DraftKings DFS NHL Strategy Advice: Tuesday (2/16)
As games continue to get postponed, we have to wonder if the NHL will have to settle for seeding playoff teams by point percentage. If that does happen, will they expand the field again beyond eight seeds? As with everything nowadays, we are living in a fluid environment. Whatever the league determines, I will still just be happy to have hockey back.
Mika Zibanejad (NYR): $5,900 vs. NJD
Mika Zibanejad is having a very forgettable season. He missed nearly all of training camp as he recovered from COVID-19. The Rangers were fortunate to get him back for opening night, but his legs had not joined him until recently. We’ve seen this before — a player returning from an illness needed some time to recover their energy. Zibanejad has only one goal and three points in thirteen games, but the scoring chances are starting to come. He was flat-out robbed on three different scoring chances this past week. He looks like a player who is ready to bust out of a slump. Tonight the Rangers host a Devils team that has not played since January 31st.
Adrian Kempe (LA): $4,200 vs. MIN
The LA Kings are in a transitional period. While they aren’t where they want to be overall, they’re doing a nice job scoring goals. A big reason for that is the emergence of Adrian Kempe. He has nine points in thirteen games this season. He is riding a four-game point streak, and he has eclipsed the five-shot marker in three consecutive games. Kempe is playing on the left side of the second line as well as the top power-play unit. He has power-play points in three of the last four games.
Kevin Fiala (MIN): $6,500 at LA
Kevin Fiala is another player who has started 2021 off slowly. He has just three points in eight games. He’s had quite a lot of time to think about it, too. Fiala was suspended for three games back on January 28th, and after that, Minnesota had their next five contests postponed. He had started coming on before the layoff with three goals in his last four games, and I suspect that he’ll catch fire soon. Fiala should return to his role on the first line as well as the top power-play unit.
Ty Smith (NJD): $4,300 at NYR
Ty Smith has been a nice bright spot for the Devils this season. Fortunately for him, New Jersey will finally get back into action tonight at MSG after over two weeks of postponements. Smith was one of the many players placed on the COVID protocol list. Before that, Smith had recorded eight points in nine games. Smith joins the Devils this season after going 17th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. I expect him to slide back into his pairing alongside Damon Severson, and he should fit into the second power-play unit.
Ilya Sorokin (NYI): $7,900 at BUF
Sorokin draws in for the second half of a back-to-back against the Sabres. The Sabres haven’t played hockey in several weeks, so an immediate back-to-back scenario is a tough ask. That said, the Islanders beat Buffalo last night by 3-1. Sorokin hasn’t seen a lot of time this year, as his last start came on January 31st. He is a highly-touted prospect, and I expect his best hockey is ahead of him. This is a more comfortable start for him. The Islanders have scored only three goals in the three games that Sorokin has started, so hopefully, he’ll get some goal support tonight.