There is no shortage of action tonight on the ice with 10 NHL games to indulge. DraftKings has some exciting contests in the lobby, and I've gone ahead and broken down everything you need to know to cash on Thursday.
Patrik Laine, CBJ (DK $6,500)
- Since being moved to Columbus, Laine has been red hot, despite being benched during a game very early on. Could this have lit a fire under Laine? Maybe, but regardless of that, there's no doubt Laine is one of the better goal scorers. Since coming into the league, only two players have more power-play goals than Laine: Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak. Maybe you've heard of them?
- In 10 games with Columbus, Laine has six goals, four assists, and 18 shots. The Blackhawks and Blue Jackets have combined for 27 goals scored in their last three matchups, with Columbus accounting for 13 of those goals. At $6,500, Laine is the 13th-highest priced winger on the slate in a game that expects to see a great pace and plenty of scoring chances once again.
Filip Forsberg, NSH (DK $7,000)
- One of the streakiest performers for one of the streakiest teams. Forsberg is rolling right now with three goals in his last four games, including tallies in each of his last two with a total of eight shots over that span. The Preds winger should've had two goals on Tuesday against Detroit but instead was held to just one after a bad goalie interference call early in the game.
- Forsberg now has two goals and two assists in three games against Detroit this season and, dating back to last season, has five points in his last three contests against the Red Wings. The wing position is loaded on this slate, and Forsberg is at the top of my list when considering his salary, matchup, and recent play.
Brendan Gallagher, MTL (DK $6,000)
- The Canadiens' leadership group, with Gallagher included, saw their head coach and associate head coach fired on Wednesday, one night removed from an overtime defeat to the Senators. Now, the Canadiens should've won this game in the closing seconds when a shot re-directed by Gallagher and in was waved off due to goalie interference, a brutal call, may I add. Nevertheless, Julien and Muller are gone, and it's time for this team with high expectations to turn things around.
- Now, keep in mind that Montreal is still 9-5-4 and fourth in the North Division, but the facts are that after a hot start, this team has been stuck in neutral for an extended time.
- Looking at Gallagher, he still leads the NHL in shots per 60 and is second in scoring chances per 60, high-danger scoring chances per 60, and expected goals scored per 60. With complimentary scoring present in Montreal at the wing position with the acquisitions of Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson (both of which have been tremendous), Gally has gotten a bit lost in the shuffle at times inexplicably. The Jets have been very forgiving defensively, and Gallagher is underpriced considering the potential high-score this game could see.
Connor McDavid - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jesse Puljujarvi - Tyson Barrie
- While omitting Leon Draisaitl here, that's not to say he's not in play. That would be idiotic to think, considering that he's the defending Hart Trophy winner. With that being said, it's very salary prohibitive to roster both Draisaitl and McDavid while adding Nugent-Hopkins.
- The even-strength line of McDavid, RNH, and Puljujarvi has been one of the better lines in the league posting a 3.69 expected goals mark per 60 minutes while skating as a unit. McDavid and RNH are stalwarts on the top power-play unit and will have their chances against a Canucks team that averages the most shorthanded minutes per game in the league.
- Speaking of power-play, Tyson Barrie has come to Edmonton and had a resurgence with three goals and 17 points in 21 games with two power-play goals and eight man-advantage points.
- Overall the Canucks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league, lacking discipline across the board. They allow the most shots, scoring chances, second-most high-danger scoring chances, and have the highest expected goals against mark per 60 at 5v5 of any team in the league.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Jack Roslovic - Cam Atkinson - Patrik Laine - Seth Jones
- When Roslovic and Laine were traded to Columbus, it seemed to have rejuvenated both players, and thus they are skating together on the top line and top power-play unit. Another player that seems to have benefited from that move was Cam Atkinson, who has eight goals and six assists since the late January trade. This line combined for three goals, four assists, and 12 shots against Chicago on Tuesday, and they'll ride that momentum into Thursday.
- Seth Jones continues to handle the bulk of the offense on the back end with Zach Werenski out, and he's produced nine assists over his last nine games while adding 21 shots and 15 blocked shots over that span.
- Chicago allows the sixth-most scoring chances per 60, eighth-most high-danger scoring chances, and has the ninth-highest expected goals against mark per 60 at 5v5. Also, Chicago has the 21st-ranked penalty kill in the league, and Columbus capitalized with three man-advantage goals on Tuesday as well as two power-play goals in the February 11th matchup between these two.
Elias Lindholm - Johnny Gaudreau - Matthew Tkachuk - Rasmus Andersson
- Playing in their second game in as many nights, the Flames' salaries have been pumped up a bit considering their matchup against the Ottawa Senators. This team continues to be brutal defensively. Ottawa has allowed at least four goals in four of their last seven games, and while Calgary has been stagnant offensively, they have shown signs of breaking out of their funk, and there's no better matchup for them to explode.
- All four skaters correlate on the top power-play unit, a unit with a 21 percent success rate on the season that will see chances against the fifth-most penalized team in the league (in terms of penalty minutes per game) a penalty kill that ranks 24th in the league.
Other Stacks to Consider
Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust - Jake Guentzel - Kris Letang
Mikael Granlund - Filip Forsberg - Viktor Arvidsson - Roman Josi
Jack Eichel - Taylor Hall - Victor Olofsson - Sam Reinhart
Top Positional Plays
*Note: The last skater listed at each position is my top value play.
- Mark Scheifele, WPG (DK $7,100)
- Aleksander Barkov, FLA (DK $6,500)
- Sebastian Aho, CAR (DK $5,600)
- Brayden Point, TB (DK $6,200)
- Lars Eller, WAS (DK $4,000)
- Patrick Kane, CHI (DK $8,000)
- Tyler Toffoli, MTL (DK $7,100)
- Andrei Svechnikov, CAR (DK $6,300)
- Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (DK $5,900)
- Kyle Connor, WPG (DK $5,800)
- Jakub Vrana, WAS (DK $4,700)
- Evgenii Dadonov, OTT (DK $3,500)
- John Carlson, WAS (DK $6,800)
- Victor Hedman, TB (DK $6,600)
- Aaron Ekblad, FLA (DK $5,300)
- Shea Weber, MTL (DK $4,800)
- MacKenzie Weegar, FLA (DK $3,700)
- Scott Mayfield, FLA (DK $3,300)
- Derek Forbort, WPG (DK $3,500)
- David Rittich, CGY (DK $8,000)
- Linus Ullmark, BUF (DK $7,400)
- Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA (DK $8,000)
- Tuukka Rask, BOS (DK $8,000)