Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 41 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 11-game slate on this cool and crisp Tuesday morning here in San Francisco, California. Yes, I am up in Northern California this week working remotely.
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 Florida Panthers are surrendering the fourth-most goals against per game on just over 30 shots against. The team also has a bottom half of the league penalty kill and visit the Igloo tonight to face a Pittsburgh Penguins team that is averaging the fifth-most goals on the ninth-most shots per contest. The home team may have disappointed us a few nights ago with a tough-luck loss to the struggling Chicago Blackhawks, but the they have still won nine of their last 10 games. This sets us up nicely to target the Penguins top line (Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust with Kris Letang) at home as it should have the best matchup with the Vincent Trocheck-less Panthers.
It feels like it has been a while since I wrote up the Winnipeg Jets in this space, but the team’s first line (Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler – Kyle Connor with either Jacob Trouba or Josh Morrissey) rates high in my Nils Model for stacking purposes at home this evening. In one of a few games that is carrying an over/under of 6.5, you can certainly stack the Colorado Avalanche’s top line in GPPs and get them at less than 5% owned, but my money will be on the Jets putting up a 4-spot tonight. Colorado has dropped seven of its last night games and while they have been losing the puck control battles, their dismal penalty kill is what has been tanking the team. The benefit of stacking the Jets is that their top line also skates together as a power play unit, but you can also slot in Patrik Laine to differentiate yourself.
The Washington Capitals have disappointed us so much over the last month, but we are going back to them tonight. The home team is hosting a bad Philadelphia Flyers team that has lost seven in a row. The Flyers have also surrendered the third-most goals against per game this season. Call it injuries, bad goaltending, awful luck, terrible variance or whatever, but the team from the City of Brotherly Love is atrocious. The Caps top line (Alexander Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson) is my favorite stack of the day. The line has five goal upside and I expect them to throttle the Flyers tonight.
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 an 11-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 lines that are stackable for GPP purposes are: Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cam Atkinson with Seth Jones or Zach Werenski), Dallas Stars 1 (Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov with John Klingberg), Detroit Red Wings 1 (Dylan Larkin, who is cash game playable) with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi.
My favorite line that may go overlooked is the New York Islanders second line consisting of Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey at home against a Carolina Hurricanes squad that has looked awful lately.
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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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