Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 34 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 11-game slate on this sunny and clearTuesday morning here in San Diego, California.
If you are a new subscriber to our NHL Core Plays, please make sure that you are playing all of the lineups that I post on any given day. NHL is such a highly-variant sport and there is truly no telling which lineup will go off. I do have my favorites each day, but even the lineups that I may not think have massive upside sometimes, in fact, have the upside you need to take down a tournament.
I am going back to the Buffalo Sabres well again because that first line (Jack Eichel – Jeff Skinner – Sam Reinhart with Rasmus Dahlin and Rasmus Ristolainen) keeping letting us drink. Buffalo is at home in the KeyBank Center and will host a Florida Panthers team that is allowing the fourth-most goals against per game through 31 contests. Eichel will likely be a cash game fixture for us as well as the center has registered 17 points on 49 shots in his last 10 games. Reinhart also has 16 points during that same span while Skinner has 9. The Sabres never tend to be a highly-owned stack even when they are playing a bad team so enjoy the relatively low ownership tonight.
In this same game, I think you can target the visiting team’s top unit against a Sabres squad that, as good as they have been offensively over the past 15 games, they are still weak in their own end as they are allowing the seventh-most shots against per contest. The home team also has the eighth-worst CorsiFor% which is another indication that they play a lose style of hockey. Take a good look at Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman. If you want a full power play stack over on DK, add Evgenii Dadonov and/or Keith Yandle to differentiate. This is a massive slate with 11 games so the ownership here should not be terribly high.
There is a ton to like from an offensive perspective today so see my notable stacks below for additional details.
Other top stacks that will be highly-owned (well, relatively, given the slate size) are the Winnipeg Jets top line and first power play unit, the Edmonton Oilers first line (probably my top stack of the day) and the Leafs second line.
Other Notable Stacks
I must mention the San Jose Sharks first line (Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Tomas Hertl with Erik Karlsson) in this space as well even though I dislike rostering them. Yes, they have won four in a row and six of their last seven, but I have a hard time wanting to play them. For me, they rarely bring the upside needed to take down a GPP although Meier has been a beast over the past few weeks for us. Meier has 12 points (6 G, 6 A) in his last 10 contests and has been averaging 3.7 shots. I do not like picking on Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild at home where they are 10-5-1 so reserve this Sharks stack as a contrarian play.
In that same game, you will find another sneaky stack in the Eric Staal line (with Mikael Granlund and Jordan Greenway) as Zach Parise is now on the second line and Matt Dumba is banged up. As noted above, San Jose has been skating well together, but I always prefer the Wild at home, especially against a Sharks netminding tandem that is allowing nearly three goals against per game.
Don’t overlook Vancouver tonight at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy should be between the pipes in his third game since returning from injury. I am on the Canucks second line as a full stack and Bo Horvat as a one-off.
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There were some questions in the Slack chat over the first month of the season 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.
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