DraftKings NHL DFS Strategy Advice: Tuesday (2/2)
Last week was quite an unbalanced schedule in the NHL, with Tuesday and Thursday fully loaded but few games on off nights. This week is much better. After five games last night, there are another nine scheduled for tonight. Let’s take a look at the board.
Nazem Kadri (COL): $5,400 vs. MIN
This play is entirely contingent on the status of Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon exited Colorado’s last game in the 3rd period and never returned. Should he be ruled out tonight, Kadri is the likely candidate to step into his minutes alongside Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. Kadri is already featured on the top power play, but this could alter his function on that unit, away from the net mouth into a more puck-handling role. Kadri has five points in his last four games. This season he is shooting the puck over three times per game. Tonight Colorado will host a Minnesota team that they have scored a combined 8 goals against in their previous two clashes.
Rickard Rakell (ANH): $4,400 @ LA
Rickard Rakell is two years removed from back to back seasons where he put up 33 goals in 71 games and then 34 goals in 77 games. Judging by the remainder of his career, he is likely more of a 20-goal scorer on average than a 30-goal scorer, but that is still a valuable asset. In those career years, Rakell shot over 14%, which is high for any player but even higher when you consider his large shot volume. Since then, he has regressed to the mean, but this year he has regressed beyond it. In 10 games this year, Rakell has just one goal on 34 shots (3.4 per game). That is good for a dismal 2.9% shooting. If you dig further into the Ducks schedule, it starts to make more sense. Don’t get me wrong, the Ducks were going to struggle to score this year regardless based on personnel, but their schedule has not helped. To date, the Ducks have played the Knights, Wild, Avalanche, Coyotes, and Blues – all of whom find themselves in the bottom half of the league for goals against. Tonight the Ducks visit an LA Kings team that has surrendered 3.25 goals per game, good for the seventh highest in the league. With the Kings up next and then a pair scheduled with the Sharks, I expect Rakell to break out of his slump. Let’s hope it starts tonight.
Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ): $4,300 vs. DAL
This may seem like a Bjorkstrand fan account at times, but judging by these prices, he is still criminally underrated. Granted, Columbus is set to face off with a stingy Stars team tonight, but this Dallas team has dropped two straight and surrendered eight goals in those two games against the Hurricanes. More importantly, is the addition of Patrik Laine into the Columbus lineup. Laine practiced on Monday and is eligible for a return tonight. Morning skate should tell us where he will play in the lineup. I am hoping it is on the wing opposite side of Oliver Bjorkstrand. Regardless of his line at five on five, we can assume he’ll play on the top power-play unit, where Bjorkstrand also flourishes. Bjorkstrand is a good play here in his own right, with eight points in his last eight games. I am assuming Laine will be a popular play, so I prefer to catch a piece with Bjorkstrand, who still offers standalone value.
Jared Spurgeon (MIN): $4,200 @ COL
The Minnesota Wild placed Matt Dumba on injured reserve on Sunday. In their first game without Dumba, Jared Spurgeon stepped up to play over 23 minutes. He recorded a point, three shots, and a block. Spurgeon will also jump up into the top power-play unit. Tonight the Wild head to Colorado to play an Avalanche team that could be without Nathan MacKinnon. This will be the third of four consecutive games between these two teams. They have split the season series thus far.
Darcy Kuemper (ARI): $6,900 @ STL
This is more of a price tag play than anything else. I understand St. Louis is favored to win the game, but I’ll take my chances when Darcy Kuemper is in goal. Despite an average lineup, Arizona remains one of the stingiest teams in the league. Kuemper is 2-4 this season with a 2.44 and .910 save percentage. Each of these numbers falls below his sparkling career averages. I will rely on the talent here. St. Louis is around league average when it comes to offense, and I can see Kuemper shutting the door in this spot. As one of the cheapest options available, I am very content with this play. Remember to monitor the starting goalies, as Rick Tocchet has yet to name his starter for this evening.