The NHL Game Breakdown keeps on keeping on here at DraftKings. We take an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines, and defense vs. position match ups. There are only six games on tonight, so let’s get moving!
We have a nice way to make some money in a GPP tonight for the players who want to tread lightly!
The news is coming in, as always. Make sure you’re checking Twitter, and be sure to keep an eye out during warm-ups to make sure your player is not out for whatever reason.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Buffalo Sabres
This is TANK WARS, as the number one seeded Buffalo Sabres battle the fourth seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto has managed to claw within 12 points of the Sabres, but honestly the games have dwindled down too much for Toronto to get the number one spot. Their awful play has not gone unnoticed. The Leafs first line is all around a -35 each and 99% of that is from January 1st on. That has to make Toronto sick to their stomach. Goaltending for Toronto has gone off the rails, as well, with Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer. Buffalo is finding the heat, so to speak, as they have won two straight, and Anders Lindback is looking like ” a true number one NHL goaltender” as Ted Nolan put it. Brian Gionta has four goals and five assists in his last ten games. This may be the healthiest Gionta has been in almost two years. Matt Moulson has been good, but Johan Larsson also has eight points of late and is still flying under the radar at a good price. He will not be $3000 for long.
Money Line: Maple Leafs -125, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Phil Kessel, RW, Maple Leafs ($7900)
- Tyler Bozak, C, Maple Leafs ($4900)
- Brian Gionta, RW, Sabres ($5300)
- Tyler Ennis, C, Sabres ($5200)
Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
This is a game that will feature an all out war! The Battle of Pennsylvania is like an all out street fight, and they get to do this again on Sunday, so keep this in mind when making your lineups. Messages are going to be sent all over the place, as the Flyers have nothing to play for but pride. Pittsburgh, in a way, is in the same position, as they really want to beat these guys. Obviously, Kris Letang is out with a concussion, and that will scramble the defense pairings a bit for Pittsburgh. It will also impact Marc-Andre Fleury. As for Philadelphia, can Steve Mason get goal support? He has a great save percentage but an awful goals support number and a record that looks a bit like Cory Schneider’s last year. These games set their own tone, and the teams will do that early. After that, the action ebbs and flows a bit, with emotions always on edge. It really is a game fed on momentum, so look for the Pittsburgh power play to be key if they can draw enough penalties. The Flyers and “penalty kill” do not go in the same sentence, and it is usually a disaster against the Penguins. However, the Flyers 5 on 5 play is decent, so this is where you consider your top-six stacks. Make your best two or three and go with it!
Money Line: Penguins -210, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Michael Raffl, LW, Flyers ($4600)
- Claude Giroux, C, Flyers ($8900)
- Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins ($9000)
- Patric Hornqvist, RW, Penguins ($7100)
Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks
The game looks to be another one goal game, but which way does it go? That is unless Anaheim really floors it early or Edmonton does a little of what they did on Monday night. There is enough offensive potential in this game, but who starts for Edmonton is the question. Would they really give Richard Bachman yet another start? Keep an eye out for that. As for Anaheim, there is no clear number one no matter what is said. John Gibson has been right near average his last ten, while Frederik Andersen has been less than stellar, to say the least. It is funny because the Oilers have some of the hotter players like Derek Roy — who has five goals in his last nine games. Anton Lander has six points in his last nine. However, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle have a combined 10 goals and 25 points over the last ten contests. That is the problem. How can you go against the wave? Yet, the Ducks are a whopping -300 home favorite. It will be interesting to see if Anaheim gets sucked in or Sami Vatanen and James Wisniewski can push the pace from the blue line to set up the top six for the Ducks. Either way, it will be quite an interesting game.
Money Line: Ducks -300, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($5800)
- Taylor Hall, LW, Oilers ($7700)
- Ryan Kesler, C, Ducks ($5300)
- Jakob Silfverberg, RW, Ducks ($3800)
Colorado Avalanche @ San Jose Sharks
Hey, this is a game likely destined for the golf course or two teams that are out of the playoff picture. No one really knows what will happen, and Antti Niemi will probably play despite coming off an illness, barring a late setback. The advice here would be to look at the game this way: Reto Berra is supposed to start the next two games, so let’s be honest…do you really expect goals not to be scored in this game? Exactly! Here is the problem. Goals really could come from all angles here, so do not just focus on the top six. It may be a night to hunt for some value along the way. This will also be where the over/under looks likely to go over. It will also be fun to see Gabriel Landeskog up against the Sharks top line. Landeskog tends to perform well even when the pucks do not go in the net. At the same time, San Jose’s penalty kill is up against a Colorado power play that is equally bad. I would look towards guys like Brent Burns and Tyson Barrie if you have the room. It may mean the difference between cashing and not cashing on a short slate like this.
Money Line: Sharks -150, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Matt Duchene, C, Avs ($6700)
- Tyson Barrie, D, Avs ($5200)
- Joe Thronton, C, Sharks ($4200)
- Antti Niemi, G, Sharks ($8800)