The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into matchups, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Favorites and Totals
- Pittsburgh Penguins are -270 to defeat Buffalo
- Florida Panthers are -260 to defeat Toronto
- The St. Louis Blues are -240 to defeat Colorado
- Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens – 5.5 goals
- Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators – 5.5 goals
- All other games have a total of 5 goals tonight
Brian Elliott – STL vs COL – $8,500: In case anyone has missed it, the Blues goalies are good. How good you may ask? Elliott and his crease-mate in St. Louis, Jake Allen, have posted four straight shutouts which is a new franchise record. Elliott has pitched three of those shutouts since his return from missing a month of action due to injury. He’s played spectacular all season and even before this run was leading the league in both GAA and SV%, and this has only padded those stats even more. Elliott now has 20 wins in 37 starts and stopping all 71 shots he’s faced in his last three games has dropped his GAA below two, now at 1.95, and has upped his SV% to .934. He gets the nod tonight against the Avalanche and in his only appearance against them this year Elliott took the OTL allowing one GA in a shootout loss.
Top Line of the Night
FLORIDA PANTHERS (VS TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
“I’ve got the hair. I’ve got the beard. I’ve got everything.” That’s the mindset of Jaromir Jagr going into the playoffs and quite frankly there isn’t much to argue with. Finishing up his 23rd NHL season Jagr is actually on pace to break his numbers from his rookie year when as a 19-year-old he scored 27 goals and had 57 points (he has 25 and 57 at the moment). He has been as consistent as he could be this season, despite dealing with injuries to some of his linesmates, but not that this line is healthy and have been playing together for a few weeks they are rounding into prime form again for Florida’s stretch run to the playoffs.
“…all three members of this line have found the score sheet in their last two games.”
Jagr and Huberdeau both are in the double-digit point outputs in their last 10 games (Jagr 10, Huberdeau 11) and all three members of this line have found the score sheet in their last two games played. Barkov has three assists in those games, Jagr has a goal and two assists and Huberdeau has netted two goals with an assist. This has been Florida’s best line all season and when healthy has been one of the more underrated top-scoring lines in all the NHL. The trio has a fantastic matchup tonight against a Leafs coming off a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay last night and should be at the top of your Line Stacks list tonight.
Lineup Building Notes
Top Upside and Value on Defense
Roman Josi – NSH @ DAL – $7,100: Josi was my top defenseman last night against the Avalanche and despite the Predators taking the loss he still had a great game. The offensive juggernaut Swiss defenseman tallied a goal, a block and four shots and the goal set a new Nashville franchise record for points in a season by a defenseman giving him 57 on the year. The goal also give him 10 points over his last eight games. He has a tough matchup tonight with the resurging Dallas Stars but he is as hot as any defender out there at the moment, so if you want to spend big on D tonight roll Josi.
Trevor Daley – PIT vs BUF – $4,100: Daley hasn’t taken the offensive step forward that many were expecting from his this season after his 16-goal outburst last year. He has had a much better season since coming over to the Penguins in a trade however with 20 points in 46 games, vs only six in 29 games with Chicago to start the year. He has been especially solid as of late with six points in his last five games, doing his part offensively while the Penguins surge up the playoff standings winning eight of their last 10. Daley has two goals and four assists in those six games logging major minutes in the Penguins top-four and on the PP. Look for him to keep things rolling tonight when the Penguins welcome the Sabres, who are on the second night of a back-to-back.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Sidney Crosby, C– PIT vs BUF – $8,100: Not to pile on the Penguins but Crosby is playing the best hockey in the NHL right now and there might not be a close second. If he could have been playing at this level, the level we all know that he is capable of playing at, all year then he easily would be challenging Patrick Kane for the league lead in points and most likely the Hart Memorial trophy. The Kid has been on an absolute tear lately… 13 points in his last 10 games. He’s now up to 78 on the season in 74 games, and lest we forget he had a mere 15 points on the year through the end of November. Sid and Co get a prime matchup tonight against a tired Sabres team that in two games against this season he has three points, and for his career has 48 points in 30 contests. Roll The Kid tonight without hesitation.
Mattias Janmark, LW – DAL vs NSH – $3,300: Janmark returned to the Stars lineup over the weekend after missing about two weeks of action, and made an immediate impact netting two goals on two shots in 14 minutes of ice time in the Stars outing against the Sharks over the weekend. The rookie has shown flashes of scoring prowess this season and should get a good look going forward on the Stars second line with Jason Spezza and Valeri Nichushkin, playing prime minutes in the stretch of a playoff run. Take a flier on the rookie winger tonight against a Nashville team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
“It seems like all Haula does lately is find the score sheet.”
Erik Haula, C – MIN vs CHI – $4,100: It seems like all Haula does lately is find the score sheet. Oh wait, that’s because he does. The young Minnesota center, is centering a very underrated scoring line for the Wild with Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville and he has tallied a point in eight straight games for the Wild as they try and hold off the charging Avalanche for a playoff spot. Haula has three goals and five assists on his eight game streak tonight that he take into the Wild’s matchup with the Blackhawks, but the young center has dominated Chicago this season to the tune of two goals and three helpers in four prior meetings. With his point streak and success against the Hawks this year it’s hard to argue against Haula tonight.
Ryan Spooner, C – BOS @ NJ – $4,200 A big loss for the Bruins tonight as Spooner is the team’s fifth-leading scorer. He is listed as day-to-day at the moment with an undisclosed injury and is not traveling with the team to face the Devils tonight in Newark.
Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, C – COL @ STL – $6,500 A monumental loss for the Avs at this point in the season as both MacKinnon and Duchene are out tonight against the Blues after not playing last night against the Predators with knee issues.