Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 24 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 14-game slate on this beautiful Friday morning here in sunny San Diego, California. Do you ever get sick of reading that? It did rain Wednesday night and yesterday was a chilly 68 and sunny here.
On this Black Friday, we have a few different slates to keep us occupied all day, but this article looks only at the “main” slate that commences at 4pm Pacific / 7pm East.
The three primary stacks that you should build your tournament lineups around are the Dallas Stars top line and top power play unit (Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov), the Columbus Blue Jackets top line and top power play unit (Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson), and the Colorado Avalanche top line and top power play unit (Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen).
The Stars have the second highest implied goal total of the night just behind the San Jose Sharks and get to face an Ottawa Senators team that still allows the most goals against and most shots against per game. The visiting team also has the works CF% in the NHL, so you would be wise to pick on them. Moreover, the Senators have surrendered 10 power play goals against over their last 10 games. You better believe the Seguin and company will pour on the goals this evening.
Next up is the Columbus Blue Jackets who are skating at home and are hosting a Toronto Maple Leafs team that has allowed an incredible 42 shots against per game over their last four contests. Meanwhile, Columbus has won three of its last four with its only loss courtesy of these same Maple Leafs. At home, the Jackets first line should have the best matchup against the weakest Leafs line that has been allowing buckets of high-danger scoring chances.
Lastly, and this is just from a highly-owned stacks perspective, you have the Colorado Avalanche (winners of four of their last five) on the road in Arizona to face a Coyotes squad that has dropped three of their last four. The road team is averaging the second most goals per game and, while they are expensive, the home team has the ninth-worst expected goals against per 60 number.
Other Notable Stacks
With 16 teams playing on this main slate, much like Wednesday, we have a ton to like. The one matchup that you can “game stack” features the Panthers versus the Hurricanes. Carolina allows the fewest shots per game and averages the most shots per game (over 40!), but the Panthers are shooting at the third-highest clip per contest. For both teams, look to the top lines.
I hate picking on my Bruins, but they are not the same team without Patrice Bergeron. With Sidney Crosby back, at home I see the Bruins putting up the most fight against the Evgeni Malkin line. As such, look to the Crosby line in GPPs.
All of this said, do not overlook the San Jose Sharks second line at home. The team has the highest implied goal total.
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There were some questions in the Slack chat over the first month of the season about how to find the lines that I list as my top stacks on the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Cheat Sheet. Head over to either DailyFaceoff.com or LeftWingLock.com to see which skaters are on each of a team’s lines and then build your line stacks. For example, if you see that my top stack of the day is “PIT PP1 / 1”, look at one of the two sites listed above and you will see that the top power play unit of the Pittsburgh Penguins consists of Patric Hornqvist – Evgeni Malkin – Sidney Crosby – Kris Letang – Phil Kessel. The team’s top line features Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist. I decided to leave off the players’ names from the line stacks because of the fact that they may change before the game or after the team’s morning skate (if applicable). Both sites I mentioned are updated regularly and typically accurate. If you’re ever lost, just ask questions in our Slack chat.
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Feel free to comment here or post a screenshot or photo on Instagram and remember to tag me @NotTonyM. I am always open to feedback and critique. Just remember, I respond to respect and love in whatever the message is that you want to share. Good luck!
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