Well, here we are with one of the best Stanley Cup Finals matchups in at least a decade. Colorado dominated the West, going 12-2 through the 3 rounds. Tampa had to get through what was arguably the toughest road to the Finals in a long time – – Toronto, Florida, and Igor Shesterkin (oops, I meant the Rangers).
The Bolts may get Brayden Point back as early as Game1, and Colorado may yet see a wounded Nazem Kadri by the end – if I read the tea leaves correctly. And Andrei Vasilevskiy remains hot.
So then WHY, you might ask, am I picking the Avalanche in 5 games? First, they're rested. The rest clearly helped Tampa in the last round, and now the shoe is on the other foot. Tampa's blue line is bruised, at best. Second, they're hungry. Like the Lightning after being swept in 2019, Colorado has much more to prove. "You have to lose first?" Done. The Nathan MacKinnon exit interview after last season's collapse against Las Vegas still speaks volumes. And third, it's team speed. The Avs have elite skaters who will draw more penalties than the Rangers managed, and Cale Makar is the hottest PP quarterback in the playoffs.
My Game 1 DFS lineup, then. Remember in the DraftKings "Showdown" format we choose a team captain who both costs and produces at 150%, and 5 flex (any position) players.
I'll start with the afore-mentioned Cale Makar ($14,400), adding Nathan MacKinnon ($10,800) and Gabriel Landeskog ($8000) from the top line. Second-liners Artturi Lehkonen ($6000) and Andre Burakovsky (major bargain at site-minimum $2000), yep I'm all in on Colorado. My token Tampa Bay player Steven Stamkos ($8600), just fit under my "cap," and will certainly get his opportunities. No goalkeeper this time, I'm looking at a 5-3 score.
Last week, I got double back on an unsure 4-dollar bet, but then played Steve Dotzel's Thursday lineup and scored better, with both Ondrej Palat and Brandon Hagel scoring goals.