Friday, January 5th
Only a 5-game slate tonight but still some good picks thanks to a few teams on the second half of back-to-backs.
Jonathan Toews: As Toews goes, so do the Blackhawks, it seems. The team is 13-3-3 when the captain scores at least one point and are 6-11-3 when he gets shutout. Toews has scored two points in each of his last two games, and is looking at a solid matchup at home against a Vegas team that lost 2-1 to St. Louis last night.
Blake Wheeler: As you’ll see, the top line for Winnipeg is a favorite of mine tonight. The Jets are massive favorites at home against a Sabres team that got crushed 6-2 by the Wild last night. I expect Patrick Laine to be all over the place and pick up a point or two easily and Wheeler should be right there next to him.
Dylan Larkin: The Red Wings have suddenly reeled off three straight wins, and Larkin has a point in each of those wins. He and Andreas Athanasiou (yes, I had to look at that name as I spelled it) have been keeping the Red Wings running the since the holiday break. Look for more of it tonight.
Others to consider: Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin (Even on a back-to-back, against the Islanders? Dial them up), Jack Eichel (Someone’s gotta do SOMETHING for Buffalo tonight and Eichel seems like the logical choice), Nick Schmaltz (six points in his last four and centers Patrick Kane, bro)
Patrick Kane: Between Kane and Toews, it feels like the Blackhawks are getting hot for what feels like the first time this year. He has 13 points in his last 10 but he doesn’t run cheap. A Kane-Schmaltz-Hartman stack feels right at home.
Patrik Laine: Back-to-back Patricks here, huh? Winnipeg is a huge favorite and the young superstar Laine will be at the center (or rather the wing) of it tonight.
Jonathan Marchessault: I still don’t get what the Panthers were doing when they let Marchy go in the Expansion Draft. Now they’re seeing why, as he’s over a point per game on the year. Vegas has Hawks/Knights game total at 6, and it’s easy to see why. You’re getting Malcolm Subban (not yet confirmed) against Jeff Glass. Two goalies not worth much and two offenses who can go when all is right.
Andreas Athanasiou: As you saw with Larkin above, I really like these 2. Athanasiou has three goals in his last three games, and with the Red Wings favored, another goal shouldn’t be hard to come by.
Patric Honrqvist: It’s really easy just to say “the guy next to the superstar” but with Pittsburgh you need to be more specific. I almost chose Conor Sheary (who I took Introduction to Computer Science with at UMass Amherst), but I think Hornqvist does more on Malkin’s left. And with Dadbod himself, Phil Kessel on the other wing, all looks good for Hornqvist in tonight’s game against the Islanders.
Others to consider: Brandon Saad/Vinnie Hinostroza (I think more people will be on the Kane line, and these 2 skate with Jonathan Toews. Vinnie has added some much needed speed to the top line and Saad and Toews have great chemistry), James Neal (he’s the real deal, and Vegas has had very balanced scoring. I expect more people to be on Marchy, leaving Neal with a good ownership).
VALUE / PUNT
Kyle Connor: Benefits from playing with Wheeler and Laine, but for $4,600, a guy who has goals in 3 of his last 4 is someone I’ll take any day.
Vinnie Hinostroza: I mentioned him above but he’s $3,300 playing on the top line. He has points in his last 3 games and has averaged 3 SOGs per game over that stretch. If you’re picking Toews and only one linemate, I’d take Vinnie Hinnie over Saad.
- Brent Burns
- Erik Karlsson
- Kris Letang
- Dustin Byfuglien
- Nick Leddy
- Duncan Keith
- Rasmus Ristolainen
CONTRARIAN – Chicago: Toews-Saad-Hinostroza: Everyone is going to take Kane’s line but Toews has been heating up lately and the value you get by adding Vinnie to it helps out.
No overwhelming locks but here are my 3 favorites today
- Aaron Dell
- Jimmy Howard
- Connor Hellebuyck