After a busy Tuesday night, The NHL schedule comes to a grinding halt on Wednesday with just two games on the slate. I’ve highlighted my top high-priced, mid-range, and value stack below. Good luck!
Washington 1 – Alex Ovechkin ($8,400), Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,200), @T.J. Oshie ($6,100)
Fading Washington’s top line on a two-game slate is a very obvious risk. There may not be a more reliable stack in the NHL than Washington 1, even with Nicklas Backstrom sidelined. Ovie, Kuznetsov, and Oshie did not fare great at 5v5 together last season, but their struggles came on the defensive side of the puck. They still generated plenty of scoring chances and had a knack for increasing the pace of play. You have to like their odds of producing against the Rangers tonight, one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL.
New York ranks dead last in the NHL in both CF% (43.11) and SCF% (42.78). Washington 1’s upside typically comes primarily from the power-play, so it’s always exciting whenever they draw a strong matchup at even strength. It’ll cost you an arm and a leg to play them tonight, but fading them could prove to be fatal.
Montreal 1 – Tomas Tatar ($5,500), Phillip Danault ($4,700), Brendan Gallagher ($6,700)
One of the better 5v5 lines in the league for the past two seasons now, Montreal 1 is a safe bet to make on a slate of this size. Their strong possession play and elite shot production give them a high-floor, and their ability to generate scoring chances gives them a lot of upside against a sub-par defensive team. Montreal 1 routinely matches up against the opposition’s top line at home ice. Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s ridiculous start to the season means he’s probably their target tonight.
This may or may not surprise you, but Pageau’s been rather fortunate to score 12 goals in 21 games this season. He’s enjoyed a 24.0 SH% and a sky-high 15.0 on-ice SH%. He remains an effective two-way player, but his line’s production at 5v5 pales in comparison to Montreal 1’s esteemed track record. Simply put, the Danault line is going to see a lot of offensive zone time against Craig Anderson, so you’ll want some exposure to them tonight.
Ottawa 2 – Brady Tkachuk ($5,300), Logan Brown ($3,500), Anthony Duclair ($4,700)
If you’re looking to add some cheap, value plays to your lineup, look no further than Ottawa’s second line. Tkachuk, Brown, and Duclair have been an offensive force in their brief time together. They’re averaging a robust 40 scoring and 21 high-danger chances per 60 at 5v5. Their puck dominance has led to some elite shot production which they’re already reaping the benefits of. The three of them combined for four goals, three assists, and 18 shots on goal in Ottawa’s last two games. They look poised to keep their hot streak alive tonight, thanks to a cushy 5v5 matchup against Montreal 2.
With Pageau drawing the attention of the Danault line, Montreal’s second line will be left to match up with Ottawa 2. Montreal 2 has struggled since shifting Max Domi over to the wing in favour of Nick Suzuki. Suzuki and Domi own a 44.44 SCF% and an ugly 37.50 HDCF% in just over 60 minutes together at 5v5. With Suzuki at centre, Ottawa 2 is a heavy favourite in the matchup. All three members of Ottawa 2 were also on the team’s top power-play unit last game, adding to their upside tonight. Montreal’s 71.2 PK% ranks dead last in the NHL.