Jaroslav Halak (BOS)
He’s clearly outplayed Tuukka Rask this season. Halak has seen at least 40 shots against in each of his last two games and on the season has stopped 219 of 230 shots he’s seen for a .952 save percentage. He’s a favorite play tonight at home against the Canucks and can be played in all formats.
Carey Price (MTL)
In his last five games against the Sabres, Price has allowed just nine goals. In those games, he’s seen 38, 39, 30, 45, and 36 shots against for an average of 37.6 shots per game. While he has struggled a bit this season, the Sabres offense has struggled even more averaging just 2.87 goals per game (22nd in the league). Price’s salary is affordable on both sites tonight in a good matchup at home.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB)
If willing to pay up, Vasilevskiy has righted the ship of late allowing just three goals in his last two games while stopping 33 and 34 shots in each game respectively. Late last season Vasi was victimized by the Isles allowing six goals on 41 shots. To me that was nothing more than a blip and I would expect him to be strong in between the pipes at home tonight.
Others to consider: Darcy Kuemper (ARI), Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)
Key Three Skaters
Steven Stamkos (TB)
Over his career, Stamkos has played 31 games against the Islanders and has 13 goals and 20 assists to go along with 90 shots over that span. The Isles, who have been solid against centers this season, catch the Lightning captain at the wrong time. He has four goals, four assists, and 20 shots over his last five games after a slow start to the season. This home matchup should work well in his favor.
Brad Marchand (BOS)
Marchand is a gritty player with some talent skating on one of the best lines in the league. The problem with him sometimes is that he takes himself out of the game with stupidity because he’s a head-case. Marchand leads the league in penalty minutes with a staggering 45, including a 14-minute meltdown the other night. The matchup on paper couldn’t be much better for Marchand. The Canucks have allowed the second-most fantasy points to left-wingers this season, including 12 goals and 26 assists. With three goals in his last five games, let’s hope Marchand can keep his composure and perform at a high-level tonight, which I think is likely in the home matchup.
Sebastian Aho (CAR)
The Blackhawks are a mess and will be with a new head coach for the first time in a long time when they host the Hurricanes. One of Chicago’s deficiencies has come against the centers as they have allowed the third-most fantasy points to the position. Aho has gone without a point in each of his last three games, but still has four goals and 13 assists on the season and is averaging more than four minutes of power-play time per game. The Hurricanes have not been shy about getting pucks to the net and should continue that trend tonight with Aho leading the charge.
Favorite Line Stacks
Lightning First Line
Miller – Stamkos – Kucherov
This line has woken up over their last four games with a total of seven goals and eight assists over that span. Stamkos and Kucherov obviously lead the charge and are aided by J.T. Miller on left-wing. All three of these guys share time on the power play and with the Islanders averaging the sixth-most penalty minutes per game (10.8) and boasting a penalty kill (79.5) that is tied for 17th in the league, this line should get some opportunities in that regard as well.
Hurricanes Second Line
Ferland – Aho – Svechnikov
We talked about Aho and he’s a more household name than the others on this line, but they’ve been very good. Ferland came over from Calgary in the offseason and has been a force up front. He is second among all NHL forwards with 8.24 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, while also being third in shots per 60 (13.57). Svechnikov holds great value and much like Ferland is not afraid to get into the scoring areas down low. He’s currently sixth among forwards in high-danger scoring chances and comes in at just $4,100 on DK and $3,500 on FD. Aho and Ferland see time on the top power-play unit together while Svechnikov sees his work on the man advantage coming on the second unit.
Canadiens First Line
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
The Sabres are one of the worst teams at defending the center which will aide Danault, the general weak link of this line. Tatar came over in the offseason in the Max Pacioretty trade and has been nothing short of great with five goals and eight assists thus far. Gallagher is now arguably Montreal’s best player and if not best player he’s at least their best forward. He generates a ton of high-danger chances, shoots a ton, and has five goals in his last 10 games against Buffalo. Tatar and Gallagher see power-play time on the top unit while Danault doesn’t see any ice time with the man advantage.
Others to consider:
Bruins first line: Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Golden Knights first line: Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Top Positional Plays
Players not mentioned in “key three skaters” or “favorite line stacks” sections
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – Vancouver have allowed 20 goals and 25 assists to centers thus far. Bergeron sees the bulk of the ice time at the position for the Bruins in all situations.
Alex Galchenyuk (ARI) – Galch has points in four of his six games this season, he’s very cheap, and he draws what has been a very good matchup for centers this season.
Jack Eichel (BUF) – Montreal has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to centers.
Brayden Point (TB) – Good pivot down from Stamkos with goals in each of his last two games is Point who also has four points in his last two games against the Islanders.
Jeff Carter (LA) – Two goals and three assists in his last three games and against the Wild has nine points in his last nine games.
Vinnie Trocheck (FLA) – Just one point in his last four games but does have 12 shots over that span. With Barkov’s line likely following McDavid around, look for Vinnie to see better chances skating against the second line of Edmonton.
Jonathan Toews (CHI) – With two goals in his last three games, expect him to continue to lead by example under a new coaching staff.
Tyler Seguin (DAL) – He’s pressing big time with no goals in his last 12 games. For a high volume shooter like him, the goals will come and you won’t want to miss them when they do. He has three goals and four assists in his last nine games against the Sharks and on the season is fourth among forwards with 13.32 shots per 60 minutes.
David Pastrnak (BOS) – Goals in two of his last three games and is sixth among forwards in shots per 60 minutes.
Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) – Ottawa has allowed the third-most fantasy points to left-wingers over the last four weeks.
Evander Kane (SJ) – With his high-volume of shots (18 over his last three games), he’s due to bury one tonight.
Jeff Skinner (BUF) – Montreal have allowed seven goals to left-wingers in their last 13 games. Skinner comes in with three goals and 16 shots over his last three games and has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his last 10 games against the Habs.
Alex DeBrincat (CHI) – As one of the younger players on the team, this coaching change could directly affect the second-year pro. He has just one point in his last five games but should get going, along with the rest of the Blackhawks.
Mike Hoffman (FLA) – Has goals in six of his last eight games. Hoffman has always been a high volume shooter and a great play as a one-off with his ability to score the puck.
Jamie Benn (DAL) – Three goals in his last four games and is a net-front presence with high-danger scoring chances (5.45 per 60) ranking him ninth among left-wingers.
Timo Meier (SJ) – Five goals in his last five games and quickly becoming one of the better young forwards in the game.
Tyler Johnson (TB) – Skating well on the second line for Tampa.
Clayton Keller (ARI) – Points in each of his last five games.
Anders Lee (NYI) – Four goals in his last three games against the Lightning for the Isles captain.
Tyler Toffoli (LA) – Had a goal and an assist in his last game at a great value on DK and he’s priced down again at $3,900.
Jaccob Slavin (CAR) – Chicago has allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position and Slavin has a goals and an assist over his last three games.
Torrey Krug (BOS) – Skating well in his three games back after missing the start to the season with an injury.
Rasmus Ristolainen (LA) – Montreal has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to defensemen, including six goals, 22 assists, and 117 shots.
Oscar Klefbom (EDM) – Points in three straight games and defensemen against Florida generally see a lot of opportunities.
Shea Theodore (VGK) – Shoots the puck a ton and blocks shots while quarterbacking Vegas’ top power-play unit.
Jeff Petry (MTL) – Petry sees a ton of ice time and has offensive upside with 12 points this season. He also has 25 shots to go along with 25 blocked shots and should have a productive night at a fair salary.
Dougie Hamilton (CAR) – Leads all defensemen in shots per 60 minutes and I mentioned Chicago’s struggles with blueliners.
Brent Burns (SJ) – Heating up with points in 11 of his last 12 games.
Thomas Chabot (OTT) – An offensive force with points in each of his last four games with 20 shots over that span. On the season, the 21-year-old has four goals, 16 assists, and 40 shots.
Drew Doughty (LA) – Has 10 point in his last 10 games against the Wild and leads all defensemen with 27 minutes of ice time per game.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) – Has a goal and two assists along with 10 shots in his last three games. The Flyers have allowed 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) to defensemen over the last four weeks.
Keith Yandle (FLA) – Has goals in back to back games and points in each of his last four. The Oilers have allowed the most fantasy points to defensemen over the last four weeks, including eight goals and 24 assists over the 14-game span.
Nick Leddy (NYI) – If the Isles are going to keep up with Tampa, they’ll need contributions from the back end. Leddy is a great value at $3,500 on DK and $4,100 on FD and the Lightning have allowed the third-most fantasy points to defensemen (five goals, 21 assists) over the last four weeks.
Anton Stralman (TB) – Seeing bigger minutes with the injuries on the back end for Tampa. He has four points in his last three games with four shots and five blocks.
Brandon Carlo (BOS) – $2,900 on DK, $3,700 on FD skating on the top defense pairing.
Jake Muzzin (LA) – Seven points in his last seven games against the Wild and has five blocks with three shots over his last three contests for a supreme value.
Darnell Nurse (EDM) – Good offensive upside while offering blocked shots. Only negative, again, is that he doesn’t see power-play time.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – Just $3,600 on DK and $4,200 on FD.
Esa Lindell (DAL) – Always involved in the offense and blocks shots on the other end. In 15 games he ha 27 shots and 25 blocked shots.
Brayden Coburn (TB) – The offensive talent has always been there and he’s been showing that with 12 shots, two goals, and an assist over his last five games.