DraftKings NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday (3/21)
With the NHL regular season coming to a conclusion in approximately two and a half weeks, the playoff frenzy continues to rev up. The Lightning, Flames, and Sharks have all qualified for the postseason, and the excitement is just getting started. Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Colorado, Pittsburgh, and many more teams will be involved in high-profile games on Thursday night.
So much is on the line in the games remaining for teams looking to join the dance this spring. Players will play their hearts out as their teams prepare for the most important portion of the season. Let’s take a look at the available pool of players for fantasy managers to acquire on their DraftKings teams this evening.
Connor McDavid (EDM): $7,800 vs. CBJ
McDavid has been an absolute assist machine lately, providing 16 helpers in his previous 11 games played along with four goals as well. That is nearly two points per game, which is absolutely incredible considering the lack of offensive talent surrounding him besides Leon Draisaitl. Edmonton will go up against Columbus, which has shown signs of vulnerability a little more often this season despite only allowing 12 goals per game in their previous five matchups. Edmonton’s best player appears ready for another highly productive night as the club hosts a desperate Blue Jackets team fighting for a playoff berth.
Sean Monahan (CGY): $7,000 vs. OTW
Monahan is having the best season of his career with 31 goals, 45 assists, and a plus-six rating in 71 games played. He has scored nine points in his previous nine games and has a juicy matchup on the horizon tonight. The Flames will host the Ottawa Senators, who have allowed the most goals per game this season (3.49). With Calgary still battling San Jose for the top seed in the Pacific division, expect to see Monahan get heavily involved in a game that the Flames should win without much difficulty. One word of caution to managers is the fact that Monahan has been dealing with an illness this past week, but Calgary head coach Bill Peters feels very confident the star center will lace up the skates tonight. As long as Monahan is healthy, he’s a logical option for fantasy managers to play in this evening’s slate.
Brad Marchand (BOS): $7,300 @ NJ
It is crazy to think that this season right here, right now will be Marchand’s best ever in his 10-year career. The veteran winger currently holds a plus-13 rating with 31 goals and 56 assists through 72 games played. He also has played some of his best hockey in recent memory with 16 points in his last 11 games. Boston will take on New Jersey, which has allowed the NHL’s third-most goals per game (3.16) this season. Marchand and the Bruins will look to exploit this weak defense as they prepare for the postseason.
Travis Konecny (PHI): $5,000 @ CHI
Konecny has played a critical role in Philadelphia’s offense lately. He has four goals and three assists in his last nine games played. Unfortunately for Philadelphia fans, their team is quickly fading from the playoff picture and are in a dire need of wins to have any chance of qualifying. It seems highly unlikely at this point, but that is not going to stop Konecny and the rest of the Flyers crew from giving it their best efforts each and every night until their hopes are officially over. Fantasy players should particularly keep an eye on tonight’s matchup at Chicago. The Blackhawks will have a lot of motivation, as they are also in playoff contention, but they still have allowed the second-most goals per game this year (3.43). It should be a high-scoring affair, which could provide plenty of opportunities for Konecny.
Brendan Perlini (CHI): $4,500 vs. PHI
Perlini has been playing some of his best hockey lately with eight goals, two assists, and a plus-six rating since the end of February. The Blackhawks are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, currently riding a six-game point streak. Tonight they will take on the Flyers, who have allowed the fourth-most goals per game this season (3.15). Chicago is sitting four points out of the final playoff spot with only 10 games remaining. Perlini is a big reason for Chicago’s recent success, and he looks ready to take advantage of a vulnerable and important matchup down the stretch.
Kevin Labanc (SJS): $3,900 @ LA
Labanc is nearly averaging a point per game since the beginning of March (eight points in nine games). The Sharks are going back and forth with the Flames for first place in the Pacific division right now. Only three points separate these two teams, so there is much at stake heading into the regular season’s final weeks. The Sharks will be motivated, and to make matters even more appetizing for fantasy managers, they’re going up against their rivals in the Los Angeles Kings. With the Kings allowing 2.94 goals per game, which is the 12th-most in the NHL this season, the matchup should only help increase Labanc’s fantasy value.
Brent Burns (SJS): $6,500 @ LA
Not only is Burns valuable for his defensive capabilities, but he is also effective in scoring situations throughout his career as well. In his last nine games played, Burns possesses a plus-four rating along with five assists. San Jose is motivated to claim the Western Conference’s number one seed over Calgary so it is all hands on deck until further notice. The Sharks will head into Staples Center, where they have already defeated the Kings twice in their first three matchups this season. Los Angeles also has not scored much this year, averaging the second-lowest number of goals per game (2.33) alongside subpar defense. This bodes well for both categories on Burns’ stat sheet, making him, as usual, an attractive option for fantasy managers.
Ryan McDonagh (TB): $4,900 @ CAR
The Lightning are on cruise control, and everything has been going their way pretty much all season long. McDonagh has possessed the best plus/minus rating since the beginning of the month (plus-12) amongst defensemen. He has also shown some offensive production during this span with two goals and four assists. The President’s Trophy winners will seek to build onto their historic season as they prepare to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. They have stifled offenses in all categories, so there should be no qualms involved in taking a Tampa Bay defenseman, or any player on its roster for that matter.
Corey Crawford (CHI): $7,700 vs. PHI
Crawford has played well for the Blackhawks since returning from a concussion. In his previous eight starts, he owns a 6-1-1 record along with a 0.923 SV% and a 2.45 GAA. While he faces off against a tough offense in Philadelphia, averaging 3.03 goals per game, Crawford’s recent play should make up for the difficult opponent. Chicago will rely heavily on the 34-year-old veteran to get into the postseason this April, so another strong performance is necessary.
Ben Bishop (DAL): $7,600 vs. COL
Bishop has been an absolute brick wall in his last seven games, going 6-1-0 with a 0.975 SV%, a 0.78 GAA, and three shutouts. The Stars already possess a stingy defense, allowing the least amount of goals in the NHL this year (2.23 per game). Despite having to play against Colorado’s explosive offense tonight, Bishop should be up to the task. Dallas, almost impenetrable right now, currently holds the top Wild Card spot with 82 points. The 6’7″ goaltender is going to have to play huge once again to help Dallas get to the postseason, and I am confident he will.