Welcome back to the Thursday, March 30th edition of FanDuel NHL Blue Line Power Plays column. Like Tuesday, we have another robust NHL schedule to pick through for tonight’s lineups. Several of the games tonight will have a big impact on the playoff run. We should have multiple top play options and we’re going to grab a few value options for affordability. The salaries we discuss are for FanDuel NHL on Thursday March 30th.
With nine games on the NHL schedule tonight, the options are overwhelming. But we’re going to narrow our search down to only four games. Here’s a look at the schedule of games we’re focusing on tonight:
Islanders at Flyers (7pm ET)
Red Wings at Lightening (7:30pm ET)
Stars at Bruins (7:30pm ET)
Sharks at Oilers (9pm ET)
The Islanders and Flyers game will be a major battle for playoff position and predicting the outcome of the game is very risky. But there’s a hot player on the ice in Philly tonight who provides a ton of value, and we’re going to grab him at wing tonight.
The Lightening and Bruins each have a juicy match up on home ice, and each team is still battling for a playoff position. So we are likely looking to stack our lineup with Bruins and Bolts tonight.
Finally, the Sharks have struggled lately, and are on road ice in Edmonton against a hot Oilers offense. But I’m mostly fading this game, with one exception from the Sharks.
Let’s start with our center picks…
Next: Top Centers
While still very productive compared to the average NHL center, Patrice Bergeron ($7,200) has been relatively quiet compared to his standards this season. Over the last five games, Bergeron only has one goal and one assists. But, he’s coming off a one goal, seven shots, and two blocks night against the Predators on Tuesday, totaling 26.4 FanDuel NHL points. And the Bruins have a great match up on home ice against a very bad Dallas Stars defense. This is where we start a Bruins stack.
With Tyler Johnson on the injured list for the Tampa Bay Lightening, 21-year-old Brayden Point ($4,300) has developed into a fantastic FanDuel NHL value pick toward the end of this season. Point is centering the Bolts top line and plays along-side the Bolts superstar Kucherov. In the last five games, Brayden has one goal and four assists. The Lightening are hosting a struggling Red Wings team tonight in Tampa, and Point and his line should have a great night. We’re targeting another stack here.
Next: Top Wings
We already grabbed Point for center, so we’re going to stack Brayden with Nikita Kucherov ($8,500). Kucherov has been one of the top plays each time he steps on the ice over the last twelve days. Nikita is averaging over 30+ FanDuel NHL points-per-game in the past two weeks. Kucherov has an insane seven goals and four assists in the last five games. With the Bolts hosting the Red Wings tonight, Nikita is a must own in your lineups.
With Bergeron already in our lineup, we’re going to add Brad Marchand ($7,700) to continue your Bruins stack. After a three game run in mid-March where Marchand had five goals and four assists, Brad only has two assists in the last five games. So Marchand’s line has cooled off a bit lately. However, that’s no reason to fade him and hopefully leads to lower FanDuel NHL ownership tonight. Marchand and Bergeron should bounce back in a big way tonight.
We’ve been spending big so far in our lineup, and we don’t have a lot of cash left. But we’re not worried about that because of the potential value Jordan Weal ($3,400) and Melker Karlsson ($3,500) can bring to us tonight.
Young 24-year-old Weal has a lot of Flyers fans excited about his future as he’s getting hot toward the end of the season. In the last five games, Jordan has three goals and one assists and he’s averaging double-digit FanDuel NHL points-per-game in that time. That’s a very good return for a $3.4K salary. Also, those stats do not include the game-winning shootout goal Jordan had against the Senators on Tuesday. He’s riding hot into this game against the Islanders on home ice.
Karlsson, not Erik, is another sneaky value pick. Melker is playing on a good Sharks 2nd line tonight. Karlsson has been out of the lineup since March 11th, but returned on Tuesday against the Rangers and piled up 18.8 FanDuel NHL points, including a goal. Karlsson could be involved in one or more scoring results for the Sharks tonight in Edmonton.
Next: Top Defense
With our third and last Bolts stack, we’re going to spend big on Victor Hedman ($6,700) for defense. Hedman is one of a handful of defensive-man who’s on the ice 25 to 30 minutes per game, and adds a heavy offensive component to a strong dose of shots on goal and blocked shots. Victor has a strong shot at 20 FanDuel NHL points on home ice against the Red Wings tonight. So we really want him in our lineup.
Continuing with the Bruins stack, we’re going to move down to the 2nd line for value with Torey Krug ($5,100). Torey is giving us around 20 minutes of ice time and has a goal and two assists in the last five games. He’s capable of 10+ FanDuel NHL points even when he’s not involved in scoring results. This pick also gives us some coverage on the Bruins 2nd line in a great match up.
Next: Top Goalie
The Dallas Stars are a dangerous team on offense, even though they struggle defending their own goal. But their defense and numerous shots on goal make their opposing goalies attractive options for FanDuel NHL. Tonight, the Stars are on the road against the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask ($8,600) is minding the net for the Bruins tonight. Rask has struggled this month, but has also had very tough matchups against hot offensive teams. So his results are likely skewed a bit. On Tuesday, Tuukka was able to bounce back against the Nashville Predators in Boston, getting 24 saves and the win for a 27.2 FanDuel NHL point total. With a win tonight, and the potential for more saves, I think Rask has a shot at 30+ FanDuel NHL points. Hopefully Tuesday wasn’t an exception, so there is some risk with this pick.
Always check NHL lineups throughout the day when playing FanDuel NHL. The NHL isn’t overly forthcoming with injury news, and players are often scratched at the last-minute with little information. Also, goaltenders are never a sure-thing. Follow us on twitter, @fantasycpr, for updates as we get closer to lineup lock time. Good Luck today FanDuelers!