DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate begins at 7:00 p.m. EST and was supposed to feature seven games, but that  number has dropped to six with Panthers-Hurricanes postponed. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.

SLATE PREVIEW

This slate is reminiscent of Tuesday's, as Colorado (at Los Angeles) and Winnipeg (at Ottawa) both present excellent stacking opportunities, and there are even fewer alternatives this time. Colorado is by far the largest favorite, while Jets-Senators and Canadiens-Canucks are tied for the highest over/under at 6.0 in what's expected to be a relatively low-scoring slate. Flyers-Bruins, Devils-Islanders and Lightning-Blue Jackets matchups round out the schedule. With some expensive goalies looking enticing, finding value at the lower end of the price spectrum will be important to form a lineup with requisite talent both offensively and in net.

GOALIES

Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. NJ ($8,100): Varlamov has started his season in spectacular fashion, shutting out the Rangers and Bruins in his first two starts. Keep riding the hot hand, even against a Devils team that's off to a surprisingly strong 2-0-1 start.

Philipp Grubauer, COL at LA ($8,500): Whether the Avs roll with Grubauer or one of Pavel Francouz ($8,300) or Hunter Miska ($8,300), that goalie will likely be among the chalk plays in net against a Kings team that's winless through three games. Grubauer has started Colorado's first three games, and after an Opening Night speed bump in St. Louis, the German netminder has limited the Blues and Kings to two combined goals in his last two appearances.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB at CLS ($8,300): Vasilevskiy is one of the league's best goalies and has one of the league's most talented teams in front of him, so he should always be in consideration for your goalie spot, especially in favorable matchups like this one. The Blue Jackets have scored just eight goals en route to a 1-2-1 start, and they mustered only 2.57 goals per game last season — fourth-fewest in the league.

Carter Hart, PHI at BOS ($7,700): He's less likely to win than any of the three above goaltenders, but Hart's in line for a strong performance here and comes considerably cheaper. The Bruins are having major difficulties scoring without David Pastrnak (hip), having mustered just three goals through three games and none at even strength.

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

Jack Hughes, NJ at NYI ($5,200): The Islanders are among the league's stingiest teams defensively, but Hughes is worth taking a flier on despite the difficult matchup. Things have clicked for the 2019 first overall pick in his second season, as he has mustered a 2-4-6 line through three games while centering New Jersey's top line and No. 1 power-play unit. Hughes' valuation should only keep climbing from here.

Drake Batherson, OTT vs. WPG ($3,500): Batherson was excellent in Tuesday's loss to the Jets, producing an assist and seven shots. The 22-year-old winger is off to a promising start with three helpers and 13 shots through three games while seeing minutes on the top line and No. 1 power-play unit. Batherson should outperform his $3,500 valuation in this rematch with Winnipeg.

Steven Stamkos, TB at CLS ($8,200): Tampa Bay is well-rested, having been off since last Friday, but hopefully that time off wasn't enough to cool off Stamkos. He started the season red-hot with a 2-3-5 line in two games against Chicago. The Blue Jackets are much stouter defensively, but they come into this meeting with just one win through four games.

Travis Konecny, PHI at BOS ($4,900): Offensive chances are likely to be limited in this battle of teams that play physical, structured hockey, but Konecny still deserves a mention here considering he's off to a flying start to the season. After breaking out with a 24-37-61 line in 66 games to lead the Flyers in both goals and points last season, Konecny once again leads the team in both categories with a 4-2-6 line through four games.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Avalanche at Kings

Nathan MacKinnon (C - $8,500), Mikko Rantanen (W - $7,500), Gabriel Landeskog (W - $7,100)

Much like Tuesday, arguably the most fearsome line in hockey should feast against a Kings team that's yet to notch a win through three games. This trio combined for a somewhat underwhelming one goal and three assists in Tuesday's surprisingly competitive 3-2 win, but these guys still have five goals and 11 points over their past two games. If stacking all three is too expensive for your taste, it's recommended that you find a way to grab at least one.

Jets at Senators

Mark Scheifele (C - $6,900), Blake Wheeler (W - $6,000), Andrew Copp (W - $3,400)

Scheifele and Wheeler are two of the most dependable offensive players in the league, and each is coming off a multi-point performance Tuesday against Ottawa. Scheifele's pair of helpers in that game gave him a 1-2-3 line and 14 shots through three games, while Wheeler notched a goal, an assist and five shots Tuesday to bring his season line to 1-2-3 with 10 shots. Copp has been added to this line with Nikolaj Ehlers moved down to bolster Winnipeg's second line while Patrik Laine (upper body) recovers, and the affordable winger got in on the fun Tuesday with an assist over 21:15 of ice time. Ehlers is also a solid choice at $5,400 if he retakes his top-line spot from Copp.

Canucks vs. Canadiens

Bo Horvat (C - $5,800), Nils Hoglander (W - $4,200), Tanner Pearson (W - $3,800)

Vancouver's second line offers plenty of value in this home matchup with Montreal on the heels of Wednesday's 6-5 shootout win. Horvat is among the best power-play snipers in the game, as he scored twice on the power play against the Canadiens on Wednesday and ranked sixth league-wide with 12 power-play goals last season. The 20-year-old Hoglander has gotten rave reviews from Canucks brass early in the season, has a goal under his belt and plays on the second power-play unit. Pearson's on the second unit with Hoglander and has quietly racked up 30 goals in 93 games since joining Vancouver.

DEFENSEMEN

Devon Toews, COL at LA ($5,000): While offensive dynamo Cale Makar ($6,600) remains a strong choice, his defense partner is a nice alternative for managers with less of a budget left to spend on the blue line. Toews' tenure with the Avalanche is off to a terrific start, as he has produced two goals and an assist through three games, though his 100 shooting percentage obviously won't last.

Jeff Petry, MON at VAN ($6,200): Petry's another blueliner who's producing at an unsustainable pace, but he's worth riding while he's hot. The veteran blueliner's coming off three consecutive seasons with 40-plus points, but he has taken his scoring to a different level in 2021, with a 2-4-6 line through four games.

Josh Morrissey, WPG at OTT ($4,600): Morrissey's munching major minutes on the Winnipeg blue line, averaging nearly 26 minutes of ice time per game through the first three. He notched his first points of the season with two helpers against Ottawa in the last game, and Morrissey is seeing time on the top power-play unit, so Winnipeg's best all-around defenseman should continue to contribute in a variety of categories moving forward.

Noah Dobson, NYI vs. NJ ($2,900): Dobson's skating on the Islanders' top power-play unit as New York gets ready to take on a Devils team that's killing off just 69.2 percent of opposing power plays and has allowed four power-play goals through three games. That utilization gives Dobson decent scoring upside, making him an ideal cheap filler for teams targeting expensive stars elsewhere.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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