Good morning everyone and welcome to volume 8 of the Top Shelf Knucklepuck Stacks! We have a cash-playable 9-game slate on this glorious and sunny Thursday (at least here in Southern California). If you are reading this from Minnesota or upstate New York, well, I am sorry. It is expensive out West, but it is mid-October and my temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 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. We are almost at a point where I’ll tell you to play your normal volume. 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. Let’s continue our Tuesday streak!
We have been riding a one-off Evander Kane for the first two weeks of the season because he had been playing on the third line during even strength and with the team’s top power play. The winger has been the best player on the Sharks (4G, 1A, 26SOG through six games) and will be playing in a revenge game against his old team in the Shark Tank this evening. San Jose’s top line (Kevin Labanc – Joe Pavelski – Evander Kane) should have a prime matchup against Buffalo’s weak second line.
We keep picking on the Vancouver Canucks and they keep c-blocking us with a smothering defense that has limited seemingly top offenses to under 30 shots in the last two games. In winning three straight, the Canucks have also held the Penguins, Panthers and Lightning to two goals and one goal, respectively. However, the team is now playing in a get-away game in Winnipeg. The Jets power play (Kyle Connor – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler – Patrik Laine – Josh Morrissey) has looked solid with goals on the man advantage in three of their last four. I feel like Laine is going to be the difference maker for you in GPPs if you are stacking the Jets. Most will gravitate towards the top line (without Laine) so you may get the second line even strength winger at 9% owned or less.
Everyone will be on the Penguins second line (Carl Hagelin – Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel) and Maple Leafs second line (Patrick Marleau – Auston Matthews – Kasperi Kapanen – Morgan Rielly) in what will be the best and most exciting game of the night. I guarantee there will be 70 total shots in this game.
Other Notable Stacks
I keep hoping that the Arizona Coyotes will break out, but they have not yet. Nevertheless, I will go back to stacking the first line (Richard Panik – Derek Stepan – Clayton Keller – OEL) on the road in Chicago against a Blackhawks team that will start Corey Crawford for the first time this season. The home team has gone to overtime in all five games they’ve played this season and they are allowing 35-46 shots per game in any given contest.
The Philadelphia Flyers top unit has been allowing a ton of goals against and the Columbus Blue Jackets top line (Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson – Zach Werenski, Nick Foligno on PP) and top power play unit has looked solid. This line will be overlooked on a large slate.
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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.
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