*The slate, with it being Columbus Day, has a 1:00 P.M. lock time. There are three games on the slate with the late game not included.
Tuukka Rask (BOS)
Rask should be the clear chalk in a home matchup against the Ottawa Senators. With the Bruins being heavy favorites most people playing will gravitate towards him and his more-than-affordable salary on both sites. In most cases, I am all for fading a chalky Tuukka Rask who is known to have some horrific games in decent spots. He looked like absolute dog shit on opening night but with the tough road matchup, banner raising nonsense, and a charged up Capitals team I’m willing to give him a pass. Rask was 3-0 with a .959 save percentage and a 1.00 GAA in three starts against the Senators. This is a rare spot where I’m ok eating Rask chalk.
Martin Jones (SJ)
Jones has made two starts already and I would expect him to start today against the Islanders as well. Jones hasn’t looked particularly good in his first two starts seeing limited work against the Ducks and Kings. Today, though, he should see some more action and shots in front of him facing a team that is going to want to push the envelope with the puck up and down the ice. Jones should get into a rhythm early and keeps the Isles at bay.
Key Three Skaters
David Pastrnak (BOS)
Pasta has nine shots and a goal in his first two games of the season and had a goal and two assists against the Ottawa Senators in four games last season. Since the beginning of last season, the Sens have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to right-wingers. Skating on a dynamic line and seeing top power-play minutes against a poor defensive team, Pasta will produce big-time today.
Jack Eichel (BUF)
Jack was active last night, much more active than the Sabres’ opening night performance against the Bruins. The Sabres captain had a goal (empty net), an assist (on a beautiful power-play), four shots on goal, and two blocks in 25 minutes of ice-time. Since the beginning of last season, the Golden Knights have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers. Buffalo should look to push the issue in this game with Vegas playing their second road game in the last three days, again keep in mind that this is an afternoon game and that the Knights flew West coast to East coast to battle the Wild, had an off-day, now play here against Buffalo.
Erik Karlsson (SJ)
It’s not often that you’ll see me include a defenseman in this section, but on a short slate in this matchup, I have a tough time not locking in EK65. The Islanders have been absolutely putrid since the beginning of last season against the defense position allowing the third-most fantasy points to blue-liners, including 54 goals and 171 assists. EK has six goals, 16 assists, and 64 shots in 25 games against the Islanders. He’ll make his presence felt today against the vulnerable Isles.
Favorite Line Stacks
Boston Bruins First Line
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
At time this trio was broken up last season, which I could never understand, but they are together for now at even strength as well as on the power play. This is as close to a perfect hockey line as you can find. Marchand is the gritty, aggressive, pain in the ass on the defensive and offensive zones that no one seems to like. Bergeron is the playmaking center that isn’t afraid to shoot while regularly shutting down opposing top-line centers with his incredible defense. Pastrnak is the young, 22-year-old kid with all of the speed and talent in the world with an incredible shot that he can get off in any situation from anywhere on the ice. These three will be popular, but they should give the Sens fits today.
Buffalo Sabres First Line
Sheary – Eichel – Reinhart
This line presents a ton of value and shouldn’t be as popular as the Bruins top trio. With that said, it’s possible to get both lines into the same lineup. This line was put together after the Sabres’ embarrassing home effort in their opener against the Bruins. They responded with a productive showing against the Rangers as they combined for three goals and two assists and all three contributed to a power-play goal early in the game. I expect these three to push the issue with their speed and ability to get to the net against Marc-Andre Fleury who’s looked shaky allowing six goals on 46 shots against in two games.
Top Positional Plays
Not including players mentioned in “Key Three” or “Favorite Line Stacks” sections
Logan Couture (SJ) – Should step in on the top line with Joe Thornton heading to I.R.
William Karlsson (VGK) – Never discount Wild Bill’s talent centering a very good top line. I, personally just think Vegas as a whole underwhelm’s tonight, but their top line can’t be ignored.
David Krejci (BOS) – Cheaper exposure to Boston who I think score at least four tonight. Krejci centers the second line.
Matt Duchene (OTT) – Ottawa’s best player and a way to combat Rask chalk if you decide to fade.
Joe Pavelski (SJ) – Hasn’t been the goal scorer we’re accustomed to seeing but Pavelski is still a very good player on the first line of a dynamic offensive team.
Evander Kane (SJ) – His speed and shot volume always present upside.
Jeff Skinner (BUF) – Skating on the second even-strength line but top power-play unit. Generates a lot of high-danger scoring chances and shoots a ton.
Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) – Part of that Vegas line that’s centered by Wild Bill.
Kyle Okposo (BUF) – Great value skating on the second line and top power-play unit .
Ryan Donato (BOS) – Moved up to the second line and is positioned in front of the net on the top power-play unit.
Timo Meier (SJ) – Just $4,400 on FanDuel, generates a ton of high-danger scoring chances, and skates on the first line.
Brent Burns (SJ) – As mentioned above I prefer EK, but I can’t argue with a Burns pivot.
Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) – Solid floor with shots and blocked shots while presenting upside with a ton of ice time and power-play exposure.
Nick Leddy (NYI) – Moves the puck very well with great speed. Plays with an offensive mindset that sometimes gets him in trouble in the defensive end.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – If you don’t want to pay up for EK or Burns, Vlasic gets you that exposure against the Isles who haven’t defensed the position well dating back to the beginning of last year.
Colin Miller (VGK) – Great value quarterbacking the top power-play unit.
Charlie McAvoy (BOS) – Skating on the top pairing with the absence of Torrey Krug. McAvoy showed at the end of last season what kind of offensive talent he has.