A Vegas and Fantasy Look at Tonight's NHL Slate
The NHL gives us the usual slim pickings for selecting out NHL rosters with this evening. Three games are on the card with Colorado being the only team that played last night as they travel to Calgary where the Flames have been inserted as a -200 favorite. Calgary has been very good on home ice as they have gone 12-4-4 in front of the home crowd this season. The only glimmer of hope that the Avalanche have is that although they played last night, they did get embarrassed in Winnipeg which would make a team like Colorado possibly give a better effort this evening. Their 2-6-2 record over the last 10 games points to a probable loss while the only players of relevance would be the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon has grabbed 12 of his 65 points over the last nine games while Rantanen has added 10 points as he leads the team with 47 assists and 66 points. The Avalanche know how to draw penalties as they have found themselves with the man advantage 43 times over the last nine games. The eight goals they have scored over that time frame is the fifth most of any team in the last three weeks despite coming in 14th in the NHL with a 18.6 power play percentage. Meanwhile Calgary has given up eight power play goals over the last nine games so the odds are that we will see a Colorado power play goal this evening. Calgary’s top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm will draw a lot of attention as well but if you want to deviate from this power trio then taking a look a Matthew Tkachuk as a one-off is the way to go. Tkachuk is tied for third on the team with 50 points while leading the team with 19 power play points so far this season.
Next up is Nashville at Chicago where Vegas has inserted the travelling Predators as a -190 favorite. Of the underdogs on the card this evening Chicago is the team that has the most probability of winning. Yes Filip Forsberg is back in the fray on the top line with Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen on the Nahville top line but if the Blackhawks can keep them in check, the odds will sway their way. Patrick Kane is the stud for Chicago as he leads the team with 24 goals and 32 assists while skating with Dylan Strome and Artem Anisimov in tow. Strome makes for a decent pairing with the Hawks superstar as he has liked playing alongside of his as evidence of his two goals and six assists over the last nine games. Alex Debrincat can be used much like Tkachuk in the Calgary game as he has grabbed six goals and three assists over the last nine games while skating on the team’s third line. Debrincat is used exactly like Tkachuk in that he skates with the team’s top power play unit in which five of those nine points have been generated from. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson also has seen five of his last nine points come while quarterbacking the team’s top power play unit. On the Nashville side on things taking a look at Craig Smith and his team leading 14 goals may not be a bad idea here as the Hawks will surely be keyed on stopping the team’s top line. Meanwhile on the back line both Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm have been an integral part of the offense as each has 30 points to their credit this season.
This brings us to the last game on the slate as the home team Anaheim Ducks have been inserted as a -220 favorite over the visiting Ottawa Senators. Both teams have combined for just three wins over the last 10 games that each has played which almost begs for you take Ottawa at +285 on the 60 minute money line. As far as fantasy is concerned no one outside of Nick Ritchie and defenseman Josh Mahura have grabbed more than three points over the last seven games which is just another indication of why the Ducks have done so poorly of late. 11 goals over the last eight games is another reason to take a look at Ottawa in this one as Anaheim has clearly had a problem putting the biscuit in the basket. Ottawa on the other hand may just be correct this evening in splitting up their talent as all they need is some good goaltending and maybe three goals to get by in this one. Mark Stone leads the team not only with eight points over the last eight games but leads the team with 20 goals and 47 points as well. He will skate with Colin White and Brady Tkachuk on the top line while Matt Duchene and his 42 points in 37 games will sit this one out as his wife is going to have a baby any day now. Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers skate on the second line while the third line that features Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel also give the Senators a chance to get on the score sheet. Both teams haven’t played since Sunday which means they should both come out ready to play this evening.
For The Record
Three Team Parlay
Calgary ML (60 min)
Chicago ML (OT and SO)
Ottawa ML (OT and SO)