UPDATE ... The Sabres second line tonight is ROR, Pominville and Pouliot .. Reinhart is on the third line but still on the top power play. That stack is really broken up. I would consider ROR & Pominville together with Risto and get a Flames one off such as Frolik or Johnny Gaudreau
Nice hits last night all around for the #ScoutArmy ... The Isles top line (JT) stack hat trick came through and the other thing that I think got overlooked was fading some of the high total games. Do not be afraid to fade teams in good spots in hockey!!
There's normally no reason to mess with two game slates in hockey -- and we took Monday off because of that -- however tonight I'll do a quick write-up off the heels of last night and dive into a thought on how to play small hockey slates like this.
TWO GAME APPROACH
The biggest challenge with a 2 game slate in NHL is that there aren't many good (if any) contests available to pick from on the sites. With this being the Main slate though we do have the regular selection of tournaments only smaller. I like to dive into H2H contests on small slates and don't mind some 3-man leagues as well. I would stay away from the large mega entry fields and even look at some of the "Mini" or small tournaments that are single entry. It's a night to be happy with 2x or 3x returns and not expect a massive 300 x ROI like one of our subs had last night off the article.
Without a doubt, I go all in on small slates with stacking. There's such a high risk of being little scoring that ultimately I am playing for the Goal-Assist-Assist hit to leap me above my opponents and dont want to deal with the variance of shots and blocked shots to determine a win or a loss. Stack away fellas!
Stack vs Goalie?
It's been done before, I have seen it work, but usually I avoid it. That said, I don't mind a one off versus your goalie on a small slate.
Buffalo (Chad Johnson) @ Columbus (Sergei Bobrovsky)
Calgary (Eddie Lack) @ St. Louis (Jake Allen)
The home teams are favored heavily in both games and are the better teams in both games. In each case the road team (Buffalo/Calgary) played last night and the home teams (Columbus/St. Louis) are coming off four days rest. Honestly, I have seen plenty of times where a team who hasn't played in 4+ days comes in a little off on their timing while the team who has been playing lately is more crisp. However, my gut says the Blues and Blue Jackets should crush tonight.
BLUE JACKETS ... Columbus top line: Foligno, Atkinson, Panarin -- with Jenner back and skating on the second line with Wennberg we will see the Jackets ownership spread out tonight but when looking to stack you can't go wrong with these three. They're also playing together on the top PP unit and I expect the Blue Jackets to score twice on the power play tonight.
BLUES ... Schenn /Schwartz/Tarasenko have been getting it done for the Blues and have the benefit of the final line change tonight at home. They should draw good matchups, produce a decent volume of shots and Vlad is the top skater overall on this slate. I am fading the Blues.
- Blue Jackets ... You won't be able to pair the top chalk stacks together .... So my preference is to go with the Columbus power play unit of Wennberg-Atkinson-Foligno and Werenski (D). This gives me a full 4 man stack from Columbus that has Full Strength lines 1&2 exposure as well as 4 of the 5 guys on the top power play unit. If Artemni Panarin has a huge night though, I'm done... You could pivot him in for Atkinson. If you can only pick three of those four, make it Wennberg-Atkinson-Werenski
- The Sabres ... Sergei Bobrovsky will draw ownership because he is currently a -211 favorite and everyone expects the Blue Jackets to roll tonight. While I agree that they win, I also think that the Sabres second line is going to produce tonight which not only gives me a contrarian stack but also gives me a stack against the likely chalk goalie. Not to mention, a full game stack.... Ryan O'Reilly (ROR), Reinhart and Pominville with Ristolainen on Defense... If you can only pick three of those four, make it ROR-Reinhart-Ristolainen
Bobrovsky and Allen are the chalk/safe plays tonight. I actually dont mind going opposite of both. Flames/Blues game should be lower scoring of the two but with decent shot volume. It's either going to be Eddie Lack (dirt cheap... for a reason) or Mike Smitih in goal for the Flames. I expect Lack, but would love to see Smith out there tonight.... UPDATE: It is Lack confirmed tonight.
ONE OFFS to save salary cap
- Michael Frolik (CGY)
- Vlad Sobotka (STL)
- Boone Jenner (CLB) -- Pivot off Foligno to Boone
LINE LOCK OF THE NIGHT
Foigno - Atkinson - Panarin -- Columbus top line.