This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
There are four games in the NHL on Monday. Canadian matchups between Edmonton and Toronto, and Winnipeg and Montreal open the slate, which are followed by the Avalanche and Blue Jackets visiting the Islanders and Kings, respectively. The Maple Leafs are the largest favorite of the evening, and the Jets-Canadiens and Maple Leafs-Oilers bouts are projected to be the highest scoring.
Connor Hellebuyck's ($7,200) salary is down due to a rough stretch. He's allowed three or more goals in nine of his past 10 appearances and posted a discouraging 3-5-2 record, .886 save percentage and 3.85 GAA. However, Montreal brings a run-of-the-mill offense to the table (2.85 goals per 60 minutes since Dec. 1), and even with his recent struggles, Hellebuyck still owns a rock-solid .919 save percentage for the campaign. He's also coming off an impressive 41-save showing last time out.
Elvis Merzlikins ($7,200) is 2-1 with a .945 save percentage through the past three games and draws a favorable matchup against Los Angeles. The Kings have scored the fifth fewest goals per 60 minutes in the league since Dec. 1, including just 2.27 per 60 during an active 2-4-1 skid.
As noted, the Oilers are significant underdogs in Toronto on Monday, as Edmonton enters the game with an active 6-10-2 record and minus-19 goal differential during the skid. Frederik Andersen ($8,200) is also 12-3-1 with a .920 save percentage since the Toronto coaching change, so his salary might not be prohibitive enough to ignore.
At the top of the pecking order, Nathan MacKinnon ($8,300) has rattled off eight points – three goals – through his past three games, and his 4.35 points per hour pace the NHL. The Islanders are a tough opponent (just 2.65 goals against per 60 minutes at home), and the price is steep, so the superstar's ownership could also be down slightly.
Considering Leon Draisaitl ($6,600) has found the scoresheet in 13 of the past 16 games for eight tallies and nine helpers, his salary is manageable. Just note, the Maple Leafs are rolling and have allowed just 2.69 goals per 60 minutes since the coaching change – fifth fewest in the league. Additionally, Greater Toronto Area native Connor McDavid ($7,500) also has a reasonable salary and owns a sixth-ranked 4.0 points per hour for the campaign.
Following a modest start to the campaign, Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,600) has picked up his production over the past month-plus with five goals, nine assists and 39 shots through his past 17 outings. The Canadiens have also been a favorable opponent with the ninth most goals against per hour in the league this season and five consecutive losses.
Even with a four-game point drought in the middle of his current offensive surge, Tyler Toffoli ($4,600) has recorded five goals, six assists and 27 points through his past 12 outings. He's skating atop the Los Angeles depth chart in all situations and averaged 14.7 DraftKings point through his past three outings.
Kailer Yamamoto ($2,900) has registered a point in two of three games since being called from the AHL, and while the Maple Leafs check out as a difficult matchup, he's still an upside source of cap relief. The 21-year-old winger has also logged over 16 minutes of ice time in consecutive outings.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
The Oilers have surrendered 3.61 goals per game through their past 18 contests, so look for the Maple Leafs to continue their offensive success Monday. Toronto have scored three or more times in each of their past 10 contests, after all. Having exposure to a number of Maple Leafs is advised. Auston Matthews ($7,900), John Tavares ($7,300), Mitch Marner ($6,800) and William Nylander ($5,900) are the big four and can be stacked together without completely crippling the salary cap. They all skate on the No. 1 power-play unit and provide coverage to two even-strength lines. Pairing Zach Hyman ($5,000) with Matthews and Marner, or Alex Kerfoot ($3,900) with Tavares and Nylander is also an option.
Mark Scheifele ($6,800), Patrik Laine ($7,100) and Kyle Connor ($6,600) should give the Canadiens matchup fits Monday. The trio have combined for an impressive 5.29 goals per hour this season, including 15 tallies and 15 helpers through the past seven games. There's also nothing scary about Montreal's 24th-ranked, 76.8 penalty-kill percentage.
With just 25:40 of shared ice time at even strength this season, there's a limited track record for Mathew Barzal ($6,400), Josh Bailey ($3,500) and Anthony Beauvillier ($4,400). However, the trio have the skillset to produce offensively and the combined cap hit to work as a secondary stack. Colorado is a neutral matchup, too. The Avalanche rank 13th in expected goals against on the road.
The Jets own a league-low 71.7 penalty-kill percentage, so Shea Weber ($6,400) and the Habs power play is positioned to have a strong game. Weber's cross-category production and huge role (24:16 and 3:12 with the man advantage over the past three games) make the veteran a high-floor, high-ceiling option. He's recorded 10 points, 46 shots and 29 shots through 16 games since Dec. 1.
With Saturday's assist, Cale Makar ($6,000) is up to 2.76 points per hour for the campaign, which ranks second in the league among all regular defensemen. As noted, it's not a high-end matchup, though. Still the rookie's salary remains reasonably considering his high-end offensive production, and facing the Islanders on the road could keep his ownership in check.
With seven points and 20 shots through the past six games, Tyson Barrie ($5,500) warrants a mention as a potential addition to a Maple Leafs stack. Additionally, the Maple Leafs have been leaving their No. 1 power-play unit out longer with the man advantage lately, which boosts Barrie's upside. If pressed for cap space, Travis Dermott ($2,500) is another option to consider. The 23-year-old defenseman carries a minimum salary and averaged 8.7 DraftKings points per game over his past three outings.
Neal Pionk ($4,700) continues to supply consistent offense with 11 assists through the past 10 games, and his salary is still manageable. He's a cost-effective addition to a Winnipeg stack, and especially with the noted struggles of Montreal's penalty kill.
For what it's worth, the RotoWire Lineup Optimizer is bullish on Samuel Girard ($3,800) from his price range Monday, and the youngster has been scorching hot with eight assists through the past three games. Obviously, there's a good chance his hot streak ends in the tough matchup against the Islanders, though.