There are four NHL games on tap to start this week of DraftKings hockey contests so DFS hockey players will have a decent player pool to wade through and fill-out their lineups with both superstar and value plays. Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s game.
Roberto Luongo ($8,200) – The Panthers have won 12 straight games which has propelled them to first in the Atlantic Division, with the fourth-most points in the league, and Luongo is having one of the best seasons of his career currently riding a nine-game winning streak. He sits fourth in the league with 19 wins, fifth in SV% at .931, and sixth in GAA with a 2.06 mark and has allowed more than two goals against only once in his last 10 starts, while posting two shutouts in that span. He is the hottest goalie on the league and on a night where there are no incredibly low value goalies to keep your spending in net down Luongo, the second-most expensive goalie on the evening, is the top net-minder available for your lineups. His 5.4 FPPG are the highest of any starter available tonight and the Panthers have a great matchup against Luongo’s former team the Canucks.
Henrik Lundqvist ($7,700) – While Luongo is having a career-best season, Lundqvist is struggling right now and posting some of the worst numbers of his career. Why should you start him then tonight? He downright owns the Bruins in his career and coming off a tough loss to the Caps over the weekend, he seems extra motivated to have a great game. In 35 career starts against Boston, Lundqvist is 21-12-2 while posting a 1.97 GAA and a .933 SV%. He is due for a bounce back and a course correction and with his history against the Bruins this is a prime opportunity to snap out of his recent funk.
Martin Jones ($7,000) – Jones has struggled at times this season in his first year as a full-time starter for the Sharks, but he has played well and he posted his fourth shutout of the season (T-3 in the league) over the weekend against the Maple Leafs. He has given up only seven goals against in his last four starts and turned things around after a short, four-game where he allowed 16 goals against. Jones has two wins in three career starts against the Flames, middle of the road offense this season, who have scored one goal or less in three of their last five outings. He is one of the least expensive starters on the evening in a solid matchup so consider him if you want to spend bigger elsewhere.
Others to Consider: Tuukka Rask ($7,800), Jimmy Howard ($7,200), Jonathan Quick ($8,300).
Mark Giordano ($6,300) – Giordano continues to comeback from a slump at the beginning of the season and is reinforcing himself as one of the better offensive defensemen in the NHL. He is riding a four-game point streak and has points in eight of his last night games that has produced 12 points (4G, 8A) and has posted 19 blocked shots and 24 shots on goal in those nine games. He is up to 24 points on the season and this offense is beginning to click with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the front line allowing Giordano plenty of opportunity to produce. In his current streak Gio has three power-play points as well, running the point on the Flames top unit.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4,400) – I have written about Vlasic before and is he a very underrated scoring defenseman, playing in the shadow of Brent Burns on the Sharks blueline. He has been very productive as of late with eight of his 19 points on the season coming in his last nine games. He has been particularly good over the Sharks last five games with points in four of them as well as putting up 15 blocked shots and six SOG. He is coming off one of his better games of the season with two assists, four blocks and three shots in the Sharks 7-0 romp of the Maple Leafs over the weekend and is a top-pair defenseman who comes in $4,000 less expensive than his current teammate Brent Burns.
Ryan McDonagh ($4,700) – Another defenseman who has been productive in the past and has struggled this year, McDonagh had a solid game against the Capitals over the weekend and could use this as a spring to jumpstart his season. He has 19 points in 41 games but he has added five points in his last 10. Against the Capitals on Saturday McDonagh posted two assists and added two blocks and a shot on goal. He is seeing prime minutes to produce at both even-strength on the top-pair as well as running the Rangers top power-play unit and comes in at an affordable $4,700 on the night.
Others to Consider: Zdeno Chara ($5,300), Brent Burns ($8,300), Torey Krug ($6,000), Aaron Ekblad ($5,000), Jake Muzzin ($4,700), Colin Miller ($3,400), Drew Doughty ($5,600).
Joe Pavelski ($7,700) – Pavelski is tied for ninth in the league with 40 points and is averaging just over a point-per-game having hit that plateau in 39 games. Despite an up-and-down season for the Sharks, Pavelski has been as consistent as they come and has been particularly fantastic as of late. In his last 10 games he has 14 points and is shooting an incredible 34.8% with eight goals on only 23 shots on goal in that span. Four of those markers have come on the Sharks potent, seventh-ranked power-play unit. The Sharks are a top-10 scoring offense and have a fantastic matchup against the Flames who are 29th in the league in goals against average. It’s been difficult to keep Pavelski off the scoresheet and has two points in two games against the Flames already this year.
Aleksander Barkov ($5,800) – Like Pavelski, Barkov has been one of the hottest scorers in the league and has been a key cog for the Panthers current 12-game win streak. The former 2nd overall pick in 2013 is coming into his own in his third season with 27 points in 32 games. Barkov has points in eight of his last 10 games that has produced five goals and six assists on one of the most dynamic lines in the league with Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau. He is riding a four-game point streak (1G, 3A) with five shots on goal and the Panthers have a great matchup against Canucks backup Jacob Markstrom who has allowed eight goals against in his last three starts and is posting a 2.48 GAA on the season.
Anze Kopitar ($5,700) – Kopitar has kicked his game into gear as of late and has not seen a drop-off in production with the return of Jeff Carter to the center role on the Kings second line. Kopitar was riding a six-game point streak that was snapped last week but he bounced back immediately with a goal against the Blues on Saturday night. He has 11 points in his last eight games with 23 shots on goal in those games, as well as putting four points up on the Kings potent power-play unit.
Tomas Hertl ($4,400) – Another Shark, I know, but Hertl is worth mentioning here. He has been put on the Sharks top line with Pavelski and Thornton and posted his best game of the season against Toronto over the weekend. He had two goals, an assist and five SOG while seeing time with the two Sharks star players and overall has points in three of his last five games. He is penciled in to continue on this line for the time being and as long as he is in this prime offensive production slot, especially with a favorable salary, he should strongly be considered for your lineup as a solid value pick.
David Pastrnak ($3,900) – Patrnak had a solid trip to the World Junior Championships and after being re-called by the Bruins he was placed on the Bruins top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He did not have a great game his first action against the Devils on Friday but he made his mark known on Saturday with a goal on two shots against the Senators. The Bruins are hoping this promotion to the front line will spark the level of production that he flashed last season when he put up 27 points in 46 games.
Sven Baertschi ($2,800) – The Canucks are giving Baertschi a prime slot on the second line next to Bo Horvat and Radim Vrbata and he and Horvat have been productive as a duo lately. Baertschi was never able to live up to the hype that saw the Flames take him 13th overall in 2011, but he has carved out a good niche with the Canucks and has seven of his 14 points in his last nine games. He has five goals in those nine games despite a low shot output, 16 shots in that span, and the Canucks seem content to see how productive this line can be with Horvat seen as a top center of the future and Baertschi beginning to show flashes of his draft hype. At $2,800 tonight, despite a tough matchup against the Panthers, Baertschi is a great value on a night that is not very deep at the bottom of the player pool.
Others to Consider: Patrice Bergeron ($7,400), Sean Monahan ($5,600), Johnny Gaudreau ($6,800), Ryan Spooner ($4,600), Jonathan Huberdeau ($5,500), Joe Thornton ($5,100), Chris Kreider ($4,100), Dylan Larkin ($5,700), Tyler Toffoli ($5,700), Rick Nash ($7,100), Brad Marchand ($6,200).
Make sure to check out the NHL Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey.