Today may be my favorite day of the entire year as the 2016 NHL playoffs kickoff tonight. DraftKings is running a bunch of big money games starting tonight and all the way through the playoffs. A $3 entry tonight is rewarded with $10,000 so get an entry and assemble your winning team now.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s three game slate.
G: B. Elliott, St. Louis – $8,400
I think the Blues have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup and it starts with Elliott in net. He has proven his worth this year and his 2.1 goals against average and stellar play this year. Elliott will be the reason if the Blues stand victorious in the end.
D: J. Garrison, Tampa Bay – $3,200
I think that Red Wings are done. I realize Tampa Bay lost Stamkos and now Johnson for a bit, but depth trumps experience here. Tampa has paid their dues and will run over Detroit, as Howard will show his true colors when it counts. Garrison is playing well above his price tag and tonight it is a no brainer in a mash game to roster him.
D: K. Letang, Pittsburgh – $7,300
The Penguins are in real trouble if they’re out of a goalie, and the Rangers will look to capitalize on that. Letang will be all over the ice tonight to try to over compensate backing shots as well as dishing out the puck and logging shots on net. Letang is worth the money with his ceiling always very high.
W: J. Drouin, Tampa Bay – $3,800
Drouin proved his worth in the AHL asking for a trade that was ultimately denied by GM Steve Yzerman. Drouin will look to continue his hot hand playing on the second line with Filppula and Palat as well as seeing time on the second power play unit with Palat as well.
C: P. Stastny, St. Louis – $5,000
Stastny has playoff blood in his veins from his father and father’s brother that dominated in the NHL in the 1980’s. Paul Stastny has 10 goals and 39 assists this year and will look to take his game to a new level at home against a Chicago team that is seeking its fourth Cup in a decade.
W: V. Tarasenko, St.Louis – $7,700
Tarasenko is missing one key piece of jewelry and would like to change that this spring. Leading the Blues all year, Tarasenko will expoit Chicago’s weak penalty kill and lead his team tonight at home.
C: V. Filppula, Tampa Bay – $3,200
Filppula needs to find the game he had in last year’s playoffs and look to lead his line against a Detroit team that will be emotionally and physically drained by Game 4 as they have been in playoff mode since Mar. 1. Look for this line to play against Detroit’s third line since they have last change.
W: O. Palat, Tampa Bay – $5,400
Palat is the final piece of the puzzle on the second line and will take advantage of a tired Detroit team tonight in Tampa Bay.
Utility: D. Backes, St. Louis – $5,200
The captain ended the season out, but will be playing tonight for the Blues. Backes is a veteran and will be prepared for what faces him and his team in the Chicago Blackhawks. They have the hardest task of all teams but one that will pay the biggest dividends if they are successful. This series and the Flyers series will be ones to watch.