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DraftKings DFS NHL Strategy Advice: Thursday (1/21)

Jan 21, 2021

Mathew Barzal and the Islanders provide a great matchup for opposing goalies

Moving right along here in the 2020-2021 NHL season. The quality of hockey has been impressive, considering many guys have not played in almost nine months. We knew this season would have some bumps in the road. To speak of thus far, we have yet to see the Dallas Stars take the ice, and the Carolina Hurricanes are now postponing a few games due to COVID issues. On the bright side, there are six quality contests scheduled for this evening, so let’s take a peek.

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Center

Nick Suzuki (MTL): $5,400 @ VAN
It seems quite clear that Nick Suzuki is entering his break out season. After recording 41 points in 71 games last year, Suzuki is off to a nice start with three points in three games this year. All three points have been on the power play. He is centering Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson as well as the top power-play unit. He looks the part, too, making impact plays every time he is on the ice. Tonight the Habs head to Vancouver to take on a Canucks team that has given up 16 goals in four games and 36 shots per game. Their penalty kill percentage is 4th last in the league.

Wing

Travis Konecny (PHI): $4,900 @ BOS
Travis Konecny is sitting atop the NHL scoring leaders right now with four goals and two assists in four games. He has also chipped in with ten hits and nine shots over that span. With Sean Couturier out, Konecny is playing the right side of Morgan Frost and Oskar Lindblom. He is slated on the top power-play unit. I don’t love what I have seen from Boston thus far. They have yet to score a goal at five on five. To their credit, they have only allowed five goals in three games, but that includes two games against the Devils and one against the Islanders, hardly the offensive juggernauts of the NHL. I love what I have seen from Philadelphia so far, and I am not sold on what we have seen out of Boston. This price stood out to me.

Drake Batherson (OTT): $3,500 vs. WPG
Don’t look now, but those pesky Sens are .500. More subjectively, they are fun to watch. A big piece of that is the overhaul of their top-six forwards this off-season. Batherson had 43 games under his belt heading into this season, but now he finds himself on the top line with Brady Tkachuk as well as the top power-play unit. He has taken advantage of the opportunity. Batherson has three points in as many games. More interestingly, he has 13 shots over that span, with two games exceeding the five-shot marker. He eclipsed that mark just one time in his previous two years in the NHL. He has yet to score a goal, but he is due for one if he continues shooting the puck like this. The Winnipeg Jets have surrendered 35 shots per game this season as they continue to rebuild their defensive core.

Defense

Devon Toews (COL): $5,000 @ LA
Joe Sakic acquiring Devon Toews from the Islanders may have been the best move of the offseason. Toews fell victim to a tough cap situation on Long Island, but “victim” may be a poor word choice for a player that just joined one of the best teams in the league and is now paired with Cale Makar. Toews is settling in nicely with three points in three games. He is skating on the top pairing as well as the second power-play unit. In Tuesday’s game against the Kings, Toews recorded a power-play goal, one shot, and six blocks in 25:40 of ice time. If Toews continues to play that much, I expect he will show up on the scoresheet, especially against a Los Angeles team that has surrendered 3.67 goals against per game.

Goalie

Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD): $7,300 @ NYI
Over the last couple of years, Mackenzie Blackwood has shown signs of being an excellent goaltender. The former 2nd round pick stepped into a tremendous opportunity this season with the retirement of Corey Crawford. He has flourished in that spot thus far. In three starts, Blackwood has a 2-0-1 record, a 1.90 GAA, and a sparkling .948 save percentage. On Tuesday, Blackwood turned away 47 of 50 shots against the Rangers. Tonight the Devils head out to Long Island to play an Islanders team that has scored just five goals in their three games. A starting goaltender has not been named, so be sure to check that Lindy Ruff doesn’t turn to Scott Wedgewood after Blackwood’s busy night on Tuesday.

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Chris Genova is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Chris, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyOneTimer.

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