The NHL schedule is back in full swing with several teams back from COVID layoffs, and it’s a full slate for Monday night with eight games across the league. A few of these games are battles among teams at the top of the division standings, including the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights. This is also yet another slate highlighted by Auston Matthews, and his Toronto Maple Leafs will be among the first wave of games when contests lock at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews ($9,000), Mitch Marner ($8,100), Joe Thornton ($4,700)
New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal ($6,500), Anders Lee ($5,800), Jordan Eberle ($5,000)
Nathan MacKinnon ($8,800), Mikko Rantanen ($7,200), Andre Burakovsky ($4,000)
The prices on the Leafs continue to rise, but they’ve been so productive as of late that they’ve become impossible to ignore. Some of the recent success is largely attributable to a stretch of games against the lowly Senators, but Matthews actually managed two goals and two assists last time out against the Canadiens. This line warrants consideration on any slate at this point, but this matchup is actually a decent one against a Flames team that may still be without first-line center Sean Monahan ($4,900; lower body). The Islanders are also in a good spot at home against the Sabres, and the move to bump Eberle back up to the top line makes this a much more intriguing stack. The Avalanche aren’t benefitting from as good of a matchup, taking on the Golden Knights, but Burakovsky playing on the first line brings down the overall cost, and it makes MacKinnon much more affordable.
New York Islanders
Brock Nelson ($4,500), Josh Bailey ($3,800), Anthony Beauvillier ($2,700)
Nazem Kadri ($5,100), Brandon Saad ($3,900), Joonas Donskoi ($3,500)
Vegas Golden Knights
William Karlsson ($4,800), Jonathan Marchessault ($4,800), Reilly Smith ($3,600)
Sticking with the Islanders, the recent changes to the line combinations have made them much more fantasy-friendly, and the second line remains extremely cheap with Beauvillier still priced down from when he was injured. The Avs’ second line is cheap, as well, and there’s simply too much talent here, creating what could be a solid first line on many NHL teams. On the opposite side of the same game, the Knights aren’t in anything resembling a good matchup going into Colorado, but their second line has seen some pretty substantial price drops — they’re another line that could be at the top of the depth chart for a lot of teams. This group combined for a goal and three assists last week in the same matchup, and there’s no reason why they can’t replicate that performance tonight.
Aleksander Barkov ($6,800), Carter Verhaeghe ($4,600), Anthony Duclair ($3,800)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Brayden Point ($7,000), Steven Stamkos ($8,200), Ondrej Palat ($5,400)
Joel Eriksson Ek ($5,200), Kevin Fiala ($6,700), Jordan Greenway ($3,300)
With bigger names like Matthews and MacKinnon on the slate, there’s a good chance that the Florida Panthers end up going overlooked. This first line has had an excellent season at even strength, and the power play has also been great with Jonathan Huberdeau ($5,300) and Patric Hornqvist ($6,000) producing plenty of offense. Whether it’s this line or a power-play stack, there’s plenty of appeal in a low-owned Panthers team tonight. The Lightning should be a contrarian play, as well, going into Carolina in a tough matchup against the Hurricanes. The Lightning are hard to afford and are in the same price tier as the Leafs and Avs, so the ownership here should be extremely low. The Wild are actually in a really good matchup against the Sharks, but the quirkiness of their line combinations might keep the ownership in check. Eriksson Ek and Greenway aren’t really household names, and Fiala’s price should be high enough to keep the masses from gravitating towards him.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.