs them. I like Versteeg tonight for the Canes.
There is no significant injury news to report that is affecting tonight’s DraftKings DFS hockey contests.