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
– Calgary Flames vs. Boston Bruins – 5.5
– St. Louis Blues vs. Ottawa Senators – 5.5
– Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators – 5.5
Roberto Luongo ($8,200): With the trade of Andrew Ladd and losing Brian Little for the season the Winnipeg Jets offense has taken a blow over the last few days and that bodes well for this fantasy matchup for Luongo. Bobby Lou has been solid as of late for the Panthers, who swung some deals at the deadline to better the team for the stretch run. He has gone 2-1-1 in his last four games and has allowed only seven goals against in those four outings. In the Panthers last game on Sunday Luongo had to come in and relieve Al Montoya after Montoya suffered an upper-body injury, and forced Luongo into action on a scheduled night off. He allowed one goal while taking the loss to the Wild. The Panthers face the Jets tonight in Winnipeg and in their only matchup this season Luongo bested the Jets stopping 29 of 30 shots and picking up the win.
Top Line of the Night
Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,200) – Jaden Schwartz ($5,500) – Paul Stastny ($4,600)
The Blue top line has hit the skids as of late but will have a great chance to bounce back against the Senators, who are ranked in the bottom-five of the league in scoring defense and have allowed nine goals against in their last two games. Tarasenko, once seemingly on pace to break the 40-goal barrier again, has cooled off considerably with only 15 points since the start of January after scoring 39 the first three months of the season. Still he seems destined to have some puck luck go his way with 36 SOG in his last 10 games. Schwartz has been held scoreless his last three games as well. He has been solid in his 16 games this season with 10 points and has seven points in his last three games. Stastny has been scoreless his last two games and five of his last six overall. However they have a great chance to put up production against a weak defense and both Tarasenko and Stastny has points against the Sens in the Blues previous game against them this year.
Top Upside at Defense
Ryan Suter ($6,200): Suter is one of the top defensemen available on the evening and has a fantastic matchup against the Avs. With 41 points in 63 games on the season Suter is on pace to set a career-high in points this season. He has points in two straight games after a multi-assist game against the Caps and then followed that up with an assist against the Panthers on Sunday. He also added three SOG and four BS in those games. Suter faces the Avalanche for the fourth time this year tonight and in his previous three outings he has posted an assist, three blocks and five SOG.
Brooks Orpik ($4,400): Orpik has had a nice run of offense since coming off the IR on Feb 16 and has points in four of his seven contests despite playing in a largely third-pair role. In those games he has two goals and four assists while adding seven shots and 20 blocked shots. With John Carlson on IR for the foreseeable future expect Orpik to see an increased offensive role in the Caps top-four defensive rotation and to give solid all-around numbers in the blocks and shots categories.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Alex Ovechkin ($9,100): Ovie may have been held in check and off the scoresheet against the Blackhawks over the weekend but it hasn’t happened often lately. The league goal-scorer in the league right now, Ovechkin has 10 goals in his last 10 games and has added four assists and an incredible 64 SOG to boot. Overall he has points in eight of those 10 games and the Chicago game on Sunday snapped a five-game points streak that saw him have four multi-point outings. Ovie leads the NHL in goals at the moment with 40 tallies and his last goal against the Wild put him in some elite company as one of only 10 players in NHL history to surpass the 40-goal mark for an eighth season in their career. He will look to get back on the scoring train tonight against the Penguins. The Pens are coming off a 6-0 win over the Coyotes last night and despite being held scoreless in two games vs Pittsburgh this season, for his career Ovechkin has 46 points in 41 career contests. He’s pricey but rarely is he not worth finding a way to get him on your rosters.
Casey Cizikas ($3,300): It’s hard to explain where the offensive form for the Islanders fourth-line center has come from, but those looking for a great value play tonight shouldn’t complain. Cizikas is enjoying the best season of his career so far for the Islanders with 23 points in 60 games. The 23 points are the first time that he has broken the 20-point barrier. He has nine of those points in his last 10 games and is currently riding a four-game points streak with two goals and two assists. He anchors arguably the best fourth line in the league and at that price tag, going up against the Canucks who are bottom-10 in the league in scoring defense, he could be very worth taking a flier on tonight.
Lee Stempniak ($4,200): The Bruins acquired Stempniak right before the deadline on Monday and he is already in the system on the Bruins so he will accrue fantasy points tonight. It remains to be seen where he slots in the lineup for Boston but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he plays in their top-six forward rotation, especially after leading the Devils with 41 points in 63 games in their top-six this year. Should he be among their top lines he would be a great value play, especially on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Marchand. Monitor this situation to see where the Bruins deploy him in their lineup going into tonight’s contest with Calgary, a team in two games against this season Stemp has a goal and two assists.
Justin Faulk ($5,900) If he is able to skate on Tuesday Faulk could play against the Devils. He has missed the Canes last two games after returning from injury, and playing a game before hitting the shelf again, and would be a top defensive option should he suit up for Carolina this evening.
Benoit Pouliot ($4,900) Even though the Oilers weren’t going anywhere this year, this is a tough blow especially to a player who was having a rebound in the second half of the season. Thanks to playing with the returning Connor McDavid, Pouliot was rejuvenated and had 14 points in 14 games in the month of February. Unfortunately his season may have come to an end on Sunday against the Islanders when he collided with Anders Lee late in the third period and went into the boards hard. It is believed to be a separated shoulder, and if that’s the case look potentially to Nail Yakupov moving back to McDavid’s wing and re-forming that line that was very successful earlier in the season.