January 9th - The obvious teams are too obvious
I just want to remind everybody to keep checking back in this comments section for updates throughout the day. Any line changes that go against what I’ve said in this post, will be posted below. That goes with any news that comes out that makes me like/dislike any team that I have not mentioned.
NYI at NJD
CBJ at TOR
BUF at TBL
FLA at CGY
CHI at EDM
Tonight seems easy but I think it’s a little harder than you think. It is obvious which teams to target, but the players might be a bit more difficult to pinpoint. Again, the top teams are obvious, but they are 2-3 lines team so it will be all about figuring out which line (or players, or Power Play) is going to go off tonight.
We will start with the Islanders. One of the biggest surprises of the year, but they look fantastic out there. The additions to Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy were great and it showed up much of an impact they have as when Boychuk went down, the Islanders looked like a completely different team out there. Tonight, they are on the road against a Devils team that was just dismantled in gameplay last night. The 3-0 score with an empty netter does not do justice of just how bad the Devils looked. They couldn’t even muster up 15 shots as the Bruins more than tripled them in SOG. Incredible.
Tonight I expect the Islanders to do something similar, but probably not quite as drastic. They are rested and the Devils will be tired. Keith Kinkaid is in net tonight, and while he hasn’t looked bad, he’s still a 25 yaer old undrafted rookie that is bound to come back down to earth sooner rather than later. Tonight with the Islanders, I’m not fucking around John Tavares is picking up his play and taking him, Okposo and Leddy for the PP combo would be my #1 and really my only option if I’m going with the Islanders tonight. There are other plays to pay up for, but tonight if you’ve got the Isles on your radar, don’t get cute and take their top 2 offensive players.
I was hesitant to write them up, and you can just as easily take Columbus tonight and I would not fault you. But with the Leafs as the favourite in a 6.0 O/U, Vegas is expecting goals and more from the Leafs than the Blue Jackets. While the Leafs did lose 6-2 last game, they allowed their lowest SOG total in a month. Baby steps, but their defensive play was noticibly improved and the goaltending wasn’t very good. If they continue with their solid defensive play tonight, I don’t think the Blue Jackets will be able to put much offense together.
The lines have been changed since last game, which were changed from the Carlyle regime. You can no longer just plug and play the top line of JVR-Bozak-Kessel as it is no longer in tact. The 1st line is Winnik-Bozak-Kessel and the 2nd line is JvR-Kadri-Panik. That 2nd line is one that really intrigues me to be honest. I was a [i]huge[/i] fan of Richard Panik when he was just a prospect and thought he looked real good at one of the WJC I saw him play in. Bozak’s offence is a product of Kessel and/or JvR, whoever he is with that night. That is why I’m not huge on taking Kessel and Bozak tonight, as I feel JvR was the glue to that line and I am not a fan of the way it is currently put together.
JvR-Kadri-Panik on the other hand, I really like tonight. If you’re feeling dangerous and are paying up for Tampa, New York or Chicago, rolling with a cheap option on the Leafs of Kadri and Panik, who also play on the PP together, is definitely something I can get on board with. Kadri looks like a different player this year and with JvR on that line to keep things in check, I think Kadri and Panik might be able to get something going. They play on the 2nd PP unit together and using another cheapie in Morgan Rielly to get a trifecta going, not a terrible play.
This game could get out of hand quick. Tampa scored 7 against Buffalo last week and I would not be surprised if we see that again. Buffalo is on the tail end of a B2B and Tampa is rested. This could be a smokeshow. If teams like New Jersey and Carolina are putting up 4 and 5 goals against the the Sabres, surely Tampa can put up 12.
They’ll be a VERY popular play tonight, but you have to use the Palat-Johnson-Kucherov line tonight IMO. They are one of the hottest lines in the NHL (Oshie-Backes-Steen have something to say about that this week), and are in play every night because of their chemistry and the fact that they also stay together on the PP. Last game the 3 of them played with Stamkos and Stralman on the PP for the majority, CHA-CHING. Now you get to use the sexiest line on the team AND have exposure to Stamkos with a cheap dman? It really doesn’t get much better than that guys. Tyler Johnson is $8100, and that is very expensive. He’s played his way in to that price for sure, and I might actually pay up for him tonight because I don’t like Palat’s offensive ability and I want to take 2 of them. However, going with Palat/Kucherov saves you a bunch of money to spend elsewhere.
I can understand going another direction and going Stamkos’ line or Filppula’s line but that’s part of the problem. With Tampa they are 3 lines deep and it’s tough to predict which line is going to go off which game.
They were dumbied last night in every aspect of the game outside of the final score. Minnesota doubled the Blackhawks in SOG and you cannot even blame the new lines in Chicago really as they still put up points. The Bickell-Richards-Kane line looked solid, potting the EN as well. The thing is, it’s an ugly line to target because you don’t want to roster Bickell ever, and Richards and Kane are on 2 separate PP’s. Saad-Toews-Hossa? Toews-Hossa would be my go-to but I hate that they are on different PP units. Last night I used Shaw-Sharp which looked okay as they opened the scoring and play PP together, but they didn’t do much after that opening goal.
So this is the problem with Chicago, much like Tampa, they are 3 lines deep and these lines are scattered across the 2 PP units. Because it’s a short slate and I usually am talking DraftKings, you don’t need to stack to win like on FD with their +/- that adds up quickly. You can do 2-2-2 or 2-2-1-1 for forwards on DK and have no problem finishing at or near the top of a GPP. For those reasons, even though it’s not my favourite situation to be in because of split PP’s, I think the money you save going with Toews-Hossa tonight is worth it. If not them, I’d consider Shaw/Sharp who are less dynamic of a pairing but will be on the ice together almost the entire game.
Goalies tonight, I think I’m going to be grudgingly rolling with Jaroslav Halak. It’s funny, I’m not taking Bishop at home to Buffalo because I’m worried about Buffalo getting no shots, but Halak is going against a team that only had 14 shots last night. I may have to re-think that. Also in Chicago, Raanta is probably playing and he’s inexplicibly the most expensive goaltender on DraftKings. Ridiculous. Those are the 3 biggest favourites, and all of them have their faults. You could go Bernier or Hiller, but who knows which version of their team is going to show up. So I think tonight’s goaltending is tough, and I would just take Bishop and Halak and hope their opposition gets some shots to make any GA less crucial.
Cheers and good luck.