Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 28 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 10-game slate on this beautiful and cool Tuesday 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.
The first that I noticed today as I started writing was that there were a large number of games that are carrying an over/under of 6. There is also another carrying an over/under of 6.5. I expect it to be a high-event night of hockey as my Nils Model is screaming shots and goals! Suffice it to say that it should be a fun evening.
Your top two stacks that will likely be the most highly-owned stacks are the Tampa Bay Lightning top line (Tyler Johnson – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov – Victor Hedman) and the Winnipeg Jets top line (Blake Wheeler – Mark Scheifele – Nikolaj Ehlers / Patrik Laine with Josh Morrissey / Jacob Trouba). We had heavy usage of the Jets last week as Scheifele who had five goals and three assists in four games while Laine poured in 13 goals in his last 10 contests. Even without a dinged-up Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets blueliners did not miss a beat as they were cash playable as well and responded with points and peripheral statistics as well. Tonight, the team is in Brooklyn and gets to shoot against an Islanders team that has the fourth-worst CF%, which means they surrender a large amount of shots (32.7 SA/GP). The Jets should also capitalize on the man advantage against an Islanders team that has allowed three power play goals against in its last four games.
As for the top stack, you cannot and should not overlook the Lightning. This first line has tallied an incredible 12 goals in eight games skating together. It finally looks as though the line shuffling in Tampa Bay has ceased momentarily as this first line has had outstanding chemistry. Yes, the trio’s total salary cap hit is high, but also consider that they are facing a Detroit Red Wings team that is allowing the third-most shots against per game and over 3.15 goals against per contest. You must have exposure to the road team.
Other Notable Stacks
As I wrote last week, with 10 games, you should make sure that you get sufficient exposure to all of the lines that you want. Outside of the top two stacks that I covered above, you should also have exposure to the following lines set forth below.
The Minnesota Wild first line (Mikael Granlund – Eric Staal – Jason Zucker with Matt Dumba) continue to rate highly in my model. They are on the road but are visting a Vancouver Canucks squad that has allowed the sixth-most shots per game on over 31 shots against.
The Montreal Canadiens have the highest implied goal total of the night as of this writing. The Habs are at home and are hosting the Ottawa Senators. I want exposure to a line from each team. For the road team it’s the Brady Tkachuk – Colin White – Mark Stone line and, for the home team, it’s the Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danualt – Brendan Gallagher line.
Last but certainly not least, the Columbus Blue Jackets top unit has been incredible as well over the past few weeks and Cam Atkinson is such a safe cash play.
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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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