Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby and NHL PICKS: For more analysis on the slate, check out Nolan Kelly’s Line Change article before lock, as well as Awesemo’s NHL Projections and Rankings. You can also subscribe to the Awesemo.com YouTube Channel to get notifications when “Hit The Ice” (4ET Weekdays) goes live!
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NHL Schedule for Thursday, Oct. 10
|AWAY – Opening line||O/U||Home – Opening line||Time – EST|
|Tampa Bay||6.5||Toronto -109|
|Edmonton||6.5||*New Jersey -121|
|St Louis -201||6.5||Ottawa|
|San Jose||6.5||Chicago -108|
* – Back to Back
^ – 3 in 6
Sidney Crosby – PIT vs ANH
DraftKings – $7,200
FanDuel – $8,600
The Penguins are dealing with a bunch of injuries to their top players and that means more ice time for Crosby. Opening the year with a point in each game so far, and a total of four points, Crosby should be looking at the shot bonus tonight. Last game, Crosby logged over 22 minutes of ice time, and he should get double shifted at times tonight because of the lack of firepower. The Ducks started the year out with three wins, but they haven’t really faced any tough competition. The Penguins started out fast last game but fell on their face. That shouldn’t happen tonight.
Cody Glass – VGK @ ARI
DraftKings – $4,200
FanDuel – $4,400
Glass has been a great value the past week, pivoting between two excellent wingers like Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty has a lot to do with it. Glass has been finding open ice and he’s been shooting the puck along with being a solid distributor. The trio as a line have a 56 CF%, are creating over 14 high-danger scoring chances per 60 and have an expected goals of barely under three. There shouldn’t be a hard match in this game, but I can see Derek Stepan’s line matching up with Vegas’s second line a good bit. That’s a positive matchup for the Golden Knights, as the Stepan line last year gave up over 13 high-danger scoring chances per 60. Max Pacioretty’s price is pretty surprising at this point, as its way too low.
Patrick Kane – CHI vs SJ
DraftKings – $7,700
FanDuel – $8,400
The Blackhawks come back home after a week in Prague, where the Flyers came out victorious in a 4-3 score. Kane lit the lamp and had two helpers in that game. He is a contender for the shot bonus every night, on top of just being a point machine. Vegas says this should be one of the highest-scoring games, and I would agree. Both teams have started the year out extremely susceptible on the defensive end.
The Sharks have averaged 4.25 goals against per game in the four games they have played so far. The Sharks have re-signed Patrick Marleau and no one has a clue what kind of game shape he is in, which also bodes well for Kane. San Jose has also been short-handed 14 times in the first four games, and if they go short handed tonight, you can bet Kane will be out there firing pucks on net.
Vladimir Tarasenko – STL @ OTT
DraftKings – $7,100
FanDuel – $7,600
Vladimir Tarasenko and the Blues should be a popular play tonight, but for the right reasons. Ottawa lacks any type of depth, and their defense is highly suspect. The Senators as a team since last year, have a league low 44 CF%, and they have allowed the fifth-most scoring chances per 60. There should be plenty of chances for the Blues top line to convert, and they make for a good stacking option tonight.
Evander Kane – SJ @ CHI
DraftKings – $5,700
FanDuel – $6,700
Both Kanes are in play tonight and they shouldn’t see a ton of each other. The Toews line should hard match the Sharks top line, leaving Evander Kane to see the Debrincat line most of the night. That is a positive matchup for the Sharks second line. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane have some good chemistry together, as they sport a 53 CF%, and they are creating over 13 high-danger chances. The Alex Debrincat line isn’t a good possession line, with a 43 CF%, and they are allowing over 14 high-danger chances per 60. Kane will play on the top power play unit, and we all know how bad the Blackhawks’ penalty kill was last year. He could be in bonus land for shots on goal tonight.
William Nylander – TOR vs TB
DraftKings – $5,900
FanDuel – $6,200
Nylander had a tough year last year. He couldn’t get anything going it seemed as he held out for contractual reasons. He’s started the year off really strong with two goals in the last two games, along with four shots in each game. Nylander is playing on the second power play line, but that doesn’t really sway me away from him because both power play units are equally good. Nylander, Auston Matthews and Andreas Johnson have great offensive numbers, as well. The trio sports a 58 CF%, 44 scoring chances per 60, with over 14 high-danger chances per 60. The Leafs second line should see the Nikita Kucherov line most of the night, and with Brayden Point making his debut, there could be a little rust he needs to work out. Either way, this should be an extremely fast-pace matchup with a lot of scoring chances to go around.
Brent Burns – SJ @ CHI
DraftKings – $7,000
FanDuel – $7,400
I can see it now, not Burns again, or ever, for that matter. The season is young, my friends. In the four games that Burns has played this year, he is averaging four shots on goal and 27 minutes per game. He’s playing almost half the game, and he is the focal point on the power play. The Blackhawks penalty kill has been putrid, and it still remains to be seen if they are a changed group. Chicago does have some firepower in the top six, so that gives Burns more opportunities for blocked shots. Over the last two seasons, Burns has scored at least one point in every game except one. Expect Burns to contend for the double-double bonus tonight.
Matt Dumba – MIN @ WPG
DraftKings – $4,500
FanDuel – $5,000
Matt Dumba’s price still remains a mystery, and makes a great point per dollar play for me. The only reason he isn’t on the top power play unit is because he is a right-handed shot. Dumba has 4.5 shots/blocks per game to open the season to go along with 25 minutes of ice time. He is quarterbacking the second power play unit and all of the offense feeds to him on the extra man advantage. Winnipeg is dealing with defensive issues, and they have been playing a lot of hockey in their own zone. Look for Dumba to pay off his tag again tonight.
Erik Gustafsson – CHI vs SJ
DraftKings – $4,700
FanDuel – $5,500
Gustafsson makes for a solid point per dollar play tonight at his price. In his first and only game this year, he logged over 25 minutes of ice time, tallied two assists with two shots on goal and a block. Gustafsson plays on the top defensive pairing and he quarterbacks the top power play unit. If San Jose keeps up the trend of taking a bunch of penalties, Gustafsson could be in for a decent night.
STL 1: Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko
The Blues top line is in one of the best spots of the night, and they will no doubt be popular. We will pick on the Senators the entire year, as they have massive depth issues and their penalty-killing has been brutal. Ottawa had the league’s worst Corsi last year with a 44 CF%, and this year it looks like they will be spending a lot of time killing penalties as well,; they have been short-handed eight times in their first two games. The Senators had the 23rd-ranked penalty kill last year, while the Blues had a top-10 power play. St. Louis should be all over the Senators here, and you can even look to the second line for differentiation.
Vegas 2: Pacioretty – Glass – Stone
The Golden Knights second line has been a possession monster, and they have been lethal offensively. They sport a 56 CF%, while creating over 14 high-danger scoring chances per 60, and an expected goals barely under three. Arizona will try to limit the shot generations and they will have their hands full tonight.
EDM PP 1: Draisaitl – McDavid – Klefbomb
Edmonton gets to take advantage of the Devils playing on the hind end of a back-to-back, even though it’s still early in the season. The Devils have been pretty alarming to start the year out. New Jersey has been outscored 16-6 over the last three games, and their penalty kill has been pretty bad. The Devils have been short-handed ten times this year and they have only killed off five of them. For those doing math at home, that’s 50%. That’s not going to cut it, especially when McDavid and the boys are coming to town with four power play goals already in this young season. When Leon Draisaitl is playing alongside Connor McDavid, they create a ton of scoring chances, but they also give up plenty as well.
If you can find a way to stack this game, it could work out as Taylor Hall can break out at a moment’s notice.
Game Stack Possibility: CHI vs SJ
This game should be fun to watch, as both teams have been extremely leaky on the defensive side. Both teams have a ton of offensive fire power, and there will be a ton of scoring chances to go around. Line matching-wise, you can expect the Toews line to hard match the Couture line. So if you’re stacking, I would lean to the Toews line (Toews – Kane – Nylander/Gustafsson) with the Evander Kane line (Kane – Hertl – Goodrow/Burns/EK) or the Couture line (Couture – Meier – Labanc) with the DeBrincat line (Strome – DeBrincat – Shaw/Gustafsson/Keith).
The advanced stats that I use and reference in this article come from naturalstattrick.com.