Thursday, October 26
Cash Game Plays
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
After a successful road trip to start the season, the Detroit Red Wings have lost their last five games, scoring only four goals in their last three. The Lightning come into tonight’s game owning the best record in the NHL and having lost only once in regulation to start the season. That loss came all the way back on October 7 in their first game this year. With Vegas pegging the Lightining as -215 favorites in this home tilt, I have no problem spending up for Vasilevskiy in a game where he should easily secure the win and has plenty of shutout potential.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning
Don’t worry, we will pick on other teams besides Detroit on this 11-game slate (though given their start to the year you could do worse than rostering an enter team full of Bolts). While I’ll never advise against paying up for Karlsson or Burns, Sergachev is too cheap for his production to date. Averaging over six DK points per game and racking up seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last four games, Sergachev is once again in play in all formats.
Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens broke out of their slump on Tuesday with a 5-1 home win over the Florida Panthers. Gallagher is someone I always like plugging into my cash game lineups because he is seemingly always underpriced and he contributes across the board with high-volume shot attempts, goals and assists, and blocked shots. Gallagher has seen his price tag drop $1,000 on DK since opening night, all the way down to $4,200. The LA Kings are on fire to start the year, but are playing their fourth road game in six nights. I think this is a sneaky good spot for Gallagher and the Canadiens in general.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
With our current roster construction we have some extra salary to spend up at center. I’ll be spending all the way up and locking in the most expensive center on the slate in Sidney Crosby. After going pointless in his last two, Sid gets a nice home spot versus a porous Winnipeg Jets defense allowing nearly 39 shots per game on the road this season. The Jets have been surprisingly disciplined to start this year, as they have consistently been one of the league’s most penalized teams, yet enter tonight having taken only 25 minor penalties. On the bright side, when they have been shorthanded, the Jets have been awful as they enter tonight’s contest ranked 30th on the PK. I especially love picking on the Jets when they are on the road as they don’t have that crazy home-ice atmosphere working in their favor.
Ondrej Pavelec, New York Rangers
It almost feels wrong recommending Pavelec, as he has been so bad for so long. To make matters worse the Rangers have gotten off to an abysmal start to the season. Fortunately for the Blue Shirts, the winless Coyotes come to town and bring with them the league’s second most goals allowed with 39 in just nine games. Fun fact: the only team to allow more goals than the Pacific division’s worst team? The Metropolitan division’s best team, your Pittsburgh Penguins (40)!
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
I wouldn’t recommend playing Tanger in cash games, as his price is too close to a few other guys who won’t be spending their night trying to keep an ultra-talented group of forwards off the scoresheet. But, for that exact reason, Letang makes for a great GPP play. Even if Letang’s defensive responsibilities don’t allow him to do much damage 5-on-5, he should have plenty opportunity on the point of the Penguins’ top power play unit against a bad Jets PK.
Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes
The 20-year-old Finn broke onto the scene in a big way last year totaling 24 goals and 25 assists in his rookie campaign. This year he’s been held goalless in the Canes’ first seven games, but it can be argued that Carolina had a fairly difficult schedule to start the season. While the matchup as a whole won’t get any easier, heading into Toronto to face Auston Matthews and company, the Leafs are a team that can be exploited defensively, as they allow over 32 shots per game and 3.80 goals against per game on home ice. While he should see heavy minutes against a guy technically old enough to be his father — top-pairing defenseman and Stanley Cup champion Ron Hainsey — I like Aho’s chances of getting into the goal column for the first time this season.
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
While Sidney Crosby is my top center play on the board tonight in both cash and GPPs, it’s boring to recommend the same player twice. While he is sure to be popular, Stamkos comes into a plus matchup with the Red Wings having tallied 20 points in the season’s first 10 games. While Stamkos’ and linemate Nikita Kucherov’s production will soon come back down to earth, I don’t feel confident enough that it will be tonight to totally fade the duo. Stamkos is a guy I always like targeting on home ice, where he has insane career splits. In just 12 more home games than away games in his career, he has 80 more points, taken 173 more shots (what?!), and sports a +48 as opposed to -32 on the road.
Top Line Stack:
Guentzel — Crosby — Sheary
Favorite Contrarian Line Stack:
Aho — Staal — Lindholm
Line Stack I Will Be Fading:
Lee — Tavares — Eberle