A vital part of being a successful DraftKings DFS hockey player is being able to assemble a strong cash game or double up team. I always start with the goaltender, the foundation of every cash game team. Your goalie choice dictates the monetary average and direction you want to go with the rest of your team.
With 9 game slate tonight in the NHL, things are getting tight as teams are really tightening down the screws and refining their games in preparation for the race to the Stanley Cup.
G: C. Schneider, Devils – $8,100
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up following the Devils closely, as my father worked for them for 19 years. Needless to say, I have closely watched the Rangers and Devils rivalry. The 1994 Stanley Cup semi-finals when the Rangers beat the Devils in double OT still haunts me today.
Tonight in the swamps of Jersey, Schneider and the Devils boast the No. 1 defense in the league against the Rangers. In what will likely be a close one-goal game, Schneider and his 0.927 save percentage and 2.1 Goals Against Average will prevail in this cross town rivalry.
D: V. Hedman, Tampa Bay – $6,1100
Hedman and the Lightning are playing a Coyotes team coming off a loss in Washington last night. Hedman faces a Arizona team that ranks dead last goals against as a team and is 28th on the penalty kill. Look for Hedman to hit the board tonight on the power play as the Lightning will skate the Coyotes into the ground and win at home tonight.
D: E. Karlsson, Ottawa – $8,000
In a game Vegas thinks will be a shootout, Karlsson will be dominant on the ice, both on the power play and at even strength, as Edmonton is ranked 26th in goals allowed. Karlsson averages 4.8 Fantasy Points per game (FPPG) and is closing in on 60 assists and with almost 200 shots, I want exposure to this game and the heart of it is a good place to start.
W: J. Benn, Dallas – $8,400
Playing a Winnipeg team that is having problems finding its identity as a team defensively, Dallas has a great matchup tonight. Ranked 2nd in scoring and playing against the 24th ranked defensive team, look for Benn and the first line to do some damage against the Winnipeg defense as they establish their net presence and slam home a few goals.
W: J. Pomminville, Minnesota – $4,400
Playing well as of late, I want to stick with the hot hand and gets some exposure to a Wild team that has found its confidence and new identity just in time for the race to the Cup. With a new coach, the Wild and Pomminville are home against an Islander team that is an alter ego of itself on the road compared to its home stats. Look for the Wild to continue their winning ways as the second line of Pomminville/Haula/Nieddereiter find the back of the net and lead the Wild to victory in a must win game.
W: M. Hoffman, Ottawa – $5,700
At a nice price, Hoffman will hit his numbers tonight against an Edmonton team in the bottom 5 in goals allowed. One assist shy of 20, his 25 goals and 3.7 FPPG average are worth the price tonight as his ceiling could be off the charts if the first line or power play get going. As I said before, exposure to this game is a must, on either side of the coin.
C: P.Datsyuk, Detroit – $6,300
Detroit is home tonight against a Columbus team that may have fired all of its bullets in Boston last night. Columbus is ranked 29th in goals allowed and this may be exactly what Detroit needs. Datsyuk is one of a kind, though sometimes he sacrifices his offensive prowess for defense. Twelve goals and 35 assists on the year, Datsyuk will have plenty of quality scoring chances at home. Detroit may run it up if Columbus doesn’t bring its A-game, which is really about a B-minus, so you do the math. Columbus has been better lately, but I want Datsyuk in my lineup no matter what.
C: T. Johnson, Tampa Bay – $5,400
Finally finding his scoring touch we all know he has, Johnson will jump on an Arizona team playing its second game in as many nights. At the top of my list of matchups and games I want exposure to, a hot Johnson on the power play, and a strong second line at even strength will produce tonight at home.
Utility: J. Spezza, Dallas – $5,800
Rather than pay up for Seguin as well, I want exposure to this game from the second line through Spezza. Also on the first power play unit, Spezza has 18 goals and 24 assists on a Dallas team ranked 2nd in total scoring. Against Winnipeg, this game has the chance to be an ugly one, from both sides, as Dallas struggles on defense as well. The fire power of Dallas will likely win out in this game as the Stars ground a Jets team that’s looking ready for the golf course.