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
San Jose Sharks @ Calgary Flames
Joe Pavelski ($7,300) – Joe Thornton ($5,200) – Timo Meier ($4,000)
I think this line looks primed to be a top play tonight against a Flames team that has lost two straight. Pavelski continued his great season with an assist last night, pushing his current point streak to three games. He has 11 points and 29 shots on goal (SOG) in his last 10 games. Despite only two points, Meier has not looked out of place on this line. He has averaged three SOG per game on the season and should start converting soon. Thornton has been sluggish lately, only two points in his last six games, but he has 26 points on the year and has three points in two games vs Calgary on the season.
Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin ($8,000) – Nicklas Backstrom ($6,100) – T.J. Oshie ($5,700)
Ovechkin helped to power the Capitals to a great win over the Canadiens with three points and five SOG. Ovie notched his 19th goal of the season and added two helpers and was named to the All-Star Game yesterday. Backstrom has a slim lead for the team lead in points with 34 this season and is riding a three-game point streak, including a goal and an assist against the Habs. Oshie missed the Montreal game but should draw back into the lineup tonight. Before his injury, he had points in four of his last five games with 10 SOG.
Superstar to Build Around
John Tavares ($7,100) – Both the Islanders and Panthers are disappointing this season, and that means that tonight could be a high-scoring affair. Tavares, fresh off his being named to the All-Star team, has a good matchup tonight against the Panthers. He was kept off the scoresheet against the Coyotes and Avs despite putting up nine SOG in the two games. He’s having a down season with only 27 points in 38 games, and in his career has 18 points in 23 games vs the Panthers.
Value on Offense
Tomas Plekanec ($4,400) – Plekanec has slotted in on the second line of the Canadiens and has points in back-to-back games. He had an assist vs the Leafs and a power play (PP) goal and five shots against the Caps on Monday.
Mikkel Boedker ($3,500) – Boedker has largely been a disappointment this season, not living up to his massive contract yet. He is starting to turn things around now with points in four of his last six games and has four goals, including a hat-trick last night, in his last two games.
Thomas Greiss ($7,400) – Despite taking OT losses in both games against the Avs and Coyotes over the weekend, Greiss has been fantastic as of late. He has started four straight games for the Islanders and has allowed only six goals against (GA) and not losing in any of the four (2-0-2). He gets the nod tonight against the Panthers at home, where he’s 6-3-0 on the year.
Braden Holtby ($7,700) – Holtby has a very tough matchup tonight against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, but I think that Holtby and the Caps get the win. Holtby has won three consecutive games, allowing only a single goal in total against the Blue Jackets, Senators and Canadiens. He’s 1-0-1 against the Penguins already this season with a 1.44 GAA.
Value on Defense
Jeff Petry ($5,000) – Just on the cusp of not being a value defenseman tonight, Petry has been very solid for the Habs in his last 10 games. Petry is only five points shy of a new career-high, posting 21 points in 40 games this season. He has eight points in his last 10 games and has been putting the rubber on net with 35 SOG in that span. He has also added about two blocked shots per night for a very solid average of 4.5 FPTS per contest in this 10-game span.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4,000) – Vlasic has points in back-to-back games, posting three assists in outings against the Flyers and Oilers. One of his assists has come on the PP. He has added 10 blocked shots and four shots on goal posting 13 FPTS over those two games.
* Power Play Defensemen*
Mark Giordano ($5,600) – Giordano has been shutout his last two games but has six points, all on special teams, in his last 10 games overall. Before his two-game slump, he had a three-game point streak with all point on the PP. He has been kept off the scoresheet twice this season by the Sharks, but has 19 points vs SJ in his career and should face backup goalie Aaron Dell tonight.
Justin Schultz ($5,200) – Despite a tough matchup tonight against the Capitals, Schultz has stepped up lately for the Penguins, and I think he is a great play tonight. He had an assist in the Penguins last game against the Lightning with a PP assist, three blocks and two SOG. The helper pushed his current point streak to five games and 11 points in his last 10 games, including five point on the PP.
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.