3 Daily Fantasy NHL Stacks for Thursday 10/14/21

The Montreal Canadiens couldn't win in their opening game, but they have a great chance to bounce back in their second contest. What other stacks make sense on Thursday night?

In daily fantasy hockey, stacking is a key strategy in tournaments. We want to correlate our lineups with up to four players to maximize our upside, as if one player on a line is scoring goals, it's likely that his linemates are getting assists as well. Ideally, we'll want players that will get a lot of ice time together on an even-strength line and a power play line. Two good resources for line combinations are LeftWingLock.com and DailyFaceoff.com, so be sure to check those sites for updated line information.

Thursday brings the first big slate of the season with nine games on it. Let's see which stacks stand out above the rest tonight.

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers were one of the most surprising teams in the NHL last season. They finished second in the Central division and were fourth in goals scored in the league. They had many moving parts on their forward lines, but the top two lines consistently produced results. The lines look to have settled a bit, and tonight they should have some great opportunities to light the lamp.

The Panthers' top line is centered by their star Aleksander Barkov ($7,600). He's coming off a fantastic season in which he was 10th in points per game. His wingers were a revolving door all season, but Carter Verhaeghe ($4,900) was one of his most common linemates. Verhaeghe had a breakout season, posting 36 points in 43 games. Sam Reinhart ($6,700) abandoned the sinking ship in Buffalo, but not before finishing 12th in the league in goals with 25.

Barkov and Reinhart will link up on the power play, and they'll be joined by two players from the second line who showed great chemistry over a short period of time last season. Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,800) and Sam Bennett ($6,200) were dynamic together after Bennett joined the club at the trade deadline. He scored 15 points in 10 regular-season games with Florida. Meanwhile, Huberdeau was quietly one of the best wingers in hockey, with the eighth-most assists in the league. Owen Tippett ($3,400) would be a value component of this line, as he started to show promise at the end of last season.

Florida's implied team total is sitting at 3.66 goals, one of the highest on Thursday's slate. This means that you can stack the first or second line, or do a Barkov, Reinhart, Huberdeau, and Bennett power play stack. Aaron Ekblad ($6,600) is the defense option as he returns from injury to man the power play. Ekblad was fourth in goals by a defenseman last season despite only playing 35 games.

Florida is a great stack tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had a strong performance on opening night but will still be without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Panthers should be able to dominate them at the center position, which would create plenty of offensive chances for their star players. They have one of the highest ceiling outcomes on this slate tonight.

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens had a miraculous run to the Stanley Cup final last season that many were considering just luck. Now, back in the Atlantic and missing some of their players from last season, many are projecting them to miss the playoffs. So why would we stack them on a back-to-back when there are nine games on the slate? It comes down to the correlation their lines provide and their opponent.

Montreal didn't show a lot offensively in their season opener on Wednesday, but there are reasons for optimism. Their first line of Nick Suzuki ($6,100), Tyler Toffoli ($6,300), and Cole Caufield ($5,600) had some things working, with at least four shot attempts and two scoring chances for each. They all play together on the power play, and that forms perfect correlation. Jeff Petry ($5,100) is the defenseman on the power play with them and is a standout value as the defenseman with the third-most goals last season.

The Canadiens' second line also offers full correlation. Jonathan Drouin ($3,400) marked his return to the lineup with a goal on Wednesday. It came off a great pass from Josh Anderson ($4,700), who's coming off a strong postseason himself. The center on this line is Christian Dvorak ($4,400), who was solid in his own right Wednesday with three shots and three blocked shots.

The reason Montreal stands out tonight is because of the opposing Sabres. Buffalo had a brutal season last year, and things are not looking up. They are without Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, their two best forwards from last season. They allowed the second-most goals in the league last season and now are starting 40-year old Craig Anderson in net. Anderson has allowed -32.02 goals above expected over the past three seasons.

Correlation is key in tournaments, and if you can hit on one of these lines getting multiple goals, it will go a long way to shooting you up the leaderboard.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets were not top of mind when it comes to teams we were expecting to stack this season. They finished last in the central division and also scored the fourth-fewest goals in the league. Many things changed in the offseason for the Jackets -- including the coach. The hope is that they will play a more offensive brand of hockey, and they'll have a great chance to show it off on Thursday night.

Columbus's season last year started off with a blockbuster trade. They acquired Patrik Laine ($5,400) from the Winnipeg Jets. Laine showed flashes of the elite goal scorer he had been in the past, but never really got going for the Jackets. Now with a training camp with the club and after a strong preseason, there is hope that one of the best finishers in the world will get his scoring touch back. He now gets to play with playmaking winger Jakub Voracek ($4,600) at both even strength and on the power play, which should give him more chances to shoot. Alexandre Texier ($3,900) will center this line and is a great value at this salary.

Columbus will face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. If any team was to give Buffalo a run for their money for the NHL's worst, it's Arizona. They jettisoned off a ton of talent in a rebuilding year, and are starting Carter Hutton in net. Hutton -- last with Buffalo -- has been below replacement level for the past three seasons. Columbus might be rebuilding as well, but they at least have the talent to beat Arizona tonight.

The Jackets' have a team total that may take some people by surprise. It is currently 3.04, higher than that of the Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes, and Pittsburgh Penguins. They could be a nice stack that won't be popular, and they would allow you to fit in another expensive stack.

Others to Consider: Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights

Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.