NHL Power Plays 11/16/16
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.
Wednesday 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, there were two distinct games that went further south than most expected. One was the Toronto-Nashville game, the other was the New York Rangers routing the Vancouver Canucks the way they did. Some things went right and that will come but scoring surrounding these games was lower than expected; Ottawa and Philadelphia went under along with several other games. San Jose was shut out and Edmonton was nearly held off the box score as well. New Jersey and Dallas combined for just three goals then Calgary and Minnesota was another 1-0 contest. Offensive thrust being focused in a few places on such a huge slate caused havoc.
What Went Right?
It was the night of Toronto with Pekka Rinne not starting and Nashville’s third string goalie getting the nod. The Maple Leafs took advantage with the James van Riemsdyk line. JVR ended the evening with a hat trick and an assist. When a line combines for double digit points, that translates to a huge score on sites (over 30 on DraftKings alone). There were no shortage of goalie performances as nine netminders allowed zero or one goal. However, the late hammer was the New York Rangers as J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes wreaked mayhem with two goals each. The second and third lines did most of the damage to a Vancouver team that is a disaster at home. Let’s look at this evening starting with the schedule.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Holtby is a solid cash and reasonable GPP play tonight. His price on DraftKings is very noteworthy as many expected him to be the highest price goalie on the slate and he is not. The Calgary goaltenders are which will literally make heads spin. Holtby’s numbers are right around his season averages the past couple seasons and over the last five starts, he has been pretty consistently giving up two goals or so with his best performances coming against high event teams like Chicago and Winnipeg (at times).
Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Washington Capitals
Fleury is a modest GPP play with an okay upside. Washington has not been scoring like they usually do despite their 9-4-2 record. Also, it is likely that Fleury starts but not automatic. Matt Murray may be inserted last minute so watch out for late arriving news. The problem is the goaltender hears footsteps. He has allowed ten goals in the last three starts and definitely has been a little off on his reflexes since the Philadelphia game. Will Washington be a high or low event team tonight? The lean is higher but the evidence does not support it completely.
Arizona Coyotes @ Calgary Flames
Brian Elliott vs. Arizona Coyotes
Elliott is an extreme risk tournament play and yet is in a decent spot. Arizona is a worse team on the road and that is the only thing making this a little more than a meh option. There is a good bit of concern that Johnny Gaudreau may or may not be able to go tonight and that will change the landscape fast. Elliott’s in a slump again with four of his last five starts showing that he cannot control rebounds. He has allowed three or more goals in four straight and though Calgary shut out Minnesota last night, the Flames may be tired out by a young skating team tonight.
Louis Domingue vs. Calgary Flames
Domingue is a contrarian GPP option that may become not so contrarian by tonight. Keep an eye just to make sure Mike Smith does not get the nod tonight as he is getting close to returning. The Arizona goalie has been better as he has allowed three or less goals in his last five outings. It appears the Coyotes are being a little more stingy on the defensive side allowing over 30 shots only once in that span. The caveat here is this may not be as high event of a game as people are thinking.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Jordan Martinook – $3800- ARI vs CGY
So, Martinook is a solid value play with a little upside going against a tired Calgary team. Martin Hanzal may or may not be back tonight but Martinook will likely be somewhere in the top six at least at even strength. He has a knack of generating scoring chances and will be very low owned tonight given the bigger first game.
Nicklas Backstrom — $6300- WAS vs PIT
Backstrom is a risky GPP play because of his penchant for assists as opposed to goals. However, his shot rate makes this even more dicey. The thing is that Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie did have a little chemistry with him on Tuesday and maybe that carries into the game tonight. It can be argued that Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will be considerably higher owned and if people want to go off the path, they might even look at Evgeny Kunetsov. Washington is struggling that much.
Patric Hornqvist — $7200- PIT vs WSH
Hornqvist is a great cash play but just as good of a tournament option. His snarl and ability to work in the dirtiest areas gets accented in rivalry games like this. That production which stems from it has been a huge reason for his hot start which has him on a 70+ point pace. He averages four shots a game and has seven points on the power play already. That alone makes him worth the price.
Marcus Johansson — $5000- WSH vs PIT
Johansson is a reasonable GPP choice given his extensive special teams time and playing top six minutes. There are concerns with him only averaging two shots a game but he does have six goals in his last ten games. Washington needs scoring and for the most part, the winger has been one of the few players that has produced. Pittsburgh will give up chances galore and a speedy forward like Johansson can take advantage.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — $6100- ARI vs CGY
Ekman-Larsson is a good cash and GPP play for Wednesday. Kris Letang may be too high priced for some and Arizona does have a decent match-up against an underachieving Calgary team. Calgary may be dangerous with their second and third lines but the Arizona defenseman might have better luck attacking the top line based on their struggles. He is going to play a good amount of minutes on this front end of the back to back; Calgary’s penalty kill is below 75% and so is Arizona’s but at least the Coyotes have a little more health on their side. Calgary also gives up 3.88 goals a game at home, which is good to keep in mind.
Louis Domingue — $7300- BUF vs OTT
This is hard because Mike Smith might be given the last minute go but Domingue is still a pretty contrarian play on this short slate. Like mentioned above, there is a lot of bad to this game but the ownership is likely to be split tonight so the risk lessens some. Domingue has again played better of late and so has the Arizona defense much to the surprise of many.
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!