Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 3 of the @NotTonyM Top Shelf Knucklepuck!
We have a lovely 11-game slate on this glorious Saturday with the Tampa Bay Lightning finally playing for the first time this season. I trust that you continue to play light on cash games. If you skipped my article yesterday or simply glazed over my sage advice on how to balance your DFS budget early in the NHL, please go back and read or revisit the piece.
Of the 11 games on the slate, the only games (as of the writing of this article) that are not carrying an over/under of 6 are the contests between (1) the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights as well as the (2) Anaheim Ducks at the Arizona Coyotes.
I am not necessarily fading those games, but I will limit my skater exposure there. However, the Anaheim Ducks top power play unit (Adam Henrique – Rickard Rakell – Jakob Silfverberg – Ryan Getzlaf – Cam Fowler) makes for an intriguing tournament play on home ice against the historically disappointing Coyotes.
At only $8.3K on FD, John Gibson is a top 5 netminder after an opening night 5-2 win over the tough San Jose Sharks in the Shark Tank. Gibson is a safe cash game play at the price even if he only sees 30 shots from the Coyotes.
From a chalk stack perspective, most of the public will gravitate towards the three teams that are skating on home ice as the largest Vegas moneyline favorites. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Calgary Flames will be popular targets from which to select your skaters for your cash games and GPPs alike given the fact that their respective opponents of the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks are not known for their strong defenses.
The Leafs loaded offense has three playable lines, but you will see the most ownership on the Auston Matthews first line featuring Patrick Marleau and Tyler Ennis because the team is at home. I don’t think you need Ennis as a Matthews-Marleau mini-stack is sufficient to capture the shots on goal and points from that line.
The John Tavares second line will have slightly lower ownership in GPPs, but I actually prefer this line with Zach Hyman and Mitch Marner along with Tavares just given the fact that we might get them at 5% less. Please do not overlook Nazem Kadri, especially if you want to get exposure to the Leafs top powerplay unit of Tavares-Kadri-Marner-Matthews and Morgan Rielly.
In cash games, on this 11-game slate, I probably would not have three Leafs in your lineup, but I am quite fine with two, especially if you go with a mini-stack of a skater from the first and second lines that also play on that first power play unit.
With respect to the Flames, both of their top lines are playable, but the top line of Johnny Gadreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm rate as one of the top units on the day given the fact that the team is at home in the Saddledome.
A contrarian play from this game is to roster a mini-stack of Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund. With the loss of Dougie Hamilton, Mark Giodrano is going to soak up as many minutes as possible on the point and is always cash game playable.
The last chalk stack of the night has got to be the Penguins top line of Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins offense was showcased in its first game of the season against the Washington Capitals and while the prices of the skaters are high (especially Crosby and second line center, Evgeni Malkin), you must have exposure in GPPs. Patric Hornqvist, given his shot volume and price, is a safe cash game play.
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