There is a default turbo contest in DraftKings NHL on Wednesday with only three games on the schedule. The league leaders in points and goals are in action tonight with the Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane ($8,700) and Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin ($9,100) as the only skaters priced above $7,000. Owners will find many mid-to-lower-priced options available and will likely need a few less-owned players to come through to help distance their team(s) from the field. Here are some players to target with the abbreviated schedule.
Philipp Grubauer ($7,200) – It’s understandable that owners would sometimes pass on Capitals starting goaltender Braden Holtby in order to save some money but with Grubauer set to start against Jonathan Bernier and the lowly Maple Leafs on Wednesday, it’s a no-brainer to take a chance on the low-priced backup. Toronto is 2-8-1 with a 3.90 goals-against average in its past 11 games and Bernier is 1-6-0 with a no decision and a 3.25 GAA in his past eight starts. The Capitals lead the Eastern Conference with a 3.25 goals-for average through 62 games and should be the closest thing to a sure bet against the Leafs.
John Gibson ($7,600) – Owners can save their budgets to splurge on forwards or defenders since Gibson can provide a great return on investment at home against the struggling Montreal Canadiens. While Montreal is 3-1-1 in its past five games, it continues to struggle on the road with a 2-8-1 record and 4.36 GAA in its past 11 away games. If it is revealed that Goldberg the Goalie from The Mighty Ducks films signed a one-day contract and will be between the pipes for Anaheim tonight, then owners are still strongly advised to go with whoever coach Bruce Boudreau is rolling out there.
Others to Consider: Corey Crawford ($8,100)
Sami Vatanen ($5,100) – Sticking with the assumption that the Ducks will get things done at home against Montreal makes Vatanen a very good value pick. Although Vatanen doesn’t see top minutes at regular strength, he is a presence on the Ducks’ blue line on the top power-play unit. The Finnish defender will seek to extend his point streak to four following a goal, three assists, four blocked shots and four shots on goal in his past three games. Vatanen has also been one of the most dependable defensemen in the NHL recently with nine points (three goals, six assists) in the past eight games.
Matt Niskanen ($5,000) – Fresh off scoring the game-winning goal Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Niskanen should continue seeing key ice time for the Capitals with top defender John Carlson on long-term injured reserve. While the veteran defender has a goal, assist and seven SOG in the past three games, the main reason owners want to go with Niskanen is his increased time on the power play with sniper Alex Ovechkin coupled with the fact that the Caps have a favorable matchup at home against Toronto.
Others to Consider: Hampus Lindholm ($4,400), Niklas Kronwall ($3,600)
Alex Ovechkin ($9,100) – Having the most expensive player on your roster does not guarantee a win in DraftKings but given Ovechkin’s dominance against Toronto in his career and the fact that he’s been held scoreless in the past two games is reason enough to select the goal-scoring machine. Ovi has only one three-game and one four-game pointless streak this season making it a high likelihood that he’ll break free from his mini slump Wednesday. The Russian superstar has 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists) and 196 SOG in 38 career games against the Maple Leafs.
Nicklas Backstrom ($6,400) – It’s usually difficult to lock down Ovechkin and Backstrom in DraftKings contests, but there are enough valuable bargain choices Wednesday to allow owners the rare opportunity to get both players on their respective rosters. The veteran center will try to extend his point streak to four with four assists and four SOG in the past three games.
Others to Consider: Artemi Panarin ($6,600), Alex Galchenyuk ($4,700), Jason Chimera ($3,900)