After an exciting night on Wednesday, the NHL is back with a six-game slate on Thursday and the stars from teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Boston Bruins will all be in action.
Head over to DraftKings and jump into some contests tonight!
Patrice Bergeron, BOS (DK $7,600)
- While the Bruins may be without 48-goal scorer from last season David Pastrnak they still have Bergeron who is as steady and productive at the center ice position as we've seen since being drafted in the second round in 2003. The Bruins captain has recorded at least 30 goals in each of the last three seasons and is as dangerous as ever at even strength, on the power-play, and penalty kill as he has a shorthanded goal already this season.
- The Flyers have been a liability defensively since losing top-line center Sean Couturier to injury. Over the years Bergeron and Couturier have had some great battles but with Couturier out the defense up the mid among the Flyers' forwards takes a big hit. The Bruins offense funnels pretty heavily through their top line and with Pastrnak out, the heavy lifting will have to be done by Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL (DK $8,500)
- On a slate where there's a lot of value to be had, MacKinnon will be a focal point for me in my lineups. There's obviously never a bad time to roster one of the best players in the world but facing the Kings for the second time in three nights is a promising proposition.
- Two nights ago MacKinnon was somewhat quiet with two assists and two-shot on net in what was a 3-2 victory. That game made it five points in MacKinnon's last two contests. The Kings are allowing 36 shots on goal per game (third-most in the league) and have allowed 17 power-play opportunities in three games. Colorado has one of the more lethal power-plays in the league and the Kings witnessed that first hand surrendering two power-play goals to the Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Blake Wheeler, WPG (DK $6,000)
- With Patrik Laine still hurt, there is a void in scoring for the Jets and Wheeler is coming off of a one goal, one assist game against Ottawa on Tuesday night. Wheeler has seen at least 20 minutes of ice time in every game this season and could still be considered a value at $6,000.
- Ottawa has not been shy in allowing scoring opportunities this season even if they've limited the number of shots on goal per game.
- Wheeler is skating on the top line and top power-play unit as the Jets look to continue to fill the void that Laine's has left in the short term.
*Note: Lines are subject to change depending on morning skate lines. Revert to the chat and/or look for updates here for any impact they may have.
Mark Scheifele - Kyle Connor - Blake Wheeler - Neil Pionk
- Scheifele and Wheeler correlate at even strength and on the top power-play unit while Connor and Pionk join them with the man advantage. The four skaters mentioned combined for two goals and four assists on Tuesday against Ottawa and will be leaned on to produce once again.
- Winnipeg was very efficient notching four goals on just 28 shots but they will look to get more puck to the net and I suspect that they will do so. The defensive pairing for the Senators are among the league's leaders as far as yielding shot attempts go, it's up to Winnipeg to get those pucks to the net.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos - Ondrej Palat
- While Tampa is extremely expensive it's hard to argue their production along with the quality of their matchup on Thursday. Point, Stamos, and Palat average 3.94 expected goes per 60 minutes through two games and have built tremendous continuity over the years. They've accounted for 8.44 realized goals per 60 minutes, the fourth-highest mark of any forward line in the league.
- Columbus has struggled defensively to this point allowing 35 shots on goal per game resulting in 3.33 goals per contest. Their defensive pairing has not played well at all specifically the top pairing of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones, a pairing that has allowed the most shots of any pairing in the league through four games, and that includes two games against the Predators and two against the Red Wings; not exactly offensive juggernauts.
- Tampa is fairly balanced and finds ways to get contributions from a lot of their skaters and if looking for a fourth leg of this stack, Alex Killorn (DK $4,300) is worth considering as he skates on the second even-strength line and top power-play unit and already has a goal and two assists in two games.
Patrice Bergeron - Brad Marchand - Jake Debrusk - Matt Grzelcyk
- In the blurb above on Bergeron, I mentioned how the Flyers have struggled defensively and with puck possession in two games since Sean Couturier's injury. In those two games, the Flyers have allowed 77 shots on goal with both contests being against the Buffalo Sabres. In the first Buffalo was able to notch six goals and if not for goaltender Brian Elliot in the second game standing on his head, the result could've been very similar.
- Jake Debrusk has moved up to fill in Pastrnak's spot on the top line with Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Debrusk is familiar with the system and is a good value, value that is welcomed to go along with the high priced Bergeron and Marchand. Marchand has a goal and two assists early on and is coming off his best game of the early season, a game in which he didn't make it to the scoresheet but did log five shots on goal.
- Correlating on the top power-play unit with Bergeron and Marchand is Matt Gryzelcyk who's filling the void Torey Krug left when he signed with St. Louis in the offseason. Gryzelcyk also offers some cap relief at $4,700 and has an assist, 11 shots, and three blocked shots in three games.
Other Stacks to Consider
New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal - Anders Lee - Jordan Eberle
- The top line for the Islanders was one of the most productive lines in the league last season with 2.90 expected goals per 60 minutes resulting in 2.59 goals per 60. That production has carried over to this season with a combined three goals, one assist, and 23 shots on goal in three games. The Devils surrender 33 shots on goal per game and have struggled on the penalty kill thus far. Barzal, Lee, and Eberle correlate on the top power-play unit.
Top Positional Plays
*Note: Last skater listed at each position is my top value play.
Nick Suzuki, MTL (DK $5,400)
Paul Stastny, WPG (DK $4,400)
Charlie Coyle, BOS (DK $3,900)
Alexandre Texier, CBJ (DK $3,200)
Mikko Rantanen, COL (DK $7,500)
Brendan Gallagher, MTL (DK $5,500)
Cam Atkinson, CBJ (DK $4,200)
Claude Giroux, PHI (DK $4,500)
Tyler Johnson, TB (DK $2,600)
Victor Hedman, TB (DK $7,100)
Cale Makar, COL (DK $6,600)
Quinn Hughes, VAN (DK $5,300)
Alexander Romanov, MTL (DK $4,300)
Travis Hamonic, VAN (DK $4,100)
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB (DK $8,300)
- Vasi has been great through two games, albeit against the lowly Blackhawks, but there's no question of how talented the Lightning netminder is. While it's always a concern whether or not paying up for a goalie with pay off in the shots category, Columbus is averaging over 34 shots on goal per game through four contests and will be forced the get pucks to the net to keep the Lightning offense limited.
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (DK $7,600)
- After getting a game off Helly is back in net tonight looking to build off of a 35-save effort against Toronto his last time out. Jets goaltenders have seen 37 or more shots in two of three games this season picking up right where they left off last season as Hellebuyck led the league in shots against and saves made. Helly is an 8K goaltender based on the volume he sees on a night in, night out bases so to see him at just $7,600 in a game that Jets should win is a nice treat.
Tuuka Rask, BOS (DK $7,800)
In two games Rask has allowed just two goals but hasn't seen a lot of volume. While the Flyers are a dangerous team offensively, the Bruins do a good job of limiting high-danger scoring chances and have for years. Rask is very boom or bust and tends to have a bad stretch every season but against an inconsistent Flyers team offensively, I'm ok with taking a shout with the Bruins netminder.