NHL Breakdown – 11/10/16
Tonight we have another 10 game slate with lots of places to look for offense. There are also a few matchups where both teams are due for regression, either positive or negative, so we will investigate those and try to find an edge on the competition.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are in an excellent spot tonight at home against a Columbus Blue Jackets squad that went to OT last night and has been overachieving at both ends of the ice. The Blue Jackets have been giving up the 27th most shots on goal per game yet are only giving up the second most amount of goals per game. This is due to the stellar play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky who has a spectacular .946 SV% this season. He might not be playing tonight given the back-to-back situation so it could be a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of backup goalie Curtis McElhinny. Even if Bob does play, goalies are never usually a good bet on their second game of a B2B. When you look at the Bruins offense, they are also due for regression, but in the positive direction. They have the 6th most shots on goal per game as well as the 3rd best CF60 (shot attempts per game) at even strength, yet are only shooting at 25th best rate in the league. Now that they have some healthy bodies back in the lineup, you should start to see their goals for per game steadily increase. I love the Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak in this one as they are one of the best possession lines in the league and the Bruins’ best offensive line so far this season. They all make for great plays in cash games yet I expect them to be fairly popular in tournaments given that the Bruins are heavy Vegas favorites and the fact that they have been the teams’ sole source of offense so far this season. A sneaky play in tournaments would be to stack the second line of David Krejci, David Backes and Ryan Spooner, who are all priced very low and all skate together on the top PP unit. Unfortunately they are all listed as centers on Fanduel, so this would be a DraftKings only play.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been spectacular so far this season and gets a great matchup at home against the Blue Jackets. The Jackets have been the beneficiaries of some good luck on offense this season as they only take the 28th most shots per game yet are shooting at an unsustainable 11.6% for 4th highest in the league. This is due to go down, especially against one of the top possession teams in the league at even strength that boasts one of the top goaltenders. I love Tuukka in cash and tournaments tonight.
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames
The Stars have been hit hard by injuries so far this season and it has really exposed their terrible goaltending tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. On the other side the Flames have not been any better as both teams are bottom 5 in goals against per game. Both teams also have awful penalty killing units and are in the bottom third of the league in penalty minutes per game, with the Stars ranking last. As you might be able to tell I absolutely love both offenses in this one. The Flames have not been the most prolific of offenses so far this season ranking 21st in goals per game and last in PP%. Their top line duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are in a fantastic spot however, against a Dallas team that just gave up 5 goals to the Jets top line last time out. Gaudreau and Monahan have not had the start to the season that many have expected and were recently called out in the media by GM Brian Burke. The duo has typically performed much better at home in their young careers and I expect them to bounce back tonight. Their price has dropped across the board and I think they make for great plays in any format. They can be paired with either defenseman Mark Giordano or TJ Brodie who join them on the top PP unit. Brodie comes at a huge discount to Gio, so I will likely have more of him tonight.
Things have been bad on the Stars side lately, especially on the road, as they hit rock bottom last game, giving up a snowman to the Jets on Tuesday night. Winger Jamie Benn has not been his dominant self so far this season after coming back from offseason surgery, but linemates Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves have played quite well so far. After being embarrassed by the Jets I think you’ll see them come out strong tonight. With the potential to put up 3+ goals on any given night I think the line makes for an excellent stack in GPPs as the trio has been lower owned as of late. Defenseman Jon Klingberg joins them on the top PP unit and makes for a great play in both formats as he is still way underpriced for the plus matchup.
Winnipeg Jets at Arizona Coyotes
As mentioned above the Jets top line of Mark Scheifele, Patrick Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers absolutely destroyed the Stars last game with Laine picking up his second hat trick of his short rookie season. Laine is still criminally underpriced on FD despite leading the league in goals and I think he makes for a lock in cash games there. The trio has been one of the best lines to stack night in and night out but I think they will be quite popular tonight against the Coyotes who have given up the most goals per game in the league. If using them in GPPs, make sure to go contrarian with the rest of your lineup.
The Coyotes are a very young team with lots of offensive upside and you should see them steadily improve as the season wears on. The Coyotes have been much better at home than on the road this season and I think they make for a sneaky play in tournaments tonight. Winger Max Domi finally broke his scoring drought last game with a flukey goal and I think you’ll start to see him pour them in the net now that he has the monkey off his back. He is priced really low on both sites (along with most of the Coyotes) so he should help you fit in some of the higher priced studs tonight. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is always a great play and I think he will go under-owned tonight in a great matchup against a Jets team that has not been very good on the road and shown inconsistent goaltending so far this season. The best punt play on the evening is rookie defenseman Anthony DeAngelo who made his debut the other night and logged 20 minutes and was featured on the 2nd PP unit scoring a goal and firing a couple shots on net. He should go very low owned as not many people may be aware of him, and at min price I think he makes for a fantastic play tonight.
New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
The two teams played last week in Brooklyn with the Lightning absolutely killing an uninspired Isles team 6-1. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov put up 4 points each and will look to add to that success tonight. The Islanders have been terrible defensively at 5-on-5 giving up the most shot attempts per game, and they have been even worse on the road. I think both players are great plays in either format with multi goal upside, but I do think they will be quite popular in tournaments. As a pivot in tournaments, I really like the idea of going down to the second line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point who have played really well lately. That line will be pretty low owned and come at a great discount to the Stamkos line. Defenseman Victor Hedman is also a solid play as well if you can afford him.
LA Kings at Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens have been playing with fire so far to start this season as they have been getting massively outplayed at even strength in their last several games but have been getting bailed out by superstar goalie Carey Price. They are due for regression on offense and defense and we got a taste of that last week when they got smoked by Columbus 10-0. The Habs are 27th in shots on goal per game and are shooting at 11.6% which is due to drop down to around the league average of 8%. The biggest concern for the team, however, is that they are allowing a whopping 34.4 shots on goal per game, which is easily last in the league. Enter one of the best puck possession teams in the LA Kings who sit third in the league at 32.3 shots on goal per game and you have the makings of a massive mismatch among the skaters. The Kings are in a fantastic spot tonight offensively and I think they will go massively under-owned despite them breaking out for 7 goals against the Leafs last game. The Habs are likely to match their strong top line of Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher against the Anze Kopitar line, reducing each other’s effectiveness at 5-on-5. That leaves the Kings’ second line duo of Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli to face Montreal’s weaker depth lines at even strength. I’m going back to the well with the duo in tournaments and I think that Toffoli is also a strong cash play for his price and like high shot output.
I expect Price to face 40+ shots tonight so he has a ton of upside in GPPs if he can continue to stand on his head. He is much more affordable on DK so I prefer using him there.