January 12th - Goaltending graveyard
COL at WSH
TBL at PHI
TOR at LAK
COLORADO at WASHINGTON
This game could see a lot of action. Any time I see Colorado on the slate, I love to target them. Varlamov has been playing great, but he’s still seeing way too many shots for my liking. When he has a bad game, he’s going to allow a ton of goals and tonight seems like a solid bet for that to happen. Washington has really bought in to the defensive style of Barry Trotz, but this team can still score goals. There are a few different ways you can go tonight. The classic Ovechkin/Backstrom combo is always a legitimate play. Green and Carlson on the back-end, again, always solid plays. But one of my favourite, under-the-radar combos to use is the Johansson/Brouwer pairing. They are typically very cheap, they play on Line 2 at even strength and lineup with Ovy, Backstrom and Green on the top PP unit. It typically allows you to get very good exposure to Ovechkin while allowing you to pay up elsewhere.
Typically on a 3-4 game slate I’ll break down both teams in each game, but I am not too high on Colorado tonight. The only player I’d use is in fact Varlamov in case he decides to stand on his head again. But I doubt it.
TAMPA BAY at PHILADELPHIA
Hey look, it’s going to be the highest owned team by a country mile tonight. You have Tampa Bay, one of the most dynamic offensive teams in the NHL going in to Philadelphia to face the awful Ray Emery. On a short slate, there is no doubt in my mind that the Palat-Johnson-Kucherov line are the highest owned players by a fair margin tonight. Would not surprise me to see them all above 50%. I know that sounds crazy, but with 3 games and this match-up being a dream, it will happen. Stamkos could also see a very high ownership%. However, I think it is all with good reason. I see no reason to try and get cute by fading the highest scoring line in the NHL. They stick together on the PP, and it seems that any time they score, all 3 of them are in on the goal. They have fantastic chemistry and have been DFS gold all season long. Stack them and figure out the rest. That’s what I’ll be doing tonight. I just saw on FanDuel that Nikita Kucherov is a joke and priced at $4800. He is tied for 11th in points with Rick Nash and is Top 15 on goals. At that price, he might be 70%+ owned when you consider just how thin RW is tonight.
Philadelphia, much like Colorado, is not a team I’m looking to use tonight. If for some reason Evgeni Nabokov starts, you can throw that opening line out the window. With Nabokov in net, I’d love to use the top line of Schenn-Giroux-Voracek. However, without Nabokov, they are of zero interest to me.
TORONTO at LOS ANGELES
Toronto has been playing much better since Horacek took over, and I’ll consider them tonight as my 4th team. Their shots allowed have been down significantly in the 2 games since he took over. Now, it’s just 2 games and when you consider one of them was vs. Columbus and the other was a 6-2 loss (with an ENG), it doesn’t look nearly as good. However, the Leafs biggest problem was always shots allowed, with that clearly improving, there is a bit of encouragement moving forward. Bernier is heading back to LA to face his former team. He’s done this before so it isn’t his first time back, but there is always that extra motivation. Jonathan Quick is on a bit of a downswing right now. In his last 10 games he’s 4-3-2 with a 3.03 GAA and a .863 SV%. That’s horrible for anybody let alone one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. He’s allowed 11 goals in his last 3 games, all at home where he is typically an absolute wall. These reasons make the Leafs an interesting, under-the-radar play tonight. They are one of the highest scoring teams so that may seem like a silly comment, but given the Kings reputation, we may see people ignore this fact. The top 2 lines will stay in tact from last game with Winnik-Bozak-Kessel and JvR-Kadri-Panik. The lines looked great together on Friday, so I have no problem targeting them again tonight. To be honest, I also like either option. JvR was a beast on Friday, but his linemates are separated from him on the PP. Bozak/Kessel is an obvious play as they are PP/ES together. But as I mentioned last week, I think Kadri/Panik are a cheap option that could be a solid play. They stick together on ES2 and PP2, and both have offensive upside. Panik is underrated offensively as he has not really been given much of a chance to shine through yet. We’ll see what happens over the next little while if he can stay on the PP and playing with some offensive minded players like JvR and Kadri. The D is pretty even scoring, so use who fits IMO.
Los Angeles on the other hand is still going to be a good play tonight because despite their solid defensive play, the old Leafs could come out to play at any given moment. If the Leafs fall back in to their old ways, LA could get 40 shots and bury a ton of goals. Guys like Carter, Kopitar, Gaborik, are all options. However, Carter’s linemates are gross from a DFS perspective, so really I would only pair him with Gaborik and Kopitar for a PP1 stack along with either Muzzin or Doughty. Bernier’s experience against the Kings has not been kind. He’s allowed 5 goals on just 33 shots, so that could make things a bit scary tonight for taking some Leafs as there could be a lot of minuses coming on the board. We’ll see.
Goaltenders for tonight, I think I like Holtby followed by Bishop if they start. All games have a 5.5 O/U so targetting the win is the main priority.