NHL Power Plays 11/2/16
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. Some hard data is slowly starting to fill in but the variance is unusually high in the early going.
Wednesday features just three games. Let’s take a quick look back at last night so we can then look ahead.
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, the life of variance leads to some crazy things. The first thing was the Dallas Stars who were stoned again by Sergei Bobrovsky. Give the Columbus goalie credit as he needed yet another 30+ save effort, but Dallas made him work again. Also, Ottawa only scoring twice did not help or that St. Louis literally went belly up against the New York Rangers. Arizona surprised San Jose but it took a 39 save performance from Louis Domingue to do it. Los Angeles was shut out for the third consecutive time in a streak of futility that leaves them last in the league in shooting percentage. Nashville routed Colorado in Colorado which went against seemingly nothing except that the Avalanche only scored once. Tampa Bay destroyed the New York Islanders yet the surprise was more how flat the Islanders were and not that they lost.
What Went Right?
Simply playing Henrik Lundqvist was a good idea on Tuesday as he stopped 35 shots on the way to a 5-0 shutout over St. Louis. Most of it was score effects (the game was out of hand) but he did make a few key saves in the third to preserve the shutout. It may be a real confidence booster. Jimmy Vesey continues to adjust well to the league as he had another multiple point night and now has six goals on the season. Brad Richardson scored again for Arizona and now is playing nearly top minutes ice time wise. That is getting some serious value for the price. Robin Lehner, Pekka Rinne, Corey Crawford, and Ben Bishop were also great plays on a Tuesday where some goalies stood on their heads just enough.
Vancouver Canucks @ Montreal Canadiens
Ryan Miller vs. Montreal Canadiens
Miller is a tournament play on Wednesday with limited upside because of one crazy reason- he ended Montreal’s streak last year. That’s right! Actually, Miller has played very well with a 1.74 GAA and .939 save percentage in the early going. He is being rested as a platoon goaltender which has helped so far. Montreal will not be an easy test in Montreal but Miller has tons of experience there from his Buffalo days. His ownership rate will be very low.
Carey Price vs. Vancouver Canucks
Price has to be considered the quintessential cash play of the night at the minimum and players will own him in GPP’s. The Montreal goalie has won all five starts and has a 1.40 GAA and .954 save percentage. Montreal could take Vancouver a bit lightly as Vancouver has lost four straight and offensively is almost as inept as the Los Angeles Kings right now. Price’s cost in daily fantasy tonight is also quite high but so far his points per dollar has been excellent!
Detroit Red Wings @ Philadelphia Flyers
Michal Neuvirth vs. Detroit Red Wings
Neuvirth is almost a meh play but because Detroit can be just as fickle, the goalie at least has a little bit of upside. That is a big IF as the Philadelphia backstop. He has two really bad starts which are starts where the goalie has a below .850 save percentage. That almost means negative points in daily fantasy. Detroit is a team that can also pump in three or more goals while Philadelphia even gave up five goals to Arizona at home and then five more to Pittsburgh. Can Neuvirth find his form from last year where he was a goalie with a .924 save percentage? It comes down to that.
Petr Mrazek vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Mrazek is a risky GPP play but is likely to see a considerable shot volume because Philadelphia has a top nine forwards structure that can heavily attack a vulnerable Detroit defense. The inconsistencies of Detroit’s team defense and the goalie have been little surprise. It may be reason why Philadelphia is still a -135 favorite. This would be even if anyone could get a more accurate read on this game. Mrazek has a high probability of seeing 30+ shots. If he plays well, the Detroit goalie makes the investment worth it.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Anaheim Ducks
Matt Murray vs. Anaheim Ducks
Murray is a high risk tournament play tonight but has upside if he is truly ready for game conditions. Due to an injury in the World Cup to his hand/thumb, the Pittsburgh netminder has not played a minute this year. Remember, he backstopped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup and it was his resiliency that was his biggest asset. The hand may not be 100% but so far Murray has shown little effects of it in practice. Luckily, he draws an Anaheim team that just play an emotional rivalry game against Los Angeles last night. Keep an eye on Pittsburgh injuries and particularly any Kris Letang news before lock.
John Gibson vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Gibson is in a decent spot and has to be considered a moderate risk cash and GPP play tonight. On short slates, sometimes a goalie can fit into cash and GPP almost the same. Now, the Anaheim goalie has not been confirmed yet, but does come off a shutout against Los Angeles. The concern is that Pittsburgh has roughed him up a couple times in the past. Just make sure the Ducks netminder is confirmed first but Gibson has had three amazing starts in his last four times out. If you throw out the Columbus clunker of a first period, he is definitely on a hot streak allowing two goals in the other three starts.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Rickard Rakell – $4800- ANA vs PIT
Rakell is a pure GPP risk that can be taken on Wednesday because of the short slate. Call this an adrenaline pick as the forward had three points in his season debut on Los Angeles. The Kings had few answers for him and one thing is clear. He is in game shape and shows no effects of the infection from those scar tissue issues. The center is one to watch now and as the season goes forward. His price on various sites is still quite attractive.
Sidney Crosby — $8100- PIT vs ANA
Crosby is my highlight chalk play for cash on Wednesday night. He has a few points in his career against John Gibson (again if he plays) and Pittsburgh is one of those few teams that thrives against the physically skilled California style. Anaheim is also on the back end of a back to back and Hampus Lindholm is still not with the team yet. The center should be able to draw a few ideal match-ups during the night to get his chances and potentially convert them.
Wayne Simmonds — $6500- PHI vs DET
Simmonds is in a great spot against a Detroit defense that can get pummeled a bit by a physical forward. This makes the forward either a cash or GPP play because of his versatility (hits, blocked shots, shots on goal, etc.). His floor is higher than some wingers out there period and Simmonds has an ability to make a power play very effective. Aside from Patric Hornqvist, few forwards can work in that close and be that successful around the net.
Dylan Larkin — $5400- DET vs PHI
Larkin is a good but risky GPP play tonight because if he is hitting the net, the forward is likely to get a goal. His speed against a slow and mistake prone team defense like Philadelphia is absolutely vital. Larkin should be able to generate chances at will in a game where high event hockey is at least a possibility. The winger also has three goals in his last four games.
Shayne Gostisbehere — $6300- PHI vs DET
Gostisbehere is still a great GPP play and though his price is rising, he is priced well. The Ghost has points in his last three games and is starting to unleash that shot more with results. He opened the scoring the other night against Carolina. The only slight concern is his missed shots early but as the defenseman hits the net more, the goals will come. The Flyers power play is only starting to warm up and that shot could lead to another good night.
Ryan Miller — $7000- VAN vs MON
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 has such a low margin of error and Montreal is a -225 and climbing favorite on some sites. It is a game that almost sets up for a trap. That price is also quite attractive and across the board on other fantasy platforms.
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!