NHL Power Plays 11/9/16
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.
Tuesday features only three 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 New York Rangers did fall into that trap with a little help from a concussion spotter? That’s right. When Henrik Lundqvist came in cold, the writing was almost on the wall. Vancouver was able to win 5-3 in a stunning manner. New Jersey scored two goals in regulation on 40 shots. Toronto then laid an egg against Los Angeles losing 7-0. Expectation was that the game was going to go over but never so one sided. Arizona surprising Colorado in the late game really finished the night off on a rather sour note for many.
What Went Right?
Hey, it was the night of Winnipeg again as Patrik Laine scored his ninth, tenth, and eleventh goals of the season. Overall the Jets scored eight goals on the night, Los Angeles scored seven, and Vancouver scored fight so there were goals to go around. They just were not in the right places. San Jose was the biggest surprise of the night in the sense that the low event hockey was unexpected. Martin Jones posted a shutout while neither team broke 25 shots. It was that kind of night even on a bigger slate.
Anaheim Ducks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Anaheim Ducks
Bobrovsky is a solid cash and GPP play tonight. The question only is how does he keep performing at this level? His 1.79 GAA and .947 save percentage have been other worldly. His goalie point share or how many points he has stolen leads the league at 3.0. Do not be shocked if the Columbus goalie is highly owned because of the other two match-ups. Anaheim is still not an easy team to face and they can put up lots of shots. The Russian has his work cut out for him tonight.
John Gibson vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Gibson is a GPP play with moderate upside as he may or may not start. Jonathan Bernier is a drop off and that cannot be disputed. The goalie may get a little help as Brandon Saad may be a healthy scratch tonight for Columbus. That is their first line left winger and one of their top power play threats. Gibson has been pretty good on the season so far but again if Bernier starts, he will make a decent enough contrarian play with limited potential.
Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres
Robin Lehner vs. Ottawa Senators
Lehner is a GPP play tonight and in a reasonable spot as well. Ottawa is not quite scoring at the pace they once were earlier in the year. The thing is neither one of these teams are even mustering two goals a game over their last five contests. Ottawa also has a poor special teams unit at near 12% but can produce chances at a moderate to high pace. His price is quite reasonable and sometimes that is enough to push ownership rates.
Craig Anderson vs. Buffalo Sabres
Anderson is a riskier GPP play as Buffalo does not always generate a ton of shots on net. The Sabres are very hit and miss but at least both teams have hit the under in their last five contests. Buffalo has actually hit that under in seven straight. There is a chance that Mike Condon may start but at press time, it looks like Anderson does get the nod. This will be an in the corners type of game that breaks out in spurts. Keep an eye on it anyway.
Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues
Jake Allen vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Allen is an okay option and maybe slightly better as a cash target as opposed to GPP. Rivalries like the Blues and Blackhawks can be a different animal. St. Louis looked better against Columbus and Colorado but Chicago is still a team to measure up to. The problem is that the Blues goalie has been so-so in his first year as the starter. Arguably, Carter Hutton has outplayed him. He needs a huge performance tonight against a highly skilled team.
Corey Crawford vs. St. Louis Blues
Crawford still has some upside and could be a potentially good GPP play. He has had five straight quality starts with two shutouts and only allowed five goals in that span. The Chicago penalty kill has risen from the ashes to 65.2% mostly because of the goaltender. Some will say winning five straight means he is due for a bad game. That may be true but the netminder can go on some extended streaks and has the team with the more potent offense. The Blackhawks are averaging 3.54 goals per game on the season.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Alex Wennberg – $4900- CBJ vs ANA
So, Wennberg would be considered a moderate play with upside. The reasons for that upside is his price is still reasonable and the top line of Columbus is still creating chances and opportunities. They will be up against Anaheim’s big first line but their speed may be enough to overcome the Ducks defense. Shots are a concern for the pivot in tonight’s match-up.
Artem Anisimov — $6800- CHI vs STL
Anisimov is a cash play more like than not with some tendency to lean towards a GPP option. Until he does not score, he is going to be owned. That 11 game scoring streak is no fluke and he has 17 points in that time. He will be faded but be considered chalk in some tournaments. That is simply riding the wave of a player that just seems to find ways to get points. There will be Chicago stacks once again.
Vladimir Tarasenko — $8000- STL vs CHI
Tarasenko is a bit of a roll of the dice in GPP’s but safer in cash on this night. He has points in his last two games but has missed the net a bit more than usual. The winger only has 13 shots in his last four contests which is about a full shot off his season average. It does not seem like much but Chicago is one team Tarasenko really thrives against. His three point performance against the Blackhawks earlier this year is ample evidence along with last year’s playoffs.
Evander Kane — $6500- BUF vs OTT
Kane is a high risk cash and tournament choice because no one really knows if he is in game shape or not. He returns tonight after being out almost a month with cracked ribs. Watch who he is paired with on the power play because the winger can definitely shoot pucks on net but will he be eased into things? Safer bets on Buffalo may still include Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta for value or Kyle Okposo if one can spend up. Keep an eye on Ryan O’Reilly’s injury status (undisclosed and questionable) before lock.
Zach Werenski — $5600- CBJ vs ANA
Werenski is a higher risk play than usual in both formats because of the Seth Jones injury. However, his upside is such that most will gamble anyway. Jones is out for at least three weeks with a hairline fracture of his foot. The young rookie has been paired with him the whole season and likely will play with Jack Johnson some. That will impact his value a bit as Johnson is not the same player he used to be. Werenski may take less risks and generate fewer chances. Erik Karlsson will be a reasonable pick in cash and Kevin Shattenkirk or Rasmus Ristolainen may be suitable GPP options on Wednesday night.
Robin Lehner — $7200- BUF vs OTT
This is the hardest decision because Lehner has upside in GPP’s especially. The question is which Ottawa shows up – early season or current Ottawa? Guy Boucher has instilled his system and while the Senators are playing closer to it, they still are creating. Pucks just are not going in but do they tonight? Buffalo definitely is hurting if Ryan O’Reilly cannot go. There are lots of moving parts so even considering Ottawa’s goalie or Columbus is always a possibility.
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!