NHL Power Plays 10/23/16
Short slates can be a bit of a pain for everyone. The goal of this article is to highlight and summarize the potential plays so we can focus our salary cap resources on a specific set of players. Normally it takes a few weeks before enough hard data and trends surface, however, the meantime there are a few tendencies that can be spotted already.
Sunday features just four games. Let’s take a quick look back at last night’s games so we can begin compiling our player knowledge for this season.
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, the life of variance leads to some crazy things. The first thing was the Dallas Stars who were shutout by Sergei Bobrovsky. Give the Columbus goalie credit, as he needed a 30+ save effort but Dallas was a play made by a majority of players in a variety of ways. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Ottawa only scoring twice did not help or that Washington gave up three second period goals to the New York Rangers. The Calgary-St. Louis game turned out to be a wild 6-4 barnburner but it was David Perron who had three goals and an assist. Calgary’s big line was held in check for the most part. Boston’s top line also did not come to play but San Jose’s no show on the DFS sheets left some scratching their heads. We did mention it was the last road game before heading back home but alas it was still a surprise.
What Went Right?
Switching to Jimmy Howard on a whim turned out to be the best decision of the night for the few that did. He was owned by less than 1% in a few cash and tournament games. Bobrovsky was at well but they were the two standout goalie performances of the night. Gustav Nyquist scored twice as he was bumped up to the first line temporarily. Chicago’s first line did connect on two goals but so did the young combination of William Nylander and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere both had three point nights for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 6-3 win. Those were just some of the things that went well. It was just a question of scrambling and pivoting on Saturday. On to Sunday but do note that several goalie confirmations are still up in the air at this time.
Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets
Connor Hellebuyck vs. Edmonton Oilers
Hellebuyck has to be considered a limited upside play at best based on his track record of allowing three or more goals this season. When a goaltender does this in every start, it does make a DFS player very leery as far as pulling the trigger. Michael Hutchinson would present the same problem as it is clear that Winnipeg very much misses Jacob Trouba for better or for worse. The Edmonton Oilers are a high powered team capable of scoring three or more goals with ease. This goalie will have to make quite a few point blank saves to keep the score down.
Cam Talbot vs. Winnipeg Jets
Talbot is likely a GPP play only because no one knows how Winnipeg will play pace wise. The reason we say this is that the Jets literally cannot sustain falling behind in games then suddenly rushing back. At some point, the thinking is they try to develop a more defensive posture. Can they really do this? The answer is no one knows if they can other than for short, controlled bursts. Talbot’s last two starts have been quality starts which just means he has given up two goals or less and better than average save percentage. By the way that average save percentage is still hovering around .900.
Minnesota Wild @ New York Islanders
Darcy Kuemper vs. New York Islanders
Kuemper is an adequate pick and tournament only tonight if one wants an outside the box pick. The same will likely go for Devan Dubnyk if he plays. Minnesota had one 15 minute run of play on Saturday against New Jersey where they had 16 shots on goal. That was pretty much half of their shots for the entire game. Offense is definitely a huge concern on the road for them. The goalie stopped 27 of 30 shots in a 6-3 home win over Los Angeles last week. With Erik Haula and Jared Spurgeon potentially out again, those are two depth players that could actually impact the result of this game.
Jaroslav Halak vs. Minnesota Wild
Halak has to be in a good spot against a Minnesota team on a back to back. Also, he is a good GPP or cash play. This is provided that he starts. The Islanders played at home on Friday which helps and though Halak has given up 11 goals in four games, he has given the team a chance to win for the most part. With the colder weather in the tri-state area, the ice should be less of an issue as it has been a documented problem in Brooklyn. Minnesota allowed over 30 shots to an offensive challenged New Jersey team last night while nearly firing 30 of their own. The same thing may happen tonight.
Arizona Coyotes @ New York Rangers
Louis Domingue vs. New York Rangers
Domingue is a high risk GPP play because of his team’s defensive volatility. The Coyotes will give up quite a few shots but they also give up among the highest scoring chances in the league. After Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the caliber of defenseman drops off. Michael Stone is probably the second most experienced defenseman but he missed all of training camp and getting in game shape. Connor Murphy and Jakob Chychrun are young and still finding their way. They will have moments of good play but more that is not so good. Alex Goligoski is their second best defenseman and yet even he has been susceptible to some bad mistakes. This is part of why the offense has to try to create so much and as a result the opponents are able to counter so easily. Domingue will not have it easy tonight.
Antti Raanta vs. Arizona Coyotes
Raanta is in a good spot whether it be cash or tournament. His first start of the season left much to be desired but it was a win. The Rangers have been giving up quite a few goals in the early going but Arizona can allow them even faster. For those chasing the win, the Rangers will be a high favorite if the odds were released. They are a -180 favorite as of late this morning. Based on game play alone, Raanta is the safer play than Domingue in this match-up. Watch how the Rangers come out early in this game. Last year they had a problem particularly at home and on Sunday nights.
Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Miller vs. Anaheim Ducks
Miller is a tournament play on Sunday with limited upside because of how all over the place this game could be. Anaheim and Vancouver games can often take on a life and a violent pace of their own. Vegas has Anaheim at a -190 favorite but all it takes is a few Vancouver power plays to ruin that. The reason why we say Miller has limited upside is because Anaheim is finally home after a long road trip and no one knows how they will play. Will they be the sucky Duckies or will they come out with a purpose? Our fear of the latter shifts Miller to more of a GPP/tournament option.
John Gibson vs. Vancouver Canucks
Gibson is a pretty good choice in cash and tournaments on Sunday. The concern is he may not see the shot volume because Vancouver is on a back to back and the Canucks tend to generate less shots on net (25 against Los Angeles). Anaheim can possess the puck well and generate offense. This could end up a game where Gibson faces only 24-27 shots. He will need to give up two goals or less to be worth playing and there is still a somewhat good chance of that happening based on Vancouver’s offense or lack thereof.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Mika Zibanejad – $5600- NYR vs ARI
So a Zibanejad-Kreider mini stack has to be attempted given they are both very good plays against an Arizona team still finding their way defensively. The only risk is to watch how other wingers are occasionally paired with the duo or if they get separated for a bit. Mats Zuccarello makes a great option for this now second line.
Mark Scheifele — $7300- WPG vs EDM
Scheifele is my favorite play on Sunday because he still gives you exposure to Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. The center plays with a passion that few can match other than maybe Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby. That is some pretty heady company and the forward will draw up against an Edmonton defense that can get stretch rather ragged.
Blake Wheeler — $7600- WPG vs EDM
Wheeler is a great idea even more in cash than tournament play today but can be used for both. He will be chalky in the sense that he is the highest priced play on the board and that the captain will play top minutes no matter what. The Winnipeg first unit power play could be a weapon against Edmonton this afternoon.
Mats Zuccarello — $6000- NYR vs ARI
Zuccarello is a viable option with good upside against a young Arizona team tonight. He is a forward with fast hands and accelerates well from defense to offense. The Rangers’ transition game could give the Coyotes a ton of issues. The “first” line with Jimmy Vesey may get a little more press but it is the second line that is the real first.
Cam Fowler — $5100- ANA vs VAN
Fowler is still a great GPP play and those his price is inching up is still relatively cheap. He is Anaheim’s top offensive defenseman at the current time. While Hampus Lindholm is out, Fowler has managed to take advantage of this opportunity. Vancouver’s team defense can be stretched out easily as Los Angeles did last night. If Anaheim can do that then Fowler has a chance for some scoring opportunities.
Ryan Miller — $7200- VAN vs ANA
This is the highest GPP risk play of the night. Miller could conceivably give up zero goals like he did against Calgary or get shelled out of the Honda Center. It is tough when your team is playing on the back end of a back to back but worse when they are playing a second team that plays big and mean. It takes a physical toll and Miller should see a lot of pucks at least late in the game. There are safer plays but safe does not always win.
There will be lots more on Twitter as always. Do not be afraid to ask the tough or the easy questions. You can follow me @ChrisWasselDFS and good luck today and tonight!