Hi everyone! The day is finally here and the NHL regular season is about to get underway. This article will dissect the main slate each day and provide analysis into which plays our experts are leaning to on each slate. Opening night will consist of four games with the first game starting at 7:00 pm EST (TOR vs OTT) and the last game starting at 10:30 pm EST (VGK vs SJS). We will cover our top 10/2 DFS NHL plays per position, stacks we are interested in, which power plays look promising and which punts are worthwhile.
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Auston Matthews – Matthews is set to be one of the higher owned players for tonight’s 10/2 DFS NHL slate and rightfully so, as he showed during the preseason that he hadn’t missed a step. Matthews will also be facing off against one of the worst statistical teams and one of the worst statistical goalies last season. Matthews will center Toronto’s top line tonight and will also appear on Toronto’s top power-play unit. This matchup also has the highest O/U on the slate at 6.5. However, that still seems too low, as in their four meetings last season these teams averaged 7.75 goals per game. Finally, Ottawa also posted the worst SA/GP (shots allowed) of any team last season at 35.7, essentially leaving their goalies out to dry. Ottawa hasn’t made any significant improvements to fix those statistics. Matthews pairs well with his linemates (Johnsson and Nylander) as well as Rielly
Brayden Schenn – In his final preseason tune-up Schenn recorded a goal and two assists against his opponent tonight, the Washington Capitals. Schenn is relatively inexpensive in 10/2 DFS NHL on both sites ($5,700 on FanDuel and $4,700 on DraftKings) and will play top-line minutes along with minutes centering the top power-play unit. During the second half of the 2018-19 campaign, the Blues posted the second most amount of shots in the league at 1,479, which helped squeeze them into a playoff spot to ultimately win the Cup. Not to mention the game has an O/U of 5.5 and will be taking place in St. Louis. If you are looking for an expensive pairing, Schenn works well alongside Tarasenko. For a more cost-effective option, he is stackable with Jaden Schwartz.Honorable Mention: Cody Glass
Brady Tkachuk – As mentioned earlier, Tkachuk will open the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite being major underdogs, Brady is a bright spot in what is overall a lackluster lineup. Brady is set to see a huge chunk of the ice time tonight as well as time on Ottawa’s first power-play unit. Tkachuk recorded two assists in his last regular-season game against the Buds and considering that the Battle of Ontario generally has offense generated from both teams, it is likely that Tkachuk will get more points tonight. He pairs well alongside Connor Brown and/or Thomas Chabot.
Max Pacioretty – Patches and the Golden Knights will face off against the San Jose Sharks. Vegas is heavily favored with a -180 line along with a high O/U of 6.0. Pacioretty recorded an assist in Vegas’ final preseason game against the Sharks, and if he is able to stay away from the penalty box, he will see around 18-20 minutes of ice time. Pacioretty will play on the second line and will also appear on Vegas’ top power-play unit. Vegas posted one of the highest average shot totals last season at 34.3 shots per game. Patches and his teammates will be facing some shaky goaltending from Martin Jones and the Sharks will likely have to compete without one of their more dangerous wingers in Evander Kane, who was suspended for three games for making contact with an official. Pacioretty pairs best alongside the uber-cheap Cody Glass. HM: Anthony Duclair
Quinn Hughes – Hughes is Vancouver’s next top defensive prospect and will be looking to break out this season. In the sample of his five appearances from last season, he recorded points in three of them and averaged around 18 minutes of ice time in each appearance. Quinn is also set to see minutes on Vancouver’s second power-play unit. At Quinn’s price ($4,000 on both sites), he is definitely worth the gamble in 10/2 DFS NHL.
Morgan Rielly – He was the highest-scoring defenseman last season, and I truly believe him not being the most expensive defenseman on the slate is a joke. Take advantage of it while you can, Mo is on track to have an All-Star season. He is on Toronto’s deadly top power-play unit and saw an average of 23 minutes of ice time per game last season, but might see a slight decline with Toronto’s defensive power this season. However, Rielly is a steal at $5,700 on FanDuel and reasonably priced at $6,200 on DraftKings for 10/2 DFS NHL. HM: Rasmus Sandin
Marc-Andre Fleury – “The Flower” had two strong performances against San Jose during the preseason and posted good numbers throughout last season, owning a .913 SV% and a 2.51 GAA. Vegas also holds their opponents to an average of 29.3, which is the fifth-best in the league. Although goalies count on shots to rack up points, the less dangerous chances on target, the better. Not to mention Fleury had the fifth most wins of any goalie last season at 35, will be playing at home in 10/2 DFS NHL, and is favored to get the win.
Frederik Andersen – As mentioned earlier, the Leafs have the highest odds of winning with the line currently favoring them at -300. The Leafs allowed the eighth most shots against last season (33.1). Although saves directly correlate with points, that statistic gives me cause for concern with Freddy. As we saw last season, the Leafs have a tendency to rely on offense and “score their way” out of problems.HM: Jacob Markstrom
Toronto: (Johnsson, Matthews, Nylander) *TOP STACK*Toronto is in an excellent spot for 10/2 DFS NHL with by far the best odds of the slate at -300. This line, in particular, has excelled during the preseason with all three forwards recording a goal. Toronto’s top line is moderately priced, allowing for another top stack to be included in your lines. On top of that, the Maple Leafs averaged 3.56 goals per game at home and held the fourth-best goals per game average in the league last season at 3.49, meaning not only were they great at scoring, but they were better scoring at home.
The final piece of information leading me to this stack is the goalie matchup. Craig Anderson will settle in between the pipes for the opening matchup, and last season Anderson held the worst GAA for goalies who played at least half of their team’s games, allowing on average 3.51 goals per game.
Vegas (Pacioretty, Glass, Stone)
The Golden Knights are also heavily favored over their opening night opponents in the San Jose Sharks, with a -180 line. In the final preseason game against the Sharks, this line was able to register a goal and an assist in the 5-1 win. If Glass remains at center it will provide extreme 10/2 DFS NHL affordability for the entire line, as he is listed at $3,600 on FanDuel and $2,800 on DraftKings. All three forwards also appear on Vegas’ top power-play unit and to top it off it will be in Vegas against a goalie who held a dismal 2.94 GAA last season (Martin Jones). HM: St. Louis (Schwartz, Schenn, Tarasenko)
Power Play of the Day
Toronto– This matchup pits last season’s fourth best home power play league-wide against the league’s ninth worst penalty kill.
10/2 DFS NHL Punts
Trevor Moore – Moore made some serious noise this preseason, recording three goals and an assist in his final three preseason games. Moore is set to see more ice time on the third line alongside Kerfoot and Mikheyev. All of Toronto’s third line holds value; if you’d like to stack Moore, however, I also see Moore as a viable one-off for GPPs.
Jimmy Schuldt – At defense, Jimmy Schuldt provides value as a 10/2 DFS NHL defender who can post top-line minutes while also carrying scoring upside, as we saw in the final preseason game, Schuldt recorded a goal and an assist against tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks. Schuldt pairs well alongside Vegas’s second line. I don’t see Schuldt being this cheap for too much longer.HM: Brandon Pirri
A passionate hockey fan since 2007 and introduced to NHL DFS through FanDuel in 2017 by a family member, Allan ventured into the realm of NHL writing, contributing to Daily Play Action from 2018 onwards. Embracing the challenges of DFS, he relentlessly honed his skills season after season, with a singular focus on excelling as an NHL and UFC DFS player, passionately aligning with their love for the sports.
Notably, in 2019, Allan provided key recommendations, including Sean Kuraly in the NHL Winter Classic, where he emerged as the slate's most valuable player with a goal and 5 shots. The foresight extended to players like Mantha, Perlini, and Ennis, achieving impressive values of 12.9x, 10x, and 14.9x, respectively. Demonstrating prowess in NHL contests, his most remarkable triumph was securing a notable NHL 4.44 Breakaway victory, earning $5,000 in prize money. Follow Allan on Twitter @AFabrykant and on FanDuel under the username InAustonWeTrust.
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