This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
With Columbus Day in the United States and Thanksgiving in Canada, there's an unusual Monday slate of games in the NHL. There are four games beginning at 1 p.m. EST. It's a limited turnaround following Sunday's late-night action and Monday's early start, so today's primer is loaded with analysis and recommendations.
Even though the Ducks have been off since Friday, this will still be their fourth road contest in seven days, and Boston stands as a daunting favorite (-200). It's also worth noting the Bruins have surrendered just four five-on-five goals through five games to start the season. Interestingly, Boston and Anaheim bot sit at the top of the league's five-on-five team save percentage leaderboard with unsustainably high .970 and .967 marks, respectively.
Following an 0-3 start, Ottawa upset Tampa Bay 4-2 on Saturday. The Sens are likely lined up for a letdown showing, and especially with Minnesota still searching for its first win of the campaign. The Wild are favored (-136) and have the superior lineup, on paper at least. Minnesota owns the third lowest PDO (0.95) despite generating the fifth most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (10.4) at five-on-five.
New Jersey has yet to win through five games, and Florida has just a single victory. The Panthers have been a dominant possession team with a 55.0 Corsi For percentage, and their 4.7 shooting percentage at five-on-five ranks last in the league. The Devils have only scored three goals through their past three contests, which includes being shutout twice.
The Islanders 2.1 expected goals per 60 minutes rank second lowest in the league, and they're underdogs (+108) to the visiting Blues. St. Louis is playing the final contest in a four-game road trip and is coming off a disappointing 6-3 loss to Montreal. Interestingly, Both the Isles and Blues own bottom-five Corsi For percentages.
Dallas has been busy to start the season, as this will its seventh game and also the start of its second road trip. The results aren't encouraging, either. The Stars are out to a 1-4-1 start while averaging just 2.13 goals per 60 minutes and struggling on the power play with just a single goal through 20 opportunities. Meanwhile, the Sabres are 4-0-1 and undefeated on home ice.
Somewhat quietly, Colorado heads to Washington with a 4-0 record and a plus-9 goal differential. The Avs were a preseason darling for many, and they've delivered so far. Washington is searching for its first win on home ice this season and is a modest favorite (-136). For what it's worth, the Avalanche own the second highest PDO (1.06) despite an underwhelming 48.4 Corsi For percentage.
The Blackhawks are the second largest favorite (-141) on the slate, which is interesting seeing they're 0-2-1 with a 42.1 Corsi For percentage and an eighth-ranked .929 team save percentage at five-on-five. The Oilers are an interesting opponent because their 13.0 shooting percentage at five-on-five ranks second in the league despite being fifth last in expected goals per 60 minutes (1.85). It's a small sample for both teams, and there's no guarantee statistical correction will begin Monday, but a degree of Edmonton's puck luck will run out sooner than later.
While it could be risky to spend a fortune on Jaroslav Halak ($8,400), he's an elite 23-12-4 with a .924 save percentage and 2.30 GAA since joining Boston. Additionally, Anaheim has scored a modest seven goals through three road games.
As noted, this is as close to a must-win game as there can be in October for Minnesota. Devan Dubnyk ($7,800) has allowed 16 goals through four games, so he's equally in need of a bounce-back showing. The veteran will likely be a popular target, but just note that Ottawa has scored three goals or more in three of its four games.
After spending six years with Washington at the highest level, this will be Philipp Grubauer's ($7,200) first start at Capital One Arena in the visitor's net. Considering his price alongside Colorado's success to start the season, the German is a strong option Monday. He's sporting a .931 save percentage, after all.
After registering 24.5 DraftKings points in the season opener, Patrick Kane ($7,200) has just a single assist and four shots through his past two showings. His salary is in decline as a result, and the veteran's elite offensive track record (3.15 points per hour over the past three seasons) makes him a worthwhile standalone consideration.
While Jack Hughes ($3,500) owns a five-game point drought to start his NHL career, he's attempting a respectable 12.4 shots per hour and continues to receive meaningful minutes and power-play time. He's too talented to continue avoiding the scoresheet, and the Panthers are far from a defensive juggernaut.
It's rare to find a player receiving top offensive minutes in Jaden Schwartz's ($4,300) price range. He's recorded an assist in three of the past four games and combined with linemates Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,500) and Brayden Schenn ($5,400) for a respectable 14.3 high-danger scoring chances per hour dating back to last season.
Even cheaper, but with little proven at the highest level, Maxime Comtois ($3,000) is also slotted into a top-line role and gig with the No. 1 power-play unit. It's a tough matchup against Boston, but the 20-year-old winger showed signs with seven points – two goals – through 10 games last year.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
There are no discounts with Connor McDavid ($8,100) and Leon Draisaitl ($7,900), but third-wheel Zack Kassian ($4,200) helps mitigate his linemate's higher prices, and the three have been dominant dating back to last season. The Blackhawks are also allowing the most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (13.6) to start the campaign, while McDavid, Draisaitl and Kassian have clicked for 6.03 goals per 60 over the past two years.
A low-price line primed for positive regression, David Krejci ($3,800), Jake DeBrusk ($4,600) and Karson Kuhlman ($2,900) own an unsustainably low 0.95 PDO thanks to failing to score a goal at five-on-five. The trio has attempted a respectable 36 shots through four contests, so the results should follow in time.
With three consecutive losses, a date with the winless Devils is just what Florida needs. Look for a solid showing from the No. 1 line of Aleksander Barkov ($6,500), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,500) and Mike Hoffman ($6,600). They've combined for an elite 7.5 goals and 16.8 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes since the beginning of last season, after all.
Oscar Klefbom's ($6,100) salary is climbing in a hurry, but that's because he's scoring in bunches. The Swede is sporting a four-game point streak consisting of a goal, six assists, nine shots and eight blocks while logging a hefty 25:07 of ice time (4:10 on the power play). Perhaps more importantly, Klefbom is sharing the ice with Connor McDavid ($8,100) for 11:36 per contest to start the campaign.
This is a reasonable price for Mathew Dumba ($5,400). His 1.7 points per 60 minutes since the beginning of last season rank 14th among all regular defensemen, and he lands in the noted favorable matchup.
As highlighted, the Stars have struggled with the man advantage. If they're going to turn it around Monday, John Klingberg ($5,200) is likely to play a role. His single assist through six contests is a far cry from the 10th-ranked 1.78 points per 60 minutes he posted over the previous three years. This is a buy-low spot for Klingberg.
It's been a slow start with the Blues for Justin Faulk ($3,800), and his price has dropped accordingly. The veteran is beginning a respectable 56.4 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone and logging 2:05 of power-play time per contest. The points will come for the established offensive defenseman, and he could be scarcely owned with a perceived tough matchup against the Islanders.