NHL Power Plays 10/24/16

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.

Monday features only two 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 Winnipeg Jets forgot to show up yesterday evening and the result was a relatively easy Edmonton shutout. It was a result not expected but then again outdoor games are often all or nothing. Chris Kreider is still out with neck spasms. Maybe it is the pillows in New York City but I remember Rick Nash being out for a few games with neck and back spasms last year. Anaheim winning was expected but the way they dominated with over a 60% Corsi For was not. Ryan Miller faced the shots we projected but sadly had two mistakes that cost him dearly. That goal to make it 4-2 just should never happen.

What Went Right?

Switching back to the chalk that was John Tavares was the right move. His three point night along with some of the Islanders side plays made it worthwhile. Using Zach Parise as a solo play worked as well with two goals. Radim Vrbata had two goals for Arizona but he was less than 1% almost everywhere. It was just that kind of night. Let’s begin again.

Philadelphia Flyers @ Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Price is a chalky but still great cash play. Simply, by chalky, we mean the goalie will be one of or the highest owned play in his position. In cash formats Price could be over 50% owned but his tournament value is a little limited in a sense. However, with only four goalies to choose from, it may become a case of keeping up with everyone else. The Montreal netminder stopped all but two shots in his season debut against the Arizona Coyotes. He does face a Philadelphia offense that just poured six goals on the Carolina Hurricanes. Price will at least be tested in this one.

Steve Mason vs. Montreal Canadiens

Mason is a GPP play with moderate upside as he is the probable goalie but check back on social media just to make sure. No matter who starts for Philadelphia is going to see likely close to or above 30 shots. This is one play to make against the grain if a player thinks the Flyers could catch fire here. The goalie has had some uneven performances in the early going but can play better.

Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks

Corey Crawford vs. Calgary Flames

Crawford is a GPP play tonight and in a good spot to boot. Calgary is worse defensively than Chicago is and their depth is probably lacking even more. The Flames power play is converting at 4.5% which is dead last in the league. This is a goalie that has taken his lumps in the early going but normally is elite at home. He had a 1.85 GAA and .940 save percentage at home last season. No one foresees that this year but the drop off is a bit much and a correction is coming soon.

Brian Elliott vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Elliott is a high risk GPP play and Chad Johnson would be too should he get a start. There is limited upside but it still exists because Chicago is such a mess themselves with their depth and penalty killing woes (42.6%). The problem is the new Calgary starter has no quality starts and a save percentage of .839. Now, last time Elliott played 50 or more games was in Ottawa. That was six years ago and his save percentage was around .900. Basically, this is like rolling the dice hoping for doubles.

Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)

Centers

David Desharnais – $3400- MTL vs PHI

So, a Desharnais play is a bit high risk but it also can be high reward. Therrien has a way of drifting him onto the power play units in a way that just cannot be explained. He can be used in tournaments or cash as a value play to help set up other stacks. The center just seems to be everywhere especially at home.

Artem Anisimov  — $5200- CHI vs CGY

Anisimov is in another great spot GPP wise because of the match-up. Calgary cannot kill penalties and have had problems with lines that have speed and acceleration. The Patrick Kane line has plenty of that and Anisimov benefits greatly from it. That whole line is worth a play and if you are game stacking, he is priced below DraftKings and FanDuel average.

Wingers

Patrick Kane — $8400- CHI vs CGY

Kane is the highlight play of the night and he is chalk but like John Tavares last night has the highest projection totals anywhere. The key is to not overthink some of these decisions on short slates. Most players limit their bankroll spending anyway and that is the prudent thing to do. Worse comes to worse, there is always Richard Panik or Tyler Motte who can gain you a little more exposure to the rest of Chicago.

Michael Frolik — $4500-  CGY vs CHI

Frolik is in a good spot whether in cash or tournament formats. He can be used as a solo play or as part of a game stack between Calgary and Chicago tonight. Watch out how Frolik is deployed as the game goes along, he may wind up with his original center, Mikael Backlund. It may be a way to get into both top lines for Calgary.

Defensemen

Duncan Keith — $5900- CHI vs CGY

Keith is a pretty solid GPP play on Monday night as he has six assists in six games on the season. He can still block a few shots and though his shots on goal are down, he has upside almost everywhere else. Keith gets one access to the power play units and should play 25+ minutes every night. There are riskier plays with higher upside out there in Shayne Gostisbehere, Shea Weber, and Mark Giordano. All are viable options, however.

Goalies

Corey Crawford — $8200- CHI vs CGY

This is arguably one of the two lowest GPP risk plays of the night. Crawford has upside and reputation going for him. That sounds crazy but Price will likely be more of a cash game bonanza. The other thing is if one is chasing the win, Chicago has the best chance of winning at a -165 spread (at press time). The drop offs to Mason and Elliott are tempting and maybe something to try and toss a lineup in. However, Crawford will be second highest owned.

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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 tonight!