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.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Montreal Canadiens
This is a nice clash to get the night started, as this will go a long way in deciding who ultimately wins the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay gets close to the division lead and then the injuries happen. Last time, it was three players, but this time it is only two. Jason Garrison got hurt on Saturday which was not bad, but Cedric Paquette bent his leg in a way it should not have been bent. Paquette might be out a significant amount of time. Now, Carey Price and Ben Bishop will tussle once again, and to be honest, this is the type of game Montreal should absolutely win. A win actually gives Montreal a five point cushion. Can Price stop Tampa Bay’s top six? He has had some bad results (0-3-1). Tampa is a team that plays well against Montreal…very well. Tampa fires 32 shots a game at Price but generates 17.5 scoring chances per game. They make Montreal’s defense look very ordinary with their speed. Montreal needs to set a tone early and get its top guys scoring early. Basically, they need to watch video of Saturday and essentially do what Detroit did, to a point. If you let Tampa skate in, they are going to make you pay. Montreal will need to be physical at the key points of attack.
Money Line: Canadiens -130, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Nikita Kucherov, RW, Bolts ($4500)
- Tyler Johnson, C, Bolts ($5300)
- Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8700)
- Tomas Plekanec, C, Habs ($6000)
Vancouver Canucks @ St. Louis Blues
This is a game that features an interesting wrinkle. Does Alexander Steen play? He currently has a lower body injury, and St. Louis really does not need to rush him back. It’s not believed to be too serious, but it is possible Steen stays out of Monday’s game to rest for a few extra days. That is something which could pay dividends later. If Steen is out, that will move players up a line. It’s likely that Jori Lehtera will stay with Vladimir Tarasenko, however. As for Vancouver, it is the same old same old, as they continue to try and ride Eddie Lack to a playoff berth. So far, so good. This will be a tough test, though. St. Louis (Brian Elliott in particular) needs to watch for Radim Vrbata. Vrbata is a very shifty forward who often finds ways to get open and fire shots before a goalie can get set. When you have seen it many times this year, it is almost a play that a goalie just cannot react to. Vancouver does this with the Sedin twins, and Vrbata often does this on the power play, so St. Louis, be aware. Again, the Blues have one of the best top 9’s in the league. The loss of Steen would hurt, but it can be absorbed by their forward depth.
Money Line: Blues -160, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks ($8200)
- Henrik Sedin, C, Canucks ($4800)
- David Backes, C, Blues ($5600)
- Brian Elliott, G, Blues ($7600)
Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars
The game looks to be a like a track meet with scoring chances galore. Calgary does not like to possess the puck too often but has one line that really likes to light it up. Sunday against Nashville was a more balanced effort in a big 5-2 road win over the Predators. A funny suggestion here, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn should have advantageous match-ups, yes, but the first line of Calgary with Sean Monahan should as well, and they are cheaper than Seguin and Benn. Either way, this is almost a case where you cannot go wrong. Goals are going to be scored. There is going to be a lot of intrigue, as it seems even the bottom six lines could have scoring opportunities galore in this one. The goalies may not face 40 shots each, but they are going to have to be on their toes. Kari Lehtonen should play for Dallas. Does Calgary come back with Jonas Hiller? That is a question to wait on. Even the daily opportunities for the first pairing defensemen for each team are high. It does seem there is high point potential in this game, doesn’t it?
Money Line: Stars -160, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Kris Russell, D, Flames ($5300)
- Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($5700)
- Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($9300)
- Jamie Benn, LW, Stars ($9000)
Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks
Hey, this is a marquee game. The only shame is, how much did the game take out of Chicago last night? It will probably take a few minutes, and it will feel like the Conference Finals all over again, complete with intrigue, crazy bounces, and crazy goals. There are so many daily options and ways to go here. There is no way Chicago goes with Scott Darling in a big spot like this. Can Jonathan Quick recover from getting smoked in Minnesota? Why does this game have a 4-3 feel to it before it even starts? There are lots of questions, and even fewer concrete answers. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik are getting hot at the right time, then you look at how well Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa are playing together. Obviously both teams have splendid depth that shows up this time of year like few other teams ever can. For both, it may be their last hurrah as assembled, too. Chicago and Los Angeles at 5 on 5 is quite an entertaining chess match. There will be lots of twists and turns. So enjoy it, and remember to stack carefully here.
Money Line: Even, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($6200)
- Drew Doughty, D, Kings ($5200)
- Jonathan Toews, C, Hawks ($5400)
- Corey Crawford, G, Hawks ($8800)
Edmonton Oilers @ Colorado Avalanche
Two teams come in with aspirations to impress their coaching staff and take lots of shots on net in what should be another high event game. The West is full of those lately. Now the Avalanche are heavy favorites, but keep in mind, this is a team that allowed the Buffalo Sabres to score 3 goals on 38 shots fired on net. Think about this – yes, Colorado can score, but obviously they can give up goals, too. It should almost be a top six run and gun. Now, the questions remain. Can Edmonton really stop anyone? That answer is, at times they can, but they give up lots of shots and scoring chances themselves. It may come down to who has the last shot. That is a real possibility. Personally, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins make a nice duo stack. Then of course, Colorado has quite a few options, but Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene are going to be obvious targets. Watch Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla. Yes, Iginla had three assists against Buffalo, but he may still not be as widely owned in GPP formats. Cash is another story. This will be a “get the popcorn ready” special!
Money Line: Avalanche -210, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Benoit Pouillot, LW, Oilers ($4700)
- Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($6700)
- Matt Duchene, C, Avs ($8000)
- Semyon Varlamov? , G, Avs ($8600)
Buffalo Sabres @ Arizona Coyotes
This game has potential to be a true study in insanity. Tank Wars is never pretty! It is simply quite chaotic, with tons of uncertainty as the losing takes a life of its own. I do not know if I would take either goalie in this one, but Anders Lindback will see lots of shots. The pace up and down the ice will be fast, mostly because of the almost constant mistakes made by both teams. Pretty hockey will not be had here, but lots of counter attacks will be likely. The last meeting was similar, and the game ended in a 4-3 result, with Arizona getting the extra point in the shootout. Matt Moulson and Cody Hodgson are fun possibilities for Buffalo, while for Arizona Oliver Ekman-Larsson is their version of Erik Karlsson. A lot of the power play offense runs through him. Yes, this game is not good for the faint of heart, but it should feature a lot of quality scoring chances. Please keep that in mind and pick carefully thorough the choices here. Lots of cheap value can be had in the final game of the slate.
Money Line: Coyotes -200, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Cody Hodgson, C, Sabres ($3100)
- Anders Lindback, G, Sabres ($6800)
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Coyotes ($5800)
- Shane Doan, RW, Coyotes ($4000)