As winter approaches and the weather outside begins to cool, the NHL season is just starting to heat up. The Dallas Stars are riding a 10-game point streak, the New York Islanders have a 16-game point streak, and you may have heard but the Toronto Maple Leafs just fired their head coach Mike Babcock after getting off to a disappointing start. All of these teams are in action tonight on what is a juicy 11-game slate starting at 7 p.m. EST.
Before we dive in, let’s talk a little strategy. I am going to try and set you up for success whether you are building lineups for cash games and head to heads or if you are trying to take down the top prize in a large tournament. While occasionally you can win a tournament by playing a cash lineup, or vice versa, you typically should cater your lineups to the type of contest you are playing.
For cash games that means reducing risk by spreading out your exposure and looking for good values. In tournaments, you should be aiming for the top so correlation is key. Stacking players from the same teams and lines in your lineup increases your risk but also your upside. Since players who are on the ice together have a chance to pick up assists when a goal is scored, having a line or power-play stack that scores multiple goals can move your lineup up the leaderboards in a hurry. When stacking, it is crucial you check team lines to make sure you are stacking players that will be on the ice together.
You can use our line combos tool to view a team’s most recent lines and power-play units from previous games. I would also highly recommend checking these lines the day of a game at either the team’s morning skate or pre-game warmups, as coaches frequently make changes game to game. Twitter is the best way to stay up to date on these changes, and if you follow me @SteveDotzel and check out my Twitter lists, you can subscribe to the same lists of team beat writers that I do.
This article is written with a cash game build in mind but can be easily applied to a tournament by simply stacking up some of these players with the suggestions listed below each. Here’s a look at some players and spots to target for tonight’s slate. All players and prices used are from the DraftKings main slate (7 p.m.), though that can be applied to FanDuel as well.
C – Nathan MacKinnon ($8,400)
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