Kick back, relax, and stop losing your remote in thecouch. This Saturday is filled with NHL action beginning with a very early game between the New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers and finishing with a depleted Vancouver Canucks team hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. There is a grand total of 11 games Saturday. The main slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel consists of seven games while there is plenty of early action as well. Many eyes will be on the Leafs and Jets grudge match where Connor Hellebuyck will look for redemption against the Leafs in which promises to be another thrilling battle of Canada’s elite. The Flames will look to bounce back from their 9-1 shellacking while the Penguins plan on keeping all guns blazing into the night.
C – Nico Hischier (DK $9,000 FD $5,900)
As well as the line of Hischier, Hall, and Palmieri has been performing this season, it may come as a surprise to you to find out that their results should have been even better than they were. Per Corsica, the trio is 14th in the league in goals for per 60 minutes at 5v5 while their expected goals for per 60 minutes is 10th at 5v5. The Devils top line has also been great on the power play where they have already combined for six power play goals in only seven games. Couple that with the fact that the Panthers currently have the worst penalty kill in the league and you have a recipe for success. The Panthers have not exactly been instilling a lot of confidence in the large crowd of people who projected the team to easily finish 4th in the Atlantic this season. NJ L1 racked up seven total points on Thursday (Hischier had two goals), and they will once again be a threat together at both even strength and on the power play Saturday against the Cats.
C – Sidney Crosby (DK $7,100, FD $8,600)
After no goals in his first six games of the season, Crosby has now scored three goals in his last two games—two of them being beauties. Crosby’s price on DraftKings has been as high as $8.1K so far in this young season, making his current $7.1K price tag rather appetizing for Saturday night. The Vancouver Canucks have seemingly enjoyed giving up high danger scoring chances this season even before they sustained numerous bumps and bruises to key players. Now that the Canucks depth chart is littered with injuries, the team is even a bigger liability defensively. The Penguins potted nine against the Flames on Thursday. Look for Sid and the Pens to continue scoring at a rampant pace on Saturday.
W – Gabriel Landeskog (DK $6,600, FD $6,700)
As of Friday morning, there will be no hotter player available on Saturday than Gabriel Landeskog. Only Connor McDavid can rival Landeskog’s production over the past two weeks when examining Saturday’s player pool. Landeskog has been averaging almost seven fantasy points per game over the past two weeks on DraftKings, and he has been averaging 25 fantasy points per game on FanDuel over the past two weeks. Although there has been lots of chatter as of late about the Avalanche top line being one of the best lines in the entire National Hockey League, there are more than a few underlying metrics that refute this claim. Nonetheless, the only player available on Saturday that is as hot as Landeskog right now is McDavid, and you can snag Gabe for a significantly cheaper price.
W – Jason Pominville (DK $4,600, FD $3,900)
The now almost 36-year old winger has recently seen an uptick in production since Phil Housley spawned the line of Pominville, Eichel and, Skinner. Pominville playing alongside two volume shooters hasn’t seemed to negatively affect his personal shot count as he has recorded ten shots in his last three games. Jason Pominville has also registered three goals and three assists in his last three games, and he has received almost 70% of the Sabres total power play time over that same length of time. Paying down for Pominville is one way to access the best thing happening in Buffalo right now: the Sabres top line (sorry Bills fans).
W – Nikolaj Ehlers (DK $4,800, FD $4,800)
The 9th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is a viable option on Saturday. The Dane oozes talent as proven by his back-to-back 100+ point seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads. He was buzzing in his last game out against the Leafs where he recorded 8 shots on goal in what was his second highest TOI game total of the season. The Winnipeg Jets set season-highs in single game shot attempts, scoring chances, and high danger chances on Thursday against the Leafs. A rematch between the Jets and Leafs on Saturday night is bound to be another high-flying, exciting game.
D – Vince Dunn (DK $5,400, FD $3,900)
Dunn makes for an intriguing play on Saturday. Despite their last game where they only allowed 19 shots to the Rangers, the Blackhawks have been giving up a lot of scoring chances this season as evidenced by the NHL record that was set against them by the Lightning this past Sunday (33 shots on goal in a single period). Only two other NHL teams have served up more scoring chances against per 60 minutes than the Chicago Blackhawks this season. Dunn has averaged 4.03 power play minutes per game this season and has been on the ice for 61.8% of the Blues power play time over the last three games. Dunn is an affordable option on both sites.
D – Ian Cole (DK $3,900, FD $3,700)
Cole’s price on DraftKings is a little high for a player with little upside, but he is certainly a value option on FanDuel where he is almost minimum priced. Taking into account every NHL player with a minimum of six games played so far this season, Ian Cole is one of only three big-leaguers with at least three blocks per game. Heading into Friday night, he has blocked at least two shots per game in his last eight games including six blocks in his most recent game. Avs fans have taken notice of Cole’s willingness to repeatedly sacrifice his body for his team—it’s time the rest of us became aware of this reality too.
D – John Carlson (DK $10,300 FD $6,600)
Although he failed to register a point on Thursday night against the Oilers, John Carlson awarded DFS owners with four blocks and four shots on goal. His price has been gradually increasing on both DraftKings and FanDuel since the start of the season and for good reason: No defenseman has scored more fantasy points per game on either site in the past two weeks. The Flames gave up nine(!) goals in their last game. Plugging Carlson into your FanDuel lineup is a relatively cheap way to get some Capitals exposure on Saturday.
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