This 6-game slate has a little bit of everything. We’ve a 6.5 total, a backup to the backup to the backup in net, a bunch of teams on back-to-backs, and a lot of playoff seeding up for grabs. The contests may be getting smaller on DraftKings and FanDuel, but there is still an edge if you can keep up on news, lines, and who has something to play for. Let’s talk about a few players we are spotlighting tonight, starting with words from Awesemo, followed by analysis by myself (Tommienation1).
Auston Matthews ($7,600 DK/$7,800 FD)
“A 3.7 implied total suggests that we should be looking at Matthews as one of the top overall skaters on the night. The Islanders are very poor defensively, and now they are dealing with a handful on injuries, which should open things up for the Maple Leafs tonight.”
There isn’t much more analysis needed to show you that Matthews is a great play tonight, but we can look at just how good the matchup is. The Tavares line has been one of the very worst lines defensively in the NHL, allowing over 35 Scoring Chances and over 14 High-Danger Chances Against per 60 minutes at even-strength. He’ll be on the top power-play, is averaging 6 shot attempts and 4.5 Scoring Chances in his four games since returning from injury, and this style of game is perfect for him. He’s going to cost you a lot of salary on both sites, but in cash games, it’ll be hard to get away from him tonight.
Tyson Barrie ($5,700 DK/ $5,700 FD)
“Barrie’s even-strength ice time and top power-play duties put him near the top of my player rankings tonight as one of the few skaters with an “A” points grade.”
This is about as good of a matchup that Barrie has had all season and he’s still flirting with 25 minutes of ice time even with the return on Erik Johnson. Barrie, over his last 10 games, has attempted 69 shots, and the Blackhawks have allowed the 7th-most shot attempts this month as a team. If you can’t afford all of Colorado’s expensive top line, Barrie would be a nice way to get exposure in tournaments or cash-games to one of the highest team totals on the night.
JT Compher ($3,600 DK/$3,700 FD)
“The Colorado skaters are great values, and Compher is no exception tonight. He’s been seeing 16-18 minutes regularly, including power-play time on the 2nd unit.”
Compher will match up with the Chicago depth lines, which have very few players we need to be worried about defensively. Compher has 20 shot attempts, 12 Scoring Chances, and 5 High-Danger Chances over his last five games, but he’s only tallied one assist in that time. This could be a get-right spot for Compher and his linemates against a tired Blackhawks team that have given up over 15 High-Danger Chances Against per 60 minutes on the road this month..
Adam Pelech ($3,100 DK/$3,500 FD)
“Pelech saw 23 minutes last game with no Nick Leddy or Johny Boychuk. Tonight, Leddy will miss again, which could mean more big minutes for Pelech, and possibly even some power-play time again.”
The Islanders’ defenseman slid into the top power-play quarterback position last game with many of his teammates banged-up with injuries. While his time on ice may go down a bit tonight, he should see around 20 minutes, and there’s a good chance he remains on the top unit even in Boychuk’s return, as we haven’t seen Boychuk on the power-play since much earlier in the season. Regardless, any defenseman that is going to play big minutes at the price in a 6.5 total game that should feature a ton of shots needs to be consider in both cash games and tournaments.