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
– Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens – 5.5
– Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets – 5.5
– Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders – 5
Pekka Rinne ($8,100): It’s been a while since I have been able to write about Rinne in this spot after his mid-season meltdown that ballooned his stats. But he has regained his old form and has a fantastic matchup tonight that makes him my top goalie of the night. In his last eight starts Rinne hasn’t lost in regulation, and he has gone 6-0-2 in that span with two shutouts and a meager 14 goals against. He had a four-game winning streak snapped with an overtime loss to the Devils on Thursday but turned right around and picked up the win against the Avalanche on Saturday on the road. The Predators face-off against the Jets on Tuesday night in a very winnable matchup, and in four prior starts against the Jets this season Rinne is 2-1-1 with a 2.30 GAA.
Top Line of the Night
Tyler Seguin ($8,300) – Jamie Benn ($8,000) – Brett Ritchie ($2,500)
Despite only having three points between the two of them in their last five games, I love the Stars matchup tonight against the Canadiens for Seguin and Benn. Benn did have a point on Sunday against the Senators, which pushed his team lead in points to 72 on the season. Both Benn and Seguin are still above a point-per-game average through 67 games with Seguin adding 68 points of his own. The duo did light it up against Montreal earlier this season in their lone matchup with the Habs, combining for three goals, two assists and eight shots on goal (SOG). With Patrick Sharp still uncertain to play after missing the last two games with an injury, it has been Ritchie who has filled in on the top line for the Stars, they were his first two games of the year. While he has failed to record a point, he has been effective and has not been afraid to shoot the puck, recording three shots on goal in both games. He is one of the top value picks on the evening as long as he plays with Seguin and Benn.
Top Upside at Defense
Shea Weber ($6,100): Weber continues to be one of the top defensemen in the league and surprisingly to some people he is third in the league in goals-scored among defensemen with 17 on the year. He is up to 41 points in 63 games but it’s the run in his last three games that’s been impressive. He has points in all three outings for Nashville (2G, 3A) with two points coming on the PP and has added nine SOG and eight blocked shots to total 20.5 fantasy points. He only has one point against the Jets this season, an assist, but had put up seven blocks and 14 SOG in four matchups and with his recent run of offense, is a great play tonight against a weak scoring defense.
Andrej Sekera ($4,400): Sekera has had a decent season for the lowly Oilers with 24 points on the year. He has gone long stretches without having any production, and that was the case recently. He has points in his last two games which snapped an eight-game pointless drought. Sekera had two assists against the Blue Jackets and one against the Jets while adding six SOG. The Oilers get the Sharks tonight on the second night of a back-to-back, and Sekera could see a decent chance to produce, especially seeing time at even strength and on the power play (PP) with the likes of McDavid, Hall, Eberle, and Draisaitl.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Sidney Crosby ($7,800): Crosby is one of the top players available tonight and is going against a team that he has owned throughout his career. It will be a tough matchup against the Islanders tonight, who are coming off a 6-1-0 road trip, but the Penguins offense has been looking very good lately, and the Islanders defense has been inconsistent despite their success. Crosby is always a top pick against the Isles, posting 91 points in 51 career matchups vs NYI. Earlier this year, Crosby and Malkin had a field day against the Isles when they combined for all five of the Penguins goals in their January 5-2 win. Sid the Kid is one of the hottest scorers in the league right now, as well, riding a five-game point streak at the moment with three goals, six assists and three multi-point games. The Penguins are chasing the Islanders in the standings so expect Crosby and Co to come out strong in a pivotal division matchup.
Patrick Maroon ($3,200): Like Brett Ritchie playing with Seguin and Benn, Maroon is enjoying his playing time with top-flight playmakers since his trade from Anaheim to the Oilers, and he has settled nicely on the Edmonton second line with Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl. In his first 56 games of the year with the Ducks, Maroon managed to put up 13 points. He has scored in all three contests in Edmonton so far with two goals, two assists, 10 SOG and has even added three blocked shots. He is getting an opportunity to produce offense that he did not see in Anaheim, so take advantage of him now while he is in such a premium playing position at a great value price.
Colton Sceviour ($3,000): Playing largely in a bottom-six role this season, Sceviour isn’t known for his offensive acumen. However, lately he has turned it on by putting up points in three of his last five games. He had two multi-point games, scoring a goal in all three games he had points, and he has added 11 shots, as well. He will not give you much but is worth the look as a flier for those looking to spend big elsewhere.
Henrik Lundqvist ($8,500) Lundqvist is still nursing the neck injury that he suffered against the Penguins last week that kept him out over the weekend against the Capitals and Islanders. He will not travel with the team to Buffalo tonight meaning that it will likely be Antti Raanta in goal for the Rangers again.
John Klingberg ($6,400) Klingberg is nursing a lower-body injury and is did not travel to Ottawa over the weekend. He is still considered day-to-day and is uncertain to play tonight when the Stars are in Montreal. Look elsewhere for help from the blueline.