Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 50 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 12-game main slate on this cool and sunny Tuesday morning in San Diego.
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 NHL has always had a seemingly wacky schedule after the All-Star break with large slates followed by days with just one, two or three games. We have at least three matchups that carry an over/under of 6.5 on this 12-game slate. Don’t forget to see my “Other Notable Stacks” section below.
The top stack that should also be the highest-owned stack should be the Boston Bruins who are playing on home ice and are playing host to a visiting Chicago Blackhawks team. The Blackhawks have sneakily won seven games in a row even though they have allowed 37.7 shots against during that span. Their penalty kill has been equally leaky. This paves the way for the Bruins top line (Patrice Bergeron – Brad Marchand – Danton Heinen) or top power play unit (swap out Heinen for Jake DeBrusk – Torey Krug and David Pastrnak) to smash against Chicago. Boston should control the puck, which should lead to goals.
The Winnipeg Jets top line (Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler – Kyle Connor) has been one of the most consistent lines this season and they get a cake matchup this evening on home ice against the New York Rangers. The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they allowed fifty-six, yes 56, shots against in a win (somehow) opposite the Toronto Maple Leafs. Alexander Georgiev stood on his head in that matchup, but there is no way either Georgiev or Henrik Lundqvist repeat that performance on the road against a Jets team that has been one of the top offenses this season.
Lastly, of the stacks that should be highly-owned, I want to take a look at the Tampa Bay Lightning first line (Steven Stamkos – Nikita Kucherov – Ondrej Palat (watch his DTD status) – Victor Hedman) that has been deadly since Kucherov was reunited with Stamkos. Each of Stamkos and Kucherov recorded three points in their last two contests while Palat tallied one and Hedman two. Tampa has the highest implied goal totals on the night and they are facing a visting Rangers team that has surrendered the seventh-most high danger scoring chances this season. Stack the Lightning and enjoy!
I do think the St. Louis Blues first line is in a fantastic spot today and I will have exposure to them (Ryan O’Rielly – Vladimir Tarasenko – Brayden Schenn – Alex Pietrangelo).
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: Blue Jackets 1 (Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson – Artemi Panarin – Seth Jones), Capitals 1 (Evgeny Kuznetsov – Alex Ovechkin – Tom Wilson – John Carlson), Leafs 1 (John Tavares – Mitch Marner – Zach Hyman – Morgan Rielly), Wild 1 (Charlie Coyle – Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Ryan Suter), Predators 1 (Ryan Johansen – Filip Forsberg – Viktor Arvidsson – Roman Josi).
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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!