The third last week of the regular season kicks off tonight with a five-game slate. I’ve highlighted my favourite stacking targets at each price range in an effort to win us all some money. Good luck!
Johnny Gaudreau ($7,200)-Sean Monahan ($6,900)-Sam Bennett ($4,200)
The Predators will surely draw a lot of attention against the Sabres in the most obvious mismatch of the night, but don’t overlook the Flames in Arizona. Yesterday’s 4-0 loss in Vegas is bound to scare some players off of Calgary 1, but the matchup remains too strong to ignore. Monahan and Gaudreau combined for five points when these two teams met in Arizona on February 22nd, and you should expect more of the same tonight.
Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet doesn’t normally line match beyond top-six vs top-six, meaning Calgary 1 should see a mix of Arizona’s first and second lines tonight. While they’ve shown the ability to create offense themselves, neither of these lines pose a real threat to the production of the Flames’ top line, as they both surrender around 30 scoring chances per 60. If you’re looking to add a defenceman to this stack, I’d suggest Dougie Hamilton ($5,900). His elite-shot production (22 shots in his last five games) gives him a very stable floor.
Kevin Fiala ($5,200)-Kyle Turris ($5,200)-Craig Smith ($5,200)
While Nashville 1 will naturally see high-ownership tonight, it might be their second line that ultimately makes for the stronger play. As productive as Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg have been together this season, they’ll be hard-pressed to produce efficiently against the Sabres’ top line, specifically Ryan O’Reilly. When paired with Sam Reinhart this year O’Reilly has posted a 54.56 CF% and surrenders just 20 scoring chances per 60. With the last change at the Sabres’ disposal, Nashville 1 is going to have to deal with O’Reilly and Reinhart all night.
The lines you should be looking to attack instead are the second and third lines of the Sabres, which should split the matchup duties against Turris, Fiala, and Smith. While Jack Eichel is the most talented offensive player on the Sabres, his defensive game pales in comparison to O’Reilly’s. Buffalo’s third line of Nick Baptiste, Justin Bailey, and Evan Rodrigues has no sizeable sample to go off of, but they’re all below-average to poor defensive players in their own right. Neither of these lines are defensively-apt enough to threaten the production of Nashville 2, who currently average over 36 scoring chances per 60. If you want to add a defenceman to this build, I suggest taking advantage of the money you’re saving from fading the top line and going after Ryan Ellis ($6,000), who mans Nashville’s second powerplay unit alongside the bulk of Nashville 2.
Danton Heinen ($3,700)-David Krejci ($5,900)-Rick Nash ($5,900)
The Bruins continue to experiment with their lines in the absence of Patrice Bergeron. This iteration of Boston’s second line has been insanely productive since its genesis, posting 24 scoring chances for and only five against in 26 minutes of ice time at 5v5. Obviously, this is an extremely small sample and in no way can these rates continue, but it’s certainly at least a testament as to what they’re capable of. It’s worth noting that Krejci and Rick Nash have been producing at elite rates in a slightly larger sample size without Heinen. Adding a player of Heinen’s skill obviously does nothing but help those numbers.
The Blue Jackets don’t have what you would call the most dynamic offense in the league, with the bulk of their production stemming from their top line of Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Boston 1 will be a hard match against this line tonight in a matchup that plays out on paper to essentially be a wash. Boston 2 on the other hand will have the luxury of going up against the depth of the Blue Jackets, which lacks the defence necessary to stunt their production. Like Nashville 2, stacking this line tonight should enable you to save a little bit of cash and avoid the heavy chalk. If you want to add even more value to this stack, I’d take a long look at Matt Grzelcyk ($3,600).