Thursday night’s hockey slate features some of the NHL’s best, with Stanley Cup contenders like the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Boston Bruins taking the ice. There are sure to be many decision points — especially on the high end of the salary range — and today’s article gets you ready for tonight’s DraftKings slate with a focus on different categories of line stacks. This 6-game NHL slate locks at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings.
Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500), Mikko Rantanen ($7,500), Gabriel Landeskog ($7,100)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Brayden Point ($7,400), Steven Stamkos ($8,200), Ondrej Palat ($5,800)
New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal ($6,600), Anders Lee ($6,500), Jordan Eberle ($5,100)
The Avalanche top line is going to be in contention for the best stack of the night any time they play, and tonight is no different in a plus matchup against the Los Angeles Kings. These teams played just two nights ago and the production was modest, and tonight should be a chance to grab the Avs at slightly lower ownership. The Lightning don’t have as good of a matchup for their game in Columbus, but this is a matter of talent—their top line has a massive ceiling in any matchup. The Islanders aren’t in the same tier as the other two teams, but a matchup against the Devils with Nico Hischier still out of the lineup is worth getting excited about. The Devils beat the Rangers their last time out but surrendered 50 shots on goal, and while that number likely isn’t repeatable, the generally porous defense probably is.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Pierre-Luc Dubois ($3,800), Cam Atkinson ($4,200), Mikhail Grigorenko ($2,500)
Derek Stepan ($3,300), Alex Galchenyuk ($2,900), Evgenii Dadonov ($2,900)
Jesperi Kotkaniemi ($3,200), Tyler Toffoli ($3,900), Joel Armia ($2,700)
The matchup for the Blue Jackets isn’t ideal, although facing the Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn’t be quite as challenging in 2021 with Nikita Kucherov sidelined for the year. The prices on Dubois and Atkinson are simply too low, and it’s an appealing spot even against such a tough opponent. The value lines on the Senators and Canadiens have far easier matchups, and both are substantially underpriced. The ownership figures to be high on both of them, especially with both having good results in their most recent games, but the salaries are low enough that these lines still warrant strong consideration.
Mark Scheifele ($6,900), Blake Wheeler ($6,000), Kyle Connor ($7,200)
Patrice Bergeron ($7,600), Brad Marchand ($7,400), Jake DeBrusk ($4,700)
Phillip Danault ($4,000), Tomas Tatar ($5,900), Brendan Gallagher ($5,500)
The Jets likely won’t be contrarian as a team tonight, but there’s a potential edge to be had for stacking purposes with how much they’ve jumbled their lines during recent games. The Jets fell behind in each of their last two games and altered their line combinations in each of them as well, and in both cases they moved Nikolaj Ehlers away from Scheifele and Wheeler. Last game’s switch to Kyle Connor resulted in a win, and this line could stick together after that strong result while also making up a low-owned combination.
The Bruins are in a seemingly tough matchup against the Flyers, but with Sean Couturier sidelined there’s bound to be a much larger opportunity for puck possession. The Flyers are a much worse defensive team without Couturier playing, and this could result in a sneaky Bruins stack with most people seeing the matchup as tougher than it is. Lastly, the Canadiens’ top line simply looks like an ownership casualty, with mid-tier pricing that doesn’t align all that well with the slate. The “stars and scrubs” build should be much more common with the amount of top-end talent and also the amount of value available tonight, and it could make for an under-the-radar Montreal first line in a good matchup against the Canucks.
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