There are eight games on the NHL slate tonight. Edmonton’s top line looks to continue their tear against a Colorado goalie making his second career NHL start, while Arizona has another good road matchup against the Minnesota Wild. There’s plenty of value to be found, so I’ve highlighted my top high-priced, mid-range, and value stack to help you out. Good luck!
Edmonton 1 – Leon Draisaitl ($7,800), Connor McDavid ($8,000), Zack Kassian ($4,600)
Edmonton’s top line has been electric this season and they have another good matchup on Thursday going up against a banged up Colorado team. The Avalanche are without Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) and Nikita Zadorov (face) due to injury. While the injuries to Rantanen and Landeskog help Edmonton’s top line matchup against the MacKinnon line, it’s the injury to starting goaltender Pavel Francouz that makes this trio a good line stack. The Avalanche will be turning in goal to 22-year old Adam Werner, who was a fifth-round pick of the club in 2016. He posted a 40-save shutout in his first NHL appearance against the Jets on Tuesday, but it’s asking a lot out of a young and experienced netminder to shutdown one of the best lines in hockey.
Leon Draisaitl leads the NHL with 36 points in 20 games, while McDavid is right behind him with 31 points. Zack Kassian has been a valuable contributor to this line with six goals and 14 points. Kassian is heating up as well, as three of his goals this year have come in the last four games. This line will be seeing a mix of Colorado’s top nine, and none of those lines have been great at 5v5. All players in this Edmonton stack also play on a lethal power-play unit that ranks second-best in the NHL. They should do some damage against an Avalanche goaltender who has only faced two NHL power plays chances in his career to date.
Arizona 1 – Christian Dvorak ($3,800), Nick Schmaltz ($4,700), Conor Garland ($4,400)
Arizona’s first line is priced well tonight against a Minnesota team that is allowing 3.50 goals per game, sixth worst in the NHL. Schmaltz is leading the team in scoring with 15 points in 19 games, while Garland leads the team with eight goals. Dvorak is second with six goals and has contributed a respectable nine points . Schmatlz plays on the first power-play play play unit, but this trio has done the majority of their damage at even-strength and own a 53.76 CF% together.
Arizona is riding a seven-game point streak and facing a Wild team that is 2-4-1 in their past seven games. This Coyotes trio will be matched up with the Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Kevin Fiala line, which only has a 48.31 CF% at 5v5. The Coyotes also get to face Devan Dubnyk, who is struggling this season with a .893 save percentage in 12 appearances. Arizona is the road team Thursday evening, but that shouldn’t be a problem considering they have 16 points away from home this season – second-most in the NHL. Look for this solid top line to get on the board against a team that struggles to keep the puck out of their net.
*Note: Phil Kessel was originally listed on the top line in place of Garland. Kessel still correlates with Schmaltz on the first power-play unit, but he’s been bumped to the third line tonight
Florida 3 – Frank Vatrano ($4,300), Mike Hoffman ($5,100), Dennis Malgin ($3,900)
Florida’s third line has some nice value at home against the Jets tonight. Head coach Joel Quenneville is going for his 900th win in the NHL and the Panthers are coming off an impressive 5-4 comeback shootout victory over the Bruins on Tuesday. Both Hoffman and Vatrano found the back of the net in the win over Boston, while Malgin has nine points in 16 games on the season.
Mike Hoffman might have the best value of this trio considering his role on the first power-play unit and the four tallies he’s already potted with the man advantage this season. Don’t discount, Vatrano, though. The former Bruin is a proven sniper who has heated up after a slow start to the season. Vatrano scored 24 times last season and has now recorded three goals in his last four games. Vatrano and Malgin also have some value on the second power-play unit going up a Jets’ PK that is third-worst in the league (72.5%). Although it’s only been around a 25-minute sample size, this Florida third line has looked lethal together, posting a 57.14 CF% at even-strength. I expect them to keep the momentum rolling tonight, with strong potential of Hoffman striking with the man advantage.