Welcome to the final edition of the daily fantasy hockey morning coffee. It’s been a fun 119-article ride from October to April. Through it there was the drama of the car accident at the animal hospital, my son’s multiple broken arms over the course of six months (once trying to be ninja climbing a ‘child safety gate’), one bout of the flu where Mario Mergola filled in for me, one four-goal performance by Auston Matthews on the opening night of the season, a graceful indulgence by Mr. Mergola letting me tell my October 13th story, and hopefully some money won along the way.
Tonight we get a 12-game slate to work with for our daily fantasy hockey needs. And as I have been doing I want to whittle that number down to three teams I think make the most sense as the cornerstone for our roster construction tonight.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New Jersey Devils (Pittsburgh, -175, 5.5 over/under)
Nashville Predators @ Dallas Stars (Nashville, -130, 5.5 over/under)
St. Louis Blues @ Florida Panthers (St. Louis, -140, 5.5 over/under)
The first team I have interest in tonight are the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tonight the Penguins get a New Jersey Devils team that has allowed 2.89 goals against per game since the All-Star break, 3.00 goals per game last month, and on the season have allowed a league eighth-worst 2.86 goals against per game. New Jersey has lost six out their last seven games and the last time they played Pittsburgh — on March 17 — they allowed six goals. Since the All-Star break New Jersey has allowed a league eighth-most 18 power play goals. On the season New Jersey has an xGA/60 of 2.76.
On the other end we have a Pittsburgh team that has scored, on the season, a league-best 3.37 goals for per game. Since the All-Star break Pittsburgh has scored a league fifth-best 3.07 goals for per game and last month averaged a league eighth-best 3.00 goals per game. Last month Pittsburgh also had a power play success rate of 23.9 percent — good for ninth-best in the NHL — and on the season boast the fifth-best power play success rate in the NHL at 22.4 percent. Since Jan. 1 Pittsburgh has an xGF/60 of 2.96 — highest in the league. Over their past 25 games Pittsburgh has a SCF/60 rate of 30.5 — second in the league and their HDCF/60 of 13.05 is also good for second in the league. We can expect Pittsburgh to get plenty of scoring chances tonight.
Our Pittsburgh Stacks:
Line 1: Jake Guentzel $5K / Sidney Crosby $8.9K / Conor Sheary $5.9K
Line 2: Bryan Rust $3.7K / Nick Bonino $4.3K / Phil Kessel $7K
Power Play 1 Stack: Patric Hornqvist $6.4K / Sidney Crosby $8.9K / Conor Sheary $5.9K / Phil Kessel $7K / Justin Schultz $5.7K
Power Play 2 Tournament Stack: Jake Guentzel $5K / Matt Cullen $3.5K / Bryan Rust $3.7K/ Chad Ruhwedel $3.4K / Mark Streit $3.4K
The second team I have interest in tonight are the Nashville Predators. Since the All-Star break Nashville is tied with Pittsburgh for a league fifth-best 3.07 goals for per game and last month they averaged 2.79 goals for per game. And tonight Nashville gets a Dallas team that has allowed a league sixth-worst 3.14 goals against per game since the All-Star break. On the season Dallas will end in the bottom tier of the NHL with Colorado, Winnipeg, and Arizona in terms of goals against per game with a terrible 3.13 goals against per game. Since the All-Star break Dallas has allowed a league eighth-worst 3.14 goals against per game and have the worst team save percentage in the NHL at .890 percent. Over their past 25 games Dallas has a SCA/60 rate of 30.93 — second-worst in the league.
On the other end we have a Nashville team that, as mentioned above, has been scoring goals consistently since the All-Star break. Our big cavaet with Nashville comes in the sample size over their past five games where they have only won one game and four times have scored just one goal. But I’ll look to Dallas to be the goal-drought-buster Nashville needs to get the monkey off their back. Since Jan. 1 Dallas has an xGA/60 of 2.79 — third-highest in the NHL. On the season Dallas has an xGA/60 of 2.93 — fourth-highest in the league. Nashville could make a nice tournament stack as we could see some reduced ownership — although I’m not overly concerned about team ownership with 12 games in play — but we have a solid team in Nashville that perhaps DFS players will stay away from due to some recency bias.
Our Nashville Stacks:
Line 1: Filip Forsberg $7.3K / Ryan Johansen $6.3K / Viktor Arvidsson $6.4K
Line 2: Colin Wilson $4.1K / Mike Fisher $4.3K / Craig Smith $3.6K
Power Play 1 Stack: Viktor Arvidsson $6.4K /Ryan Johansen $6.3K / Mike Fisher $4.3K / Filip Forsberg $7.3K / Roman Josi $6K
Power Play 2 Stack: Colin Wilson $4.1K / Calle Jarnkrok $3.8K/ Craig Smith $3.6K / Ryan Ellis $4.8K / P.K. Subban $5.5K
Finally, I want to have shares of the St. Louis Blues tonight. Per the Miami Herald, coach Tom Rowe will not be back as Florida’s coach next season and Florida is currently on a five-game losing streak where they have allowed 20 goals. Since the All-Star break Florida has allowed a league fifth-worst 3.14 goals against per game — that’s in a tier with Arizona and Vancouver … teams we love to pick on.
Since the All-Star break St. Louis has averaged 2.76 goals for per game and last month raised that number a bit to 2.80 goals scored per game. Meanwhile, Florida continued to implode and allowed a league third-worst 3.13 goals against per game in March. Over their past 10 games the Blues have a SCF/60 rate of 29.25 — eighth-best in the NHL — and their HDCF/60 of 10.86 is also the eighth-highest in the NHL.
Our St. Louis Stacks:
Line 1: Jaden Schwartz $5.9K / Alex Steen $5.7K / Vladimir Tarasenko $8.1K
Line 2: Magnus Paajarvi $3.3K / Patrik Berglund $4K/ David Perron $4.5K
Power Play 1 Stack: Jori Lehtera $3.4K / Vladimir Tarasenko $8.1K / Alex Steen $5.7K / Alex Pietrangelo $6K
As always, double check all line combos and injuries prior to puck drop.