FanVice NHL Power Plays 10/28/16

After the first two Friday NHL slates having three games on them this year, we have a reasonable six game slate to work with tonight, which is more the norm for NHL scheduling.

Prices used in this article are for Fantasy Draft.

Goalie

Brian Elliott (Calgary Team Goaltending) $14,300 – CGY vs OTT

It was a terrible start to the year for Brian Elliott as the Calgary netminder allowed 14 goals over his first three starts with his new team. He had two very good efforts earlier this week with wins in St. Louis and Chicago, allowing just three goals in that span.

According to Corsica Hockey, Brian Elliott was a top-10 goalie by adjusted five-on-five save percentage over the previous three seasons. In fact, he, Braden Holtby, Cory Schneider, and Corey Crawford all posted .930 save percentages in this regard. With a home matchup against a weak team, and one of the cheapest goalie prices on Fantasy Draft tonight, this looks like a good spot.

Defence

Troy Stecher $5,200 – VAN vs EDM

It’s not often that a defenceman on a team’s top power play unit is so cheap, but that is what we face tonight with Troy Stecher.

This is Stecher’s rookie season, but he’s older than many rookies, as he’s a former NCAA player who turned 22 last April. He made his season debut on Tuesday night, playing over 22 minutes.

Vancouver is hosting Edmonton tonight, and so far this season, the Oilers are allowing nearly the most shot attempts per minute while short-handed. Stecher is the perfect punt option on the blue line to get access to the higher-priced players.

Justin Faulk $11,600 – CAR vs NYR

It was a brutal stretch to start the year for Carolina, as the team played its first six games of the year on the road, including a Western Canada road trip. Tonight’s game will be the team’s first home game of the year.

When looking to spend up for defencemen, it’s imperative they’re a defenceman who can give a solid floor. That is precisely that Faulk can do – over his past five games, Faulk has combined for 14 shots on goal and six blocked shots. Averaging a little under three shots per game and a little over a blocked shot per game is the type of floor to look for.

Faulk is kind of Mr. Reliable on the blue line outside of the elite tier of blue liners like Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. There was just one game last year where he didn’t register a point, a shot, or a blocked shot, and he managed at least three shots in 37 of 64 games (57.8-percent).

Wingers

Jarome Iginla $8,500 – COL vs WPG

With Mikko Rantanen being called up to the Avalanche, there has been a shuffle in the lineup. Rantanen moved to the second line with Mikhail Grigorenko, and they will be centred by Nathan MacKinnon. That has moved Jarome Iginla to the top line with Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog.

Iginla has been very productive in his Colorado career playing alongside Matt Duchene; in over 967 five-on-five minutes together, Iginla posted 2.23 points per 60 minutes, and 1.05 goals per 60 minutes (all per Hockey Analysis). When he’s not with Duchene, those numbers plunge to 1.60 points per 60, and 0.55 goals per 60.

Colorado will be getting a tired Winnipeg team who played last night at home against Dallas. Playing a tired team while rested at home is a great situation for this Avalanche squad, and Iginla is in a prime spot to get on the scoresheet.

Jordan Eberle $14,200 – EDM @ VAN

All the hype in Edmonton, and rightly so, has been going to Connor McDavid. McDavid’s line mates have done well for themselves also, including Jordan Eberle, who has six points in seven games this year. He is also averaging over three shots on goal per game so far this young season, something he’s never done for a full year in his career.

My hope for tonight is that some other expensive wing options keep Eberle’s ownership down. Johnny Gaudreau is at home against Ottawa (a poor defensive team), and Patrick Kane always frequently has high ownership. Also, Eberle is a way to get access to McDavid without paying up for McDavid himself. Vancouver’s team save percentage should keep coming down, and that’s good news tonight for the Oilers.

Jimmy Vesey $8,600 – NYR @ CAR

After averaging under 13 minutes and 30 seconds a game through the first three games of the year, Vesey has played at least 17 minutes a game in four straight games. That will happen when you go from a second/third line player to playing regularly with Rick Nash, and on the power play as well. In those four games with at least 17 minutes, Vesey has four points and 10 shots on goal.

The Carolina Hurricanes – New York’s opponent tonight – don’t give up many shots, as they’re among the league-leaders in fewest shot attempts allowed per minute at five-on-five and on the penalty kill. Their goaltending, however, is extremely poor, as the team ranks last in save percentage (per Natural Stattrick). This is nothing new as the team was 29th last year, and 27th the year before. The volume of shots may not be there for Vesey, but there is almost no better team to be shooting against at all.

Centres

Pavel Zacha $7,500 – NJD vs CHI

Zacha was on the top line in New Jersey alongside Taylor Hall for their game on Tuesday night, and it resulted in over 16 minutes in ice time and two assists. The Devils are not a very potent offensive team, but if there is a fortuitous situation to be in, it’s being the centre for Taylor Hall.

Not only is Zacha playing with Hall at five-on-five, but also on the power play, and that is what’s crucial for tonight. As a team, the Blackhawks are giving up the sixth-most shot attempts per 60 minutes while on the penalty kill. Overall, they’ve allowed 26 power plays in seven games, and at least one power play goal in every game. There may not be a lot of offence on the Devils, but things are aligned on the power play tonight for Zacha.

Jonathan Toews $11,600 – CHI @ NJD

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has shuffled the lines a bit for his team, and while Richard Panik is still playing with Toews, he now has Patrick Kane on his right wing. In the nine years from 2007-2016, Kane and Toews played over 3662 five-on-five minutes together. In that span, the Blackhawks scored 3.51 goals per 60 minutes. In the 5394 minutes when Toews is on the ice without Kane? That number drops to 2.86. That is a drop in scoring of nearly 20-percent.

Normally, going into New Jersey to play the Devils isn’t a good spot for offence, as New Jersey is a tight defensive team with one of the best goaltenders on the planet in Cory Schneider. However, Schneider is being given the night off tonight, and backup Keith Kinkaid is playing. In his 42 games over the previous two seasons, Kinkaid’s overall save percentage is .909, or well below average. It’s normally not advisable to use players going into New Jersey, but with Kane on his wing, and Kinkaid in net, this is a good spot for Toews.