Last night’s slate was an absolute eruption in offensive game play, every game on the slate totaled at least five goals and five teams scored six or more goals on their own. For myself specifically it was a tale of two games, The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes game probably couldn’t have gone any better. The four players I highlighted here in the breakdown registered at least a point, Teavo Teravainen scored a goal and got an assist to go along with 5 shots on goal, his teammate Andrei Svechnikov scored 2 goals and an assist with 4 shots on goal. On the Islanders side Kyle Palmieri logged the fourth most ice time among New York’s forwards and used that time to register 2 assists, 4 shots on goal and a blocked shot. Noah Dobson was the Islanders defenseman to be highlighted he picked up an assist, 1 shot on goal and 2 blocked shots. That game is exactly what we’re hoping to identify and take advantage of in the breakdown, the game itself total 9 goals on 69 combined shots on goal with 8 total power plays, the game was full of scoring opportunities and we got the results we wanted. On the other side of the coin was the Montreal Canadiens playing the Buffalo Sabres, I called for a Montreal blowout victory and what happened was, well not that. Buffalo slapped Montreal around and held the Canadiens to just 1 goal, the only team not to score at least 2 goals last night. The players that were targeted from this game completely disappointed, Tyler Toffoli registered 0 points on 4 shots, Brendan Gallagher had 0 points on 3 shots on goal and, you might be detecting a theme here now, Jeff Petry had you guessed it 0 points on 1 shot on goal, an absolutely brutal showing there. Now the results were atrocious but I stand by my thought process, Buffalo has been a dumpster fire for the better part of a decade and all the underlying stats pointed to the Canadiens controlling the game and they had opportunities firing 31 shots on goal and getting 4 power play chances they just couldn’t do anything with those chances. But you got to have a short memory in NHL DFS tonight brings a new slate and new opportunities, we have three games tonight and I’m breaking all of them down for you right here.
Chicago Blackhawks @ New Jersey Devils
The night starts off with the Chicago Blackhawks visiting the New Jersey Devils coming off a season opening 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. That game had a combined 70 shots on goal and 7 power plays, hopefully the Blackhawks can carry some of that over and push the Devils in a game that has a total set at 6 goals at the moment. Against Colorado, Blackhowks youngsters Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach helped push the play for Chicago, both registering 4 shots on goal with Kubalik punching one home. The Blackhawks were middle of the pack last year in scoring chances for (SCF) ranked 16th with 648 and high danger chances for (HDF) 17th with 167 but they’re matchup against the Devils is favorable as the Devils ranked in the top third of scoring chances against (SCA) 12th 688 and high danger chances against (HDA) 11th with 182. New Jersey’s offense isn’t much to get excited about ranking 20th in SCF last year 560 and 19th in HDF 146 but just like how their own defensive shortcomings will aid the Blackhawks, Chicago’s leaky defense, 16th in SCA 648 and 17th in HDA 159, should provide the Devils plenty of scoring opportunities. Jane Koukkanen ($4,300 DK, $3,500 FD) is priced down on both sites making him an excellent value for a guy that’s going to play on the top line and on the power play unit. For additional value and and cap relief Jesper Bratt ($4,400 DK, $3,600 FD) will be playing top six minutes and a role on the second power play unit. On the Chicago side of this game Phillip Kurashev ($3,200 DK, $3,700 FD) will be manning a wing on Jonathan Toews second line and secures a spot on the Blackhawks second power play unit. You might’ve noticed a theme for the players in that game that I like, I’m using this game for cap relief so that I can fill out most of my lineup with more expensive players in the next game that I believe will have the most scoring on the slate.
Vancouver Canucks @ Philadelphia Flyers
The Vancouver Canucks lost 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday and now travel to the east coast to take on the Philadelphia Flyers in another game with a 6 goal total. In the game against Edmonton the Canucks put 38 shots on net and helped combine with the Oilers for 72 shots on goal and 7 power play opportunities. Vancouver had four players register 4 or more shots on goal. Now they get a Flyers team that played better defensively than it appeared last year due to a down year from goalie prodigy Carter Hart. Ranking in the top third of all scoring chance related categories last year, SCF 658 14th , SCA 698 9th , HDF 177 12th , HDA 177 12th , Canucks games were ripe for fantasy points last year and after one game it looks like that should continue again this year. The Flyers might’ve disappointed last year as a team but they still provided plenty of chances for fantasy points overall, ranking in the top ten in both SCF 695 9th and HDF 193 7th there were plenty of Flyers games with healthy fantasy environments. Given both teams’ abilities to generate offense on their own, the Canucks way of elevating their opponent’s offensive opportunities and the decades long mystery that is Flyers’ goaltending this game has a great chance to be the highest scoring game on tonight’s slate and offers multiple players with great floor/ceiling combos. For the Flyers I like their top line which also doubles as the foundation of their top power play unit, Sean Couturier ($7,100 DK, $6,500 FD) is underpriced on FD making him a great cash game play, Claude Giroux ($6,000 DK, $5,500 FD) is priced pretty fairly on both sites and can be used for cash games and tournaments, finally Travis Konecny ($5,900 DK, $5,200 FD) is underpriced on both sites and is poised to take a major leap this season and it’ll start tonight. On the Canucks side of the game I love their top end guys tonight Elias Petterrson ($6,700 DK, $7,200 FD) always has the potential to break any slate, comes with a safe top line role with a great supporting cast around him. Quinn Hughes ($5,700 DK, $6,500 FD) scored a goal Wednesday night in the opener and that should be just the start of Hughes’ ascension to the NHL’s elite defensemen.
Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks
The night capper for this slate brings us the Minnesota Wild traveling out west to take on the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim surprised some people on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets keyed by a 2 point night (1 G, 1 A) from young gun Mason McTavish. Despite the victory I’m still treating Anaheim as a team to attack from a fantasy perspective until they’ve proven themselves over a larger sample size. They only generated 22 shots on goal and allowed 34 against the Jets, last year they ranked in the top 5 in both SCA 4th 801 and HDA 2nd 232. The Wild showed off an underrated offense last year ranking 13th in SCF 659 and 9th in HDF 188. We’ll be switching back to value plays for this game starting with Jordan Greenway ($4,400 DK, $3,900 FD) egregiously underpriced on FD he is locked into a top 6 forward role and rotates onto the power play as well, his line mate newly acquired Ryan Hartman ($5,000 DK, $3,700 FD) also comes in very underpriced on FD and while he has disappointed since the Chicago Blackhawks made him a first round pick in 2013 he finally seems to have the role and the supporting cast to reach his potential. I would fade most of the Ducks team but if you want to add one to your line up Trevor Zegras ($4,800 DK, $5,200) has the most secure role centering the top line and slotted on their top power play unit.