Good morning and Happy Birthday to me! This is a momentous occasion as we have been running hot, I turn another year older today and it’s my last article of the season. Welcome to volume 66 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 12-game main slate on this cool and sunny Thursday morning in San Diego, California.
If you are a new subscriber to our NHL Core Plays, please make sure that you are playing all of the lineups that I post on any given day. NHL is such a highly-variant sport and there is truly no telling which lineup will go off. I do have my favorites each day, but even the lineups that I may not think have massive upside sometimes, in fact, have the upside you need to take down a tournament.
The Carolina Hurricanes are playing in a must win game tonight at home against the New Jersey Devils, who are allowing the sixth-most goals per game and own the eighth-worst CorsiFor%. The Hurricanes top line (Sebastian Aho – Nino Niederreiter – Justin Williams – Jaccob Slavin/Justin Faulk) collective price has dropped following a period of relatively low production. On home ice, take a shot on Carolina’s first line in a contest that they have to win in order to continue playing in April.
On that same thought, the Colorado Avalanche are also playing in a must win game. The team is at home hosting a struggling Winnipeg Jets squad that has dropped four of its last five games. Fire up Colorado’s first line (Nathan MacKinnon – Gabriel Landeskog – Alexander Kerfoot – Tyson Barrie) as the line is affordable, especially Kerfoot who has looked spectacular since replacing Mikko Rantanen.
The Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks both come limping into tonight’s contest. The visiting Sharks have dropped nine of their last 10 games while Edmonton has lost four in a row and seven of their last nine contents. Nevertheless, the Oilers power play unit (Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl – Zack Kassian – Oscar Klefbom / Darnell Nurse) continues cooking along. McJesus has recorded 15 points in his last 10 games while Draisaitl has tallied 13 points in his last 10 games. On the other side of the coin, take a look at San Jose’s second line as centered by Tomas Hertl (4 G, 4 A last 7 games) to shoot against Mikko Koskinen and the Oilers who have allowed the fifth-most goals against this season.
Other Notable Stacks
The stacks I wrote about above are the ones that I project to be highly-owned. When I write “highly-owned”, on a 12-game slate that typically means ownership of about 25% in GPPs. The stacks above also tend to be expensive. So, you will need to use some of the below mentioned stacks as fillers or as one-off individual plays to complement your high-priced stacks.
Other stacks that you should have exposure to tonight are: Canadiens 1 (Tomas Tatar – Brendan Gallagher – Phillip Danualt – Shea Weber/Jeff Petry), Coyotes 3 (Vinnie Hinostroza – Brad Richardson – Michael Grabner), Red Wings 1 (Tyler Bertuzzi – Dylan Larkin – Anthony Mantha), Canadiens 2 (Arturri Lehkonen – Max Domi – Andrew Shaw).
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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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