The NHL schedule is finally picking back up with the last of the teams making their return from their bye week. I’ve highlighted my top high-priced and value stacks for tonight’s seven-game slate below. Good luck!
Boston 1 – Brad Marchand ($7,100), Patrice Bergeron ($7,400), David Pastrnak ($8,500)
Once again Boston’s top line looks like the best stack to go after on tonight’s slate. Boston 1 is a marvel of consistency. Their puck dominance night in and night out leads to elite shot volume, and their potential power-play production always leaves them with tremendous upside. Their dominant play at 5v5 should afford them plenty of time in Winnipeg’s defensive end tonight. You’ll have to pay through the roof for the full stack, but the matchups suggest they’re worth every penny.
Recently, Jets head coach Paul Maurice has toyed with his line matching formula, opting to use his top two lines in a mix against the opponent’s top-six. That means Bergeron and company should see a mix of the Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler lines tonight. Winnipeg 1 and 2 both do a good job of creating offense at 5v5, but they surrender a ton of scoring chances in the process. The Scheifele line, which should end up being Boston 1’s most common counterpart tonight, surrenders a whopping 33 scoring and 16 high-danger chances per 60. That’s a recipe for disaster against Boston 1. Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak rarely disappoint in this kind of matchup. Add in the special teams matchup, and it’s easy to see the upside here. The Jets have killed just 74.4% of their penalties this season, the fifth-worst rate in the entire NHL.
New York 2 – Artemi Panarin ($7,500), Ryan Strome ($4,800), Jesper Fast ($3,600)
You’ll have to pay full price for Panarin tonight, but his bargain-bin line-mates keep the full-stack in the value zone. Strome and Panarin have proven to be the Rangers’ most potent duo this season. They’ve done a surprisingly good job of getting out of their own end, which has led to some rather impressive offensive numbers. Together with Fast, Panarin and Strome are averaging 28 scoring and 13 high-danger chances per 60. They can struggle against some of the elite lines in the league, but luckily, that’s not what they’ll be seeing tonight. To say the Red Wings struggle in their own end would be an understatement. They are routinely outshot and out-chanced at 5v5 as they struggle to keep up with the rest of the league.
With this game being in New York, the Rangers will be in control of the line-matching. The Rangers tend to use Mika Zibanejad against the opposition’s best on home ice. That should help Strome and Panarin avoid Dylan Larkin at even strength tonight, the lone Detroit centreman that’s worth his weight. Instead, the majority of New York 2’s 5v5 ice-time should come against the Valtteri Filppula line. It shouldn’t surprise you that Filppula is not exactly an elite two-way player at this point in his career. His line’s been grossly out-chanced at even strength this year, averaging just 21 scoring chances for while surrendering 31 to the opposition. That sort of extreme ice-tilt makes New York 2 a safe bet to return value tonight, and Detroit’s abysmal penalty-kill adds to the stack’s upside. The Red Wings are dead-last in the NHL with a 73.3 PK%.