The Opening Ceremonies
Welcome to The One Time Shot for Thursday, October 19. We are two weeks into the season and, wow, it feels like we are about to experience an NHL renaissance. Scoring is up, the pace of play is exciting, and Vegas has the best record out west. Sadly my Golden Knights aren’t on today’s slate but we do have some major names taking to the ice as Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid, and the shockingly high performing Philadelphia Flyers are all on the docket tonight. It should be a wild affair with no games looking too lopsided outside of the state of Arizona (oh, those poor Coyotes). So let’s hunker down and see which HuLo plays we like to try and attack this nine game slate.
You can find The One Time Shot on most Thursdays here at The Puck Exchange for at least the next month of the NHL season. Of course, I’ll be on Twitter all the time to answer any questions you may have and to give my thoughts on that night’s slate even if I’m not writing an article.
The Starting Lineup – HuLo stacks I’ll be focusing on
Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues (Carter Hutton – expected goalie)
If Jake Allen was in net for STL, or if the Blues weren’t playing on the second night of a back to back, I’m probably not making this call. Sadly for the Blues, they are on the second night of a back to back and Jake Allen is not expected to be the starting goalie. I love picking on teams in this exact situation, especially if the team on the back to back is playing on the road. This is a prime spot for the Avs offense to have one of their better games of the season. Right now Colorado is a middle of the road offense but some a number of their top six skaters are averaging close to a point per game. Longtime readers of mine know how much I love Mikko Rantanen so he’s clearly going to be one of the guys I use for Colorado. He’s shooting the puck nearly three times per game and has 6 points on the season so far. He’s incredibly cheap so using him won’t prohibit you from going out and pairing him with a top line player on another team like Nikita Kucherov. The other players on Colorado that pique my interest are Nail Yakupov, Matt Duchene, and Sven Andrighetto. The trio has combined for 17 points in the seven games that the Avalanche have played so far this year. The biggest issue we have here is that there is no combination of these players that play on the same line together. Your best bet is to mini-stack with a Rantanen/Andrighetto combination or a Yakupov/Duchene pairing to maximize points, although I could definitely see myself getting creative and adding in Tyson Barrie (6 points/31 SABS in seven games) to either of those stacks.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Calgary Flames (Mike Smith – expected goalie)
Normally I avoid all teams going through the Western Canada death swing but not so much here. First of all, it’s early in the year so that kind of a trip shouldn’t be a problem for Carolina. On top of that, the ‘Canes have only played four games thus far so fatigue shouldn’t be a factor at all for them. They looked great in Edmonton on Tuesday, scoring 5 goals in a big win. While I can’t ever expect a five goal output, they are playing the human turnstile Mike Smith so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Like with the Avalanche, the price on Carolina players isn’t going to prohibit you from double stacking them with a team like Dallas or Columbus. As much as I love Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm, I have to say that the top line for Carolina is pretty darn appealing in this matchup. Maybe I’m chasing points but Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, and Teuvo Teravainen combined for 8 points in that game against the Oilers. If they could give me half of that in this game I’d be over the moon. The Vegas line in this game is pretty close all things considered, which makes me feel confident that the Hurricanes are going to be competitive all the way through.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne – expected goalie)
If it wasn’t for the fact that there are five other big stacks on this slate, I’d be a little worried that Philly might be a bit chalky. They are 2-0-0 at home and have scored the second most goals per game in the entire league (4.33 per game). That they are a favorite against the Predators is pretty much all you need to know about how well their offense is producing this year. They shoot a ton (34.7 SOG/game), are very efficient (12.5% shooting percentage despite the high volume of shots), and there’s very little about this team not to like (other than the other shoe dropping at any point). Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are quietly putting together monster seasons with a combined 19 points in six games played. What’s crazy about Voracek’s 10 points is that all of them have come with an assist. This is a guy who is known for his scoring prowess. Once that gets going, watch out. Sean Couturier rounds out my high scoring, shockingly inexpensive Flyers stack. This is one of those situations where you don’t want to get cute; rock out with the top line and let it ride.
Chalk stacks: Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oilers
3 Stars of the Night – HuLo players (High upside, Low ownership) that I’d use as a one-off play outside of a stack
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY/F): Johnny Hockey is a pretty big name to be on this list but I don’t think Calgary gets nearly as much love as it should from the general public when they are playing at home. Gaudreau, in particular, is a monster when the Flames are playing at the Saddledome (nearly double the points per game at home than he has on the road so far this year). Anything other than Gaudreau having a top 3 ownership today is going to be something I consider to be a value.
Viktor Arvidsson (NSH/F): The two things I like most in hockey are a high shot volume and “hidden” points. Advidsson checks of both of those boxes. He’s averaging 4.5 SOG/game and has turned that into 5 points in six games. He also have 7 blocked shots, a rarity from the forward position. Just that extra 1 extra SABS per game could be the difference between a min-cash tie and a big GPP hit given the small margins that sites like DK have in their tournaments. Find those hidden points, kids.
Mika Zibanejad (NYR/C): Speaking of guys with a high volume of shots, Zibanejad already had two games this year when he’s totaled 8 SOG (and another 5 SOG game thrown in). The more a player shoots, the more they score (in theory). Zibanejad has lived up to that theory so far with 5 goals on the season. Today he’s got a nice matchup at home against the Islanders and I expect him to once again produce a high volume of shots (which are valuable in fantasy) with a good chance to put one in the net.
The Blue Line – HuLo Defensemen to target
John Klingberg (DAL): Maybe this is a little chalkier than I’d like to have on a HuLo list but the matchup is just too good to pass up for Klingberg. He’s been highly productive this year with 5 points and 27 SABS in only six games played. That he gets to man the blue line on the power play with guys like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov to feed the puck to is just icing on the cake. I expect Klingberg to provide a nice return on his price despite him being one of the more expensive defenders on the slate…Arizona is just that bad.
Jaccob Slavin (CAR): Slavin isn’t a huge offensive force but he is the defender on the Hurricanes with the highest total of fantasy points this season. One of his greatest assets is his ability to block shots. In his last game, Slavin was able to accumulate 7 SABS, this after having 5 SABS in his previous game. If there’s anything that the Flames do well, it’s shoot the puck at home. I fully anticipate Slavin getting down and racking up those SABS once again tonight, and to do so at a bargain price tag.
Seth Jones (CBJ): Zach Werenski, Seth Jones. Seth Jones, Zach Werenski. Every time the Blue Jackets are on a slate I hem and haw over which defender is the one that I want. This year you can’t really go wron but for today I’m going to settle in on Jones. Over his last three games he’s been great with 4 points and 14 SABS. To get a defender that can average 1.33 points and 4.67 SABS per game at Jones’ price tag is outstanding. I look for him to continue his string of success in a game that should be the best shootout of the night.
Chalk defenders: Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Faulk, Zach Werenski, Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, Alex Pietrangelo
Between the Pipes – HuLo Goalies to target
Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators vs NJD)
Anderson has been awesome so far this year. He’s got a 1.91 GAA and is averaging over 60 minutes of ice time per game. All those overtime games mean that he’s got the opportunity to face more shots; more shots equals more points. So long as he stays around his current 92.6% save percentage he should be a top level goalie each time he takes the ice. Despite the fact that New Jersey is averaging over 4 goals per game this year, I have zero faith in their offense. Do you know who else doesn’t? Las Vegas. They’ve got the Senators installed as the biggest favorite on this slate currently (the Dallas line hasn’t posted yet). If Vegas believes, then I believe. If we can get any sort of ownership discount on Anderson then we are already working from an advantageous position.
Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins vs VAN)
Normally I love using the Vancouver Canucks on a slate like this. They have just enough upside to make their low expectations worth a look. Sadly, that is not where my head is at today. The team is scoring just over 2 goals per game this year and is now travelling all the way East for today’s game. That’s a hard pass for me. The pass is so hard that it has swung me all the way over to wanting to use Rask as my goalie tonight. We are yet to see Rask have a true standout performance this year but that could all change against a bottom ten offense. He was outstanding last year, especially at home, and I expect his best game of the season tonight. One thing to keep in mind, Rask was hurt in practice on Wednesday and he could miss this game. If he’s a go I love him, but if he’s not I still think I’d want to take long look at Anton Khudobin since the matchup is still strong and his price/ownership will be incredibly low.
Jonathan Bernier (Colorado Avalanche vs STL)
Remember when I said I like to pick on teams that are on the second night of a back to back. Well, that doesn’t just mean I want to stack against their goalie. I also want to use my goalie against them. I was hoping to use Semyon Varlamov in this game but when push comes to shove, I don’t really mind Jonathan Bernier either. He’s had a rough patch here and there but we’ve seen the guy go through stretches of dominance. He’s started two games this year; one good and one not so good. I don’t love that he got rocked by a weak Devils offense but I can let that slide due to it being his first start of the year. I love that he only gave up 1 goal to the Ducks, but him only seeing 18 SOG is a little worrisome. With a better than average offense, I expect the Blues to hit Bernier with at least 25-28 SOG. If he can keep 95% of them out of the next he should be in line for a nice score (especially if COL can eek out a win, which I think they can). Most importantly, Bernier is cheap and that means I can load up on offense. I love being able to grab a cheap goalie in a good position and surround him with high upside offense.
Chalk goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Elliott, Ben Bishop
Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 (I’m always available for questions or conversation) and good luck tonight with your One Time Daily Fantasy Shot!