It’s another installment of the Saturday special that DraftKings features on their site every Saturday night with a $10,000 prize to the winner. It’s a larger entry amount, but the number of entries is a little over 2000 with a payout spread out over a 26 percent payout to finishers. Also, all day, DraftKings is running their Bonus Blitz single-entry double-ups that include bonus tickets inserted for NFL and NBA. Look for these at different hourly intervals throughout the day for NHL.
Saturday night features another healthy slate of nine games. A cash game team is different from a GPP team in the sense that you don’t want to put all your eggs in a single basket whereas in GPP’s you are trying for the highest ceiling(points) possible. A cash game team is a simple one.
WASHINGTON @ VANCOUVER
Alex Ovechkin $8,400
Justin Williams $4,200
Matt Niskanen $4,400
The Capitals are taking on the Canucks and they are very heavily favored and I think they are the focus of tonight’s team. Vancouver is playing its second game in as many nights and is in the middle of a four-game slide.
While the Caps are struggling to score, coach Barry Trotz moved Justin Williams up to the first line with Ovechkin and Backstrom while moving Wilson down to the second line. Williams will stay on the second power play, but being able to feed Ovechkin at his price is one of the best values I can find tonight. Williams will get his value tonight and could have a multiple-point game if Ovechkin has healthy point production.
TORONTO @ MONTREAL
Andrei Markov $4,500
Brendan Gallagher $6,800
I wanted to focus part of the team on the Canadians hosting the Maple Leafs in a game that is projected to see a flurry of goals (5.5) with both teams hovering near the three-goal team total. Matthews is such a good player and expensive, and eats up a lot of money, but my focus is Montreal at home on a Saturday night in Canada.
Gallagher and Galchenyuk are leading the assault on the first line with defenseman Andrei Markov adding the leadership the young team needs while finding some of his old form in the way of offensive production. I want to roster both players, but settled on Gallagher since he has been steady the past year and a half and his puck possession at 5v5 in one of the best in the league.
DALLAS @ MINNESOTA
Ryan Suter $5,400
Mikko Koivu $4,500
Jumping to the Minnesota at home playing the Stars, I see a beat-up Dallas team that has lost the likes of Patrick Sharp to a concussion and most importantly Jason Spezza to an upper-body injury. Ales Hemsky is slated to play according to coach Lindy Ruff, so that is good news, but overall this team is beat-up and they were giving up goals when they were healthy.
The Wild are tied for fourth in goals scored with 3.50 per game, while Dallas is ranked 21st in goals allowed (2.57). On top of it all, the Stars rank 20th on the penalty kill, while the Wild have the best penalty-kill in the league at 95 percent. I think Minnesota gets one on the power play.
My attack was to use both Parise and Koivu from the second line while rolling out Ryan Suter as a player who doesn’t come off the ice and can get you points in a myriad of ways. Suter quarterbacks the Wild power play from his point position, not afraid to fire shots on net when the play calls for it, but always looking to pass first.
TAMPA BAY @ NEW JERSEY
Cory Schneider $7,200
In goal, I want to play Cory Schneider against a Tampa Bay team that has a lot of fire power but is also playing without one of its stars, Nikita Kucherov. Friday, the Devils lost a heartbreaking game to Chicago in overtime. Granted, the Devils are playing their second game in as many nights, but I see the second best defensive team at home come out with a big chip on their shoulder in an effort to redeem themselves. Keith Kinkaid played in net Friday, so Schneider will be ready and focused along with an excellent Devils team that is defensively sound.
Schneider had big shoes to fill when he took over for Martin Brodeur and he has proven all of his critics wrong. This year, he has amassed a 2.00 goals-against average and a respectable .936 save percentage. The Devils rank second in the NHL in goals allowed.
COLORADO @ ARIZONA
Joe Colborne $3,300
Patrick Wiercioch $3,400
The final two players I want to fit into the team are Wiercioch and Colborne. Both Avalanche players got blanked last night at home 1-0 by Michael Hutchinson. Friday, the Avalanche fired a team high in shots on goal (37) and are playing a Coyotes team that is second-worst in 5v5 goals.
Colborne doesn’t see time on the first or second line, but gets plenty of ice, skates on the top power play unit and has three goals and one assist this year. Wiercioch has quietly proven that he belongs in the NHL with his 3.0 FPPG average due to his four assists and single tally on the season. I think the Avalanche find the net tonight and make up for the goals they should have scored at home on Friday.