Nicholas Martin’s Favorite NHL Plays for Saturday: Attack This Smash Spot for Leon Draisaitl

Nicholas Martin’s Favorite NHL Plays for Saturday: Attack This Smash Spot for Leon Draisaitl article feature image

Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers

  • Nicholas Martin has a trio of best bets for Saturday's 11-game NHL slate.
  • In addition to a total for one game, he's got two prop plays on Leon Draisaitl.
  • Check out all of his bets, which kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET, below.

Saturday's massive 11-game NHL slate features a number of games that should make for very exciting matchups.

Let's dive into my favorite three plays that are all widely available.

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Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders Under 6 (-115)

Golden Knights vs. Islanders 7:30 p.m. ET

New York's aging offensive core has had a hard time turning chances into actual goals, and over the last 15 games, the Islanders have averaged just 1.93 goals per game.

Kyle Palmieri has chipped in some offense since returning to the lineup. Talents such as Brock Nelson, Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal also hold the potential to create a little more offense than we have seen lately.

Still, I do not see the angles on how the Islanders trend up to being a middle-of-the-pack offense this season, especially considering how horrifically out of sync its powerplay has looked.

What I believe the Islanders can do is hang around in gritty, close games and attempt to make them a coinflip. And I think that has to be the mindset against Vegas tonight.

Vegas has had a horrid month compared to its usual defensive standards, and the loss of Mark Stone hurts badly in that department. The Knights have gotten some key pieces, such as Shea Theodore, back in the lineup. However, under head coach Bruce Cassidy, he will likely trend back to playing a far sharper defensive game down the stretch this season.

New York will likely be going with backup netminder Semyon Varlamov, and I am handicapping this number expecting that. However, it wouldn't be shocking to go back-to-back with Ilya Sorokin considering the upcoming layoff.

Varlamov is by no means as dominant as Sorokin, but he has been an excellent backup option yet again with a +3.2 GSAx rating and .912 save %.

Pick: Golden Knights-Islanders under 6 (-115)

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Leon Draisaitl Over 3.5 Shots on Goal +130 | Anytime Goalscorer -102

Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10 p.m. ET

Leon Draisaitl had one of his worst games of the season in Edmonton's shocking loss to Columbus, and he generated next to nothing and put up a -2 rating with no points.

Even for someone as wildly dominant as Draisaitl, those nights happen. But the numbers seem to indicate he responds in a big way after a quiet night.

In seven games after being held off the scoresheet this season, Draisaitl has averaged 2.14 points per game, with a single goal in six of those seven contests and an average of 3.14 shots on net.

Seven games is a tiny sample size, and I am not trying to make the case that it holds a ton of predictive relevancy more so just illustrating that Draisaitl does seem to bring a better effort after any poor showing. If he does play at his highest level tonight, that could mean a strong offensive output considering how Chicago has defended this season.

Chicago did just play a surprisingly strong game versus the Flames, but it was evident that the Blackhawks' success in that game was simply taking advantage of what was a pathetic effort from Calgary.

Over the last 10 games, Chicago has allowed 3.88 expected goals and 34.5 shots against per 60. Petr Mrazek will likely start in goal for Chicago, and he has been the worst of many Chicago netminders this year with a -7.5 GSAx rating.

Another relevant note is that when possible, the Blackhawks will still prefer to line-match the Jake McCabe and Seth Jones pairing on Connor McDavid's top unit.

While McCabe and Jones have struggled together at five-on-five, they actually still have been significantly better than the second and third Hawks pairings, which could mean a feast for the Oilers' second line tonight.

Splitting a unit between over 3.5 shots on goal and anytime goalscorer is the way I will be attacking this smash spot for Draisaitl. Choosing the prop with the better price relative to other sportsbooks out of your options could be another way to decide.

Pick #1: L. Draisaitl Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (+130 at DraftKings)

Pick #2: L. Draisaitl anytime goal scorer (-102)

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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