I don’t think anyone will be shocked to see who I am writing up today but it’s hard to ignore some of these matchups on a semi short slate. Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning are fresh tonight going up against a decimated Habs team on a back to back. It appears Carey Price will be starting again tonight but his numbers on tail ends of back to backs aren’t very good. On top of that Shea Weber and David Schlemko are still out and Victor Mete is off playing in the WJC. In the seven games prior to the holiday break Kucherov was lighting up the score sheet with five goals, six assists, and 33 shots on goal. Kucherov is in play in every format.
If you want to take a stroll down narrative street, look no further than Auston Mathews. This is a home game for him tonight in Arizona and if he was still a bit banged up the holiday break was just what the doctor ordered. The Coyotes played last night in Colorado beating the Avs with Raanta in net which means most likely the Maple Leafs will be facing Scott Wedgewood tonight which is a definite bump for Mathews. In the Leafs final game before the break Mathews registers a goal, an assist, four shots on goal, and four blocked shots in 19 minutes showing he is healthy. He is in play in every format as well, and in GPPs it would be wise to pair him with William Nylander.
Earlier in the season people were wondering if Burns would ever produce to justify his price, however, if you took a dive into his advanced numbers it would have appears that Burns was getting unlucky. Unsurprisingly once the first puck found twine the flood gates have opened and everything is reverting back to normal. In his past eight games, Burns has recorded five goals, seven assists, and 38 shots on goal which is incredible production for a defenseman. The Sharks get a matchup with the Calgary Flames in San Jose tonight and Logan Couture is still out so the onus will still fall on Burns’ shoulders to keep producing. He would be a cash game lock for me and if you have the salary an easy play in gpp, however I would not rearrange my whole lineup just to squeeze him in.
The Blackhawks are traveling up to Vancouver to face the banged up Canucks tonight. The Canucks have turned back to the Sedins both offensively and defensively since the injury to Bo Horvat and they should be matched up with the Patrick Kane line tonight. This will free up the Toews line to face secondary matchups which Brandon Saad and his speed can certainly exploit. This line as a whole had struggled for a few games so Q decided to move Richard Panik up to the top line instead of Alex DeBrincat. That combination has been a tad more consistent on the year and at only $4900 on DraftKings, Brandon Saad is a very good GPP value.
The Kings have made slight changes to their lines and no one gets a more beneficial move than Tanner Pearson. He moves up onto the top line with Kopitar and Brown, replacing Iaffalo on the wing. This will be a huge boost for Pearson, especially seeing a big bump in ice time. He has been a bit inconsistent since Jeff Carter has been hurt but at only $4400 on DraftKings he should find some consistency on the top line. The Kings get a matchup with the Golden Knights who are on the tail end of a back to back on the road which is something that should be targeted in GPPs.