Round 3 of the free-to-enter NHL Yahoo Cup gets underway on Thursday night, which means it costs you nothing to join and try to win a share of the $5,000 available in prizes!
With 10 games on the slate for Thursday, there's an action-packed schedule for fans to pick and choose their lineups from.
Here are three lineup options I suggest playing for the contest.
Option 1: The Super Sens Stack
The NHL Yahoo Cup has thousands of entries, but only the top-60 finish inside the money. This means you're going to need a little bit of variation in your lineup, and stacking the Ottawa Senators on Thursday is a good way to do it.
After inking a major contract extension one week ago, Brady Tkachuk will be making his season debut. In a points format like this, where each shot on goal is worth 0.9 points, Tkachuk is a nice value at $19. With 220 shot attempts last year, the winger finished second in the league in the category. Additionally, I've stacked his linemates, Drake Batherson and Josh Norris, as the trio is featured on the first line and top power-play unit. I added Thomas Chabot on the blue line, also, as he's the one manning the point on the power play.
The reason why I'm stacking Sens is due to the fact that James Reimer will be making his first start of the season. Reimer posted a shaky .906 save percentage on a stout Carolina Hurricanes team last year, and he's now on a San Jose Sharks squad that doesn't boast nearly the same level of talent on the back-end.
"I've been chomping at the bit for a while now and I'm definitely excited to go tomorrow."
More from Brady Tkachuk ahead of his season debut Thursday! ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/iEPi9TjVx0
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 20, 2021
The player I really paid up for was Connor McDavid, and you'll notice he's on two of the three listed lineups. He will likely wind up being heavily rostered, but it's too hard to turn down the best player in the league when he's going up against arguably the worst team in the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes.
Bang for buck, there aren't many players that offer more value than Eeli Tolvanen. The second-year forward just peppers pucks on goals, as he's registered 16 shots through three games. At $14, there isn't a better play at that price.
Also, I targeted Mario Ferraro on defence. His $11 price tag is too good to overlook, as he has a pretty high floor given his willingness to block shots. Through two games this season, he's stepped in front of an impressive five shot attempts. He's also added an assist and a respectable plus-four rating.
In net, I've gone with Frederik Andersen and Ilya Sorokin. Andersen is on the road, but he faces a Montreal Canadiens team that has scored just three goals through four games. Sorokin will likely start for the New York Islanders as Semyon Varlamov continues to work his way back from injury but monitor the situation closely. The Isles' opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets, has mustered just three goals in its last two games.
Option 2: A Seismic Avalanche-Panthers Stack
Jonathan Bernier has been ruled out for Thursday (lower body). He has been replaced by Scott Wedgewood ($20) in this lineup.
When checking out the slate for Thursday night, it's hard to keep your eyes from looking anywhere other than the showdown set to take place in Sunrise, Florida.
All hockey fans should be glued to the game between the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Two of the league's most legitimate Cup contenders will square off, and both squads also happen to possess some of the best offensive talents in the NHL.
For the first time this season, the Avs will be able to trot out Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen all in the same game. MacKinnon missed the first two games of the season in the league's COVID protocols, while Landeskog returns to the ice after serving a two-game suspension for boarding Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach. Both cracked my lineup as I try to get a piece of Colorado's first line and top power-play unit.
From the Panthers, I selected Sam Bennett, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Sam Reinhart. Bennett and Huberdeau combine for two-thirds of the Cats' second line, while the pair, along with Reinhart, all see ice time together on the top power-play unit. At $17, Reinhart is the lowest-priced player that's featured on the first power play.
On defence, I stuck with Ferraro but also added Jeff Petry. I blew my budget on forwards, which meant I had to be price conscious when it came to my blueliners. Although Montreal's offensive struggles are well documented, Petry is still logging valuable minutes as a first-pairing rearguard and the quarterback of the top power play.
Between the pipes, I chose Jonathan Bernier and Mikko Koskinen. Bernier has been good thus far, earning a 2-0-0 record with a respectable .911 save percentage. The New Jersey Devils face the Washington Capitals at home, so it's not a stretch that the team is able to escape with a win. I also selected Koskinen because the Edmonton Oilers are pretty heavy road favourites against the struggling Coyotes. He'll likely draw the start after the Oilers placed Mike Smith on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Option 3: Edmonton Oilers Stack Attack
Jonathan Bernier has been ruled out for Thursday (lower body). He has been replaced by Jonas Johansson ($21) in this lineup.
Any team that goes up against the Coyotes this year will likely be heavily rostered in DFS tournaments, so if you're trying to squeeze as many high-end members of the Edmonton Oilers on your roster, this is how you should try to do it.
You can't start an Oilers stack without including McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Now that those two are playing together at even strength and on the power play, it's even more imperative to pair them up.
I've also selected Zach Hyman and Tyson Barrie to shore up four-fifths of the team's top power-play unit. The Coyotes own the worst penalty kill in the league, killing a lowly 42.9 percent of penalties thus far, so loading up on Edmonton's man advantage seems like a smart play.
To fill out the other two wing spots, I've included Tolvanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois. I chose the latter because what's important to look for is time-on-ice, and not many players priced at $14 are seeing more than Dubois. Through three games, he's averaged 18:56 in ice-time, and he's also scored two goals.
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