Happy New Year everyone! Today's post-Winter Classic two-game NHL DFS slate is highlighted by Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche taking on Alex Pietrangelo and the Vegas Golden Knights. Also don't miss out on some of the great value plays available on the wing today with Cam York of the Flyers facing the Ducks. Remember, you can use the lineup generator powered by Fanjections to help put your lineup together.
Golden Knights at Avalanche
This will be Nathan MacKinnon’s second game back from injury and this will be a bit of a litmus test facing Vegas today. The Golden Knights have been among the biggest surprises this season, and that has been with three of their best players (Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore) all missing significant time. Eichel and Theodore will be out of the lineup again today, but I would be surprised if Vegas looks overmatched. The focal points in this game will be Colorado’s topline of MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Arturi Lehkonen. Rantanen carried the water during MacKinnon’s injury and should be considered a top option on today’s slate. If you want to look a little deeper down the Avs lineup you can look at a player like J.T. Compher who is getting top powerplay time and has 11 shots in his last three games, or Evan Rodrigues who won’t get the top powerplay but is in the top six and has just as many shots as Compher. For Vegas, the most likely players are going to be Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. Neither holds the point-gaining prowess of MacKinnon or Rantanen, but they will play in all situations, and both have averaged a point per game or better over the last week. Additionally, Vegas is getting point production from Michael Amadio, who also has 10 shots in his last three, so he has the floor and is on the top powerplay unit.
On defence, Cale Makar requires no introduction. He is a boom-or-bust play, but he has big upside as he can put up a lot of points and shots, with multi-point games in two of his last three games, and four shots or more in four of his previous five games. Devon Toews is also an option as he will get points (three in his previous five games) and has had nights where he shoots a lot and blocks shots. For Vegas, you will find more options, as their defence blocks a lot of shots. Pietrangelo gets the top powerplay time, and Brayden McNabb has one of the best floors at his price as a consistent shot blocker. There is a chance that Shea Theodore returns in this game, but I wouldn’t be willing to pay his price with him missing nearly a month.
With neither team playing consecutive games, we should expect it to be Logan Thompson to face Alexander Georgiev in goal. Georgiev has really struggled in his last three games and looked bad giving up five goals on 24 shots against Toronto in his previous game. This does open the door a bit for Pavel Francouz who has looked much better with back-to-back wins and save percentages of 0.925 or better in both of those games. I would be more willing to play Francouz than Georgiev at this point as well. Thompson is coming off a win for Vegas, but he also hasn’t played great recently as well, with him posting sub-900 save percentages in each of his last three starts as well.
Flyers at Ducks
This might not be the most exciting matchup on paper, but for DFS this one could be gold. Why do you ask? Well, you have two teams that give up lots of goals. For the Flyers, they have been getting production from Owen Tippett who is currently getting top-line minutes and has four points in his last two games. Additionally, Travis Konecny has three goals in his last two games, and eight shots in those games. If I had to pick one it would be Konecny as he gets time on the top powerplay, but we know that John Tortorella isn’t afraid to mix up his lines either. When we take a look at the Ducks, Trevor Zegras is the first place we should go. It maybe hasn’t been the year that many people expected from him, but he is still shooting over 10 percent which is the mark of a goal scorer, and he does have nights where he is giving you well over five shots and can give you multi-point games as well. While it pains me to say this, Troy Terry looks to have taken a step back this season. This was inevitable, as he scored in nearly 20 percent of his shots last season, but the good news is he is still scoring and scores on more than 10 percent of his shots which is likely more realistic. He can still score in bunches and put shots on goal in bunches as well. He should be in consideration for your lineup today. Looking a bit further down the lineup, I think Mason McTavish can be an interesting low-price option. He is on the top powerplay and is seeing close to 16 minutes of ice time per game in his last three games.
On defence, it is hard to miss the streak that Tony DeAngelo has been on. He has eight points in his last four games, and while his blocked shots totals have largely disappeared, he has been shooting the puck quite a bit more. Rasmus Ristolainen could also be interesting. He is coming off a six blocked shot game, and he has an assist in two of his last three games as well. For Anaheim, Cam Fowler is getting the top powerplay right now, but really none of their defencemen have had much of an impact in DFS this season with any regularity.
There are goalies playing in this game, and obviously one of them will get the win. There is obvious love in the community for Lukas Dostal and it may be time for the Ducks to start giving him more of the starts as he has played well to state it simply John Gibson has not, but with that said the Ducks still hope to shop Gibson I suspect so I would expect him to be the starter, and he is still capable of getting the win at home against the this Flyers team. For Philadelphia, Samuel Errson is expected to get the start in this one and he hasn’t been great in his three starts for the Flyers. It is possible that Carter Hart returns from his concussion in this game, and if he does he would be worth playing as his price is low, otherwise, I would avoid the Flyers goalies unless you’re getting them at the goalie minimum.