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
- New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – 5.5
- Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators – 5.5
- Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild – 5.5
Braden Holtby ($8,500): Holtby continues to be one of the most consistent goalies in the league and continues to be the workhorse in net for Washington. He’s won all three of his starts so far coming out of the All-Star break allowing two goals against in each. He has slipped a little lately as his GAA is up to 2.06 but still sits fourth in the league in that category while leading the league with 33 wins in 42 starts. He faces the Predators tonight in a tough matchup but Nashville has struggled for offensive consistency this season and currently sit 18th in the league in scoring offense.
Top Line of the Night
Patrick Kane ($8,600) – Artemi Panarin ($6,500) – Artem Anisimov ($5,100)
The Blackhawks trio had quite the game on Saturday against the Stars. Kane added to his league-leading points totals netting his 32nd goal of the season and upping his points on the season to 76. Panarin continues his march towards the Calder trophy with two assists of his own, giving him 34 on the season, which upped his season total to 52 points in 56 games. The big game came from the unlikely of the trio in Anisimov. He had a short-handed goal and added three assists of his own for one of his best games of the season. Both Panarin and Kane have points in all three of Chicago’s games since coming out of the All-Star break and Anisimov has points in two straight. This is one of the most lethal scoring lines in the league and has been all season and they face the up-and-down Sharks on Tuesday night in a very favorable matchup.
Top Upside at Defense
P.K. Subban ($6,300): I wrote about Subban last week and he continues to produce and turn his season around offensively despite the struggles of the Canadiens as a whole. Subban is powering the Habs offense right now overall, not just from the blueline. The stud rear-guard has points in all four of his games coming out of the break with three power-play points, a multi-point game and 13 SOG in his four contests. He faces the Lightning tonight and in his only game against Tampa this season, Subban managed an assist while posting five shots. He’s now up to 37 assists on the season, good for fourth in the NHL, and sits fourth behind Karlsson, Burns and Klingberg among defensemen in scoring.
Nick Leddy ($4,400): Another defenseman who continues to round into his offensive form is Leddy for the Islanders. After a very slow start to the season, similar to a certain Islander coming up next, Leddy has picked things up lately and has eight points in his last 10 outings for NY. He has points in three of four games coming out of the break and had one of his strongest games of the season on Sunday in the Islanders 8-1 trouncing of the Oilers. In the game Leddy had a trio of assists, one coming on the man-advantage, whilst adding a SOG. He’s up to a respectable 23 points in 51 games and is on pace to potentially break his offensive output of 37 points from last season.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
John Tavares ($7,800): Tavares seems to have turned things around after an uncharacteristically sub-par season up to the All-Star break. So far in four games back from the break he has six points and had one of his best games of the season on Sunday against the Oilers with a goal and two assists. Both of his assists came on the recently rejuvenated Isles power-play and he added two SOG as well. Two of his three games that he has score in since the break have been multi-point outings while posting 18 SOG in the four contests. He has goals in three of the four games as well. The Islanders face the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night and in three games against Columbus this season he has a goal, an assist and seven SOG. Roll the hot hand of Tavares tonight against a weak opponent .
Joseph Blandisi ($3,600): The young Devils centerman has burst onto the scene for New Jersey. Blandisi is currently riding a three-game point streak and has all 10 of his points this season in his last 10 games. At the moment he’s skating on the Devils top line in place of Mike Cammalleri and has settled in nicely with Henrique and Stempniak on their left wing. The Devils face the struggling Oilers who were embarrassed 8-1by the Islanders over the weekend and give Blandisi and the rest of the Devils top-six a fantastic scoring matchup to play against.
Jori Lehtera ($3,400): Lehtera snapped a six-game pointless streak on Saturday against the Wild with an assist and the game-winning goal. Both points came by way of the Blues potent power-play unit. Lehtera is patrolling the St. Louis third line at the moment and despite his drop off in production he is still playing with solid play-makers like Troy Brouwer and David Backes either even strength or on the PP. They face the Jets tonight who have been streaky lately and perhaps this multi-point effort will kick-start a run of offense for the young pivot.
Aleksander Barkov ($6,200) Barkov will be out of the lineup tonight for the Panthers when Florida takes on the Sabres. He’s dealing with an upper-body injury that will keep him sidelined for at least this game. He was hurt last night against the Red Wings and the full-extent of the injury is not yet known, so keep tabs on Barkov in the days coming.
Jason Spezza ($6,200) Spezza has hit the DL with an upper-body injury that has been designated week-to-week. He was enjoying a solid season with 40 points in 52 contests and was seeing time playing with the Stars top-scoring winger Jamie Benn and Patrick Sharp at different points.