Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 7 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks!
We have a cash-playable 8-game slate on this glorious and sunny Tuesday (at least here in Southern California). While we have had success in cash games through the first two weeks of the season, please continue to play lighter than you want to or typically would play.
It is still early!
Once again, it is still very early in the season and some teams are playing their second game today. If you skipped my article from Friday, October 5, 2018 or simply glazed over my sage advice on how to balance your DFS budget early in the NHL, please go back and read or revisit the piece.
As of the writing of this piece at 9:10am Pacific, the largest line movement on the slate involves the game featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks in the PPG PAINTS Arena.
The moneyline has swung 10 points towards Pittsburgh and the home team also carries the highest implied goal total. The Canucks have won two in a row on the road and their goaltending has been solid, but they are still allowing over 34 shots against per game. The Penguins have looked like two different teams – one night their offense clicks and the next night they falter.
It appears as though Casey Desmith will be between the pipes for the Pens (ahead of Matt Murray) and Desmith is the top overall cash game netminder.
Pittsburgh is changing up its lines and Derick Brassard is the beneficiary of a bump up to the top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Patric Hornqvist is relegated down to the third line while Evgeni Malkin continues to skate with Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin.
The team’s top power play unit remains the same: Hornqvist – Malkin – Crosby – Kris Letang – Kessel. You can run any variation of the power play unit out. If you to differentiate yourself a bit from the pack, my favorite one-off plays are Phil Kessel (given his shot volume) and Evgeni Malkin, who is priced more accurately.
I expect the Winnipeg Jets top line and first power play unit to be the next heaviest-owned stack.
Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler have looked consistent through five games.
Connor, who is the most affordable, has had the best counting statistics so far with four goals in five games. The Edmonton Oilers finally head back home after a lengthy road trip and this is their get-out-of-town game.
The visiting team has struggled on the penalty kill thus far and they have also allowed 3.3 goals against per game. Look for the Jets top line to put up three with ease.
Other Notable Stacks
The Vegas Golden Knights are finally back home after an East Coast trip. While the Knights top line (Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith) has disappointed early on, the hope is that they start to find their chemistry this season against a Buffalo Sabres team that is allowing nearly 35 shots against per game. Let’s see how the Vegas hangover affects Buffalo tonight.
I am curious to see how ownership on the New Jersey Devils plays out. Even without a goal this season, Taylor Hall is still averaging nearly 16 FDPPG, but his linemate, Kyle Palmieri, has looked sensational with two goals in each of his first three games.
There were some questions in the Slack chat over the past few days about how to find the lines that I list as my top stacks on the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Cheat Sheet. Head over to either DailyFaceoff.com or LeftWingLock.com to see which skaters are on each of a team’s lines and then build your line stacks. For example, if you see that my top stack of the day is “PIT PP1 / 1”, look at one of the two sites listed above and you will see that the top power play unit of the Pittsburgh Penguins consists of Patric Hornqvist – Evgeni Malkin – Sidney Crosby – Kris Letang – Phil Kessel. The team’s top line features Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist. I decided to leave off the players’ names from the line stacks because of the fact that they may change before the game or after the team’s morning skate (if applicable). Both sites I mentioned are updated regularly and typically accurate. If you’re ever lost, just ask questions in our Slack chat.
Feel free to comment here or post a screenshot or photo on Instagram and remember to tag me @NotTonyM. I am always open to feedback and critique. Just remember, I respond to respect and love in whatever the message is that you want to share. Good luck!