NHL Power Plays 11/18/16

There are five games on the NHL slate tonight, including some big road favorites. These kinds of nights can be dangerous because relying on so many road teams is a dangerous proposition – home teams, in general, score more and allow fewer goals than those on the road.

Note: All prices are for Fantasy Draft.

Center

Elias Lindholm (CAR) – $7,500

Carolina is at home to Montreal tonight, and the Canadiens are on their first leg of a back-to-back situation. To give Carey Price some rest on this back-to-back, the Habs are starting Al Montoya tonight. This is good news for Carolina – per Natural Stattrick, the Habs are allowing the eighth-most shot attempts per 60 minutes at five-on-five, just slightly better than Dallas. In other words, they are poor defensively.

Lindholm has had a slow start to the year with no goals and three assists so far. He is joining Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner on the top line, though, which means more ice time and premium line mates. Without Carey Price in net, Montreal is a very average team, and that’s being kind. Lindholm is a solid target for salary relief.

Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $14,800

Since his return from injury, Sidney Crosby has been getting most of the press in Pittsburgh. Somewhat quietly, it seems, Evgeni Malkin has 15 points in 16 games, including eight goals. It has been a good start to the season for the Russian.

Despite being on the road, tonight’s game is about as good a matchup as possible for the Penguins. The New York Islanders are allowing the second-most shots per minute at five-on-five, while also allowing the most shot attempts per minute while on the penalty kill. There is a good argument that the Islanders are the league’s worst defensive team, all things considered.

Malkin will feature heavy on the power play, and will avoid the John Tavares matchup at even strength. He should carry a lower ownership than Crosby, who will be without Patric Hornqvist tonight (concussion).

Winger

Brock Nelson (NYI) – $9,900

There will be a lot of ownership tonight on the Penguins, and rightly so. There is value in taking the Islanders tonight in tournaments, namely players not on the Tavares line. It should be noted that at this point of the season, Nelson has just one fewer point than Tavares does.

Pittsburgh’s start to the season points-wise is fine. Going deeper than that, though, shows us that according to Corsica Hockey’s numbers, when Crosby isn’t on the ice, the Penguins control just 46.7-percent of the adjusted shot attempts at five-on-five, allowing 60.5 adjusted shot attempts against per 60 minutes. For a reference to those numbers, whenever Crosby is off the ice, the Penguins are basically the Ottawa Senators. Nelson will get top power play time, and mostly avoid Crosby at five-on-five.

Cam Atkinson (CBJ) – $11,000

So far this season, Cam Atkinson is taking three shots on goal per game. That is a pretty good rate that provides a solid cash game floor to work with, for as much as there can be a floor for forwards in NHL DFS.

It is always a concern facing Henrik Lundqvist in goal, but for as good as the Rangers have been offensively this year, they’re about average defensively, allowing more shot attempts per minute than the Vancouver Canucks. When it comes to high-danger shot attempts allowed, the Rangers are allowing the sixth-most. Those are not great defensive numbers.

Most of the ownership in this game will either be on the Rangers, or the top line for Columbus. Atkinson plays on the top power play unit, and should be low owned tonight. He and his line mates make solid GPP options.

Troy Brouwer (CGY) – $9,200

The injury to Johnny Gaudreau, which will likely keep him out at least a month, is very bad news for the Flames. This is a team that needed to turn things around quickly, and this is a hindrance.

Even with the injury, tonight is a good spot for Calgary’s power play. The Blackhawks are allowing the fourth-most shot attempts per minute, and the most high-danger shot attempts per minute, while on the penalty kill. While they only give up about three power plays a game, they are very poor at killing off the ones they do allow.

Brouwer should be a fixture on the second power play unit for the Flames, as he’s typically been used in and around the net. This is a danger zone for goals allowed, something the Blackhawks have been poor at preventing this year. Most of the ownership in this game will go to Chicago, but Brouwer as a one-off in GPPs has upside tonight.

Defense

Noah Hanifin (CAR) – $7300

Despite Justin Faulk returning to the lineup after a couple of games missed, the top power play unit for Carolina now belongs to Noah Hanifin. That is good news for DFSers, as Hanifin is very cheap, and the Habs give up about four power plays a game (67 opportunities allowed in 17 games).

Hanifin has not scored yet, going goalless on 29 shots, which is nearly two per game for him. That is a streak that will not continue much longer. This is not to assert it ends tonight, but luck, both good and bad, runs out before too long. Hanifin is on pace for 38 assists this year as it is, and considering his low on-ice shooting percentage at five-on-five (5.22-percent, per Corsica, which is the rate the team scores with him on the ice), it’s clear the offensive upside is going to show through before long.

Like Lindholm, this is a good spot for the Hurricanes tonight, and now that Hanifin is regularly playing 18-20 minutes a game, he’s a bit more reliable for fantasy. He is a very solid cap relief option on the blue line.

Duncan Keith (CHI) – $11,300

Via Natural Stattrick, the Flames spend the sixth-most time in the NHL on the penalty kill. That is not a good recipe for any team, particularly one that will be facing a power play unit with names like Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane.

There will be high ownership on players like Kane and Panarin, but the defencemen typically go lower owned. On top of that, the ownership will somewhat be split between Keith and power play defence partner Brent Seabrook. Using the two of them together in a GPP isn’t a bad idea, but for cash games, I would use Keith. He is averaging a three-year high in shots on goal per game (2.4) while adding a blocked shot per game.

Goaltending

Pittsburgh Penguins – $17,600

For the same reasons that Brock Nelson makes a solid tournament option tonight for the Islanders, so does the Pittsburgh goaltending (I would assume Marc-André Fleury). The Penguins are giving up about 33.5 shots against per game, which gives the goalies a lot of upside so long as four or five of them don’t go in. The assumption here is that Chicago and Washington will be the more popular options, so Pittsburgh’s goaltending is a good way to avoid higher ownership rates.