NHL Power Plays – 12/05/16
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.
There are just four games on Monday. Let’s take a quick look back at last night’s games so we can then look ahead.
What Went Wrong?
Sadly, that Calgary goal outburst was a real killer for some who had a nice contrarian set of Anaheim plays. Five goals in 6:04 will kill nearly everything. Chicago spent most of the first 40 minutes in a state of complete flatness. The early slate was more clear cut as Montreal and Los Angeles were almost due for a high scoring game and Tampa-Carolina was a tired slop through the muck fest. Last minute injury news from Anaheim as far as Rickard Rakell and John Gibson did not help matters either.
What Went Right?
Hey, it was a great if you had a couple of those Calgary players that really went off on Sunday. When the snowman (eight goals in a game) comes, one hopes to be on the right side of it. After that, it was just stringing the right players and even Henrik Zetterberg had a nice little game for himself in Brooklyn. Mike Green nearly had a hat trick if it hadn’t been for that pesky goalie interference review. Philadelphia’s power play was lethal again, this time in Nashville. Wayne Simmonds had two goals in the 4-2 win. Minnesota rode Devan Dubnyk to another victory so for those who were high on the chalk that was in Chicago or Connor McDavid, there were more ways to cash than usual. Let’s move on.
The Schedule For Monday, December 5, 2016
No teams are on a back end of a back to back tonight. It is goaltender breakdown time.
Florida Panthers @ Boston Bruins
Tuukka Rask vs. Florida Panthers
Rask is going to be owned quite highly tonight and makes a very good cash option. Again, some cash lineups are turned into GPP’s so his percentage may tick upward a little more than usual for a short slate. The goalie has been so remarkably consistent all year like Devan Dubnyk and Carey Price. The only question is what kind of pace Florida generates. Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug are indeed playing tonight which does tilt potential pace more in Boston’s direction.
Roberto Luongo vs. Boston Bruins
Luongo has high point potential which makes him an against the grain GPP play tonight. Boston will be as close to full strength with the return of Chara. Patrice Bergeron finally scored which may open the floodgates and the Bruins top six can dictate play especially at home. The Florida goalie took a little bit of a beating in his last start but did not face a lot of shots. Chicago and Columbus fired 72 shots on the netminder and he stopped all but two. If Boston does not come out flat, at least Luongo has a chance to post a high save total. The concern is that first meeting saw Boston only fire 26 shots on net.
Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Ottawa Senators
Fleury is a crapshoot GPP play with some upside tonight. His price is not outrageous but his consistency is erratic. The biggest problem is shots faced. He faces over 35 shots per 60 in his last ten starts and his save percentage is only .904 in that span. When looking at goalies for point potential, he has it. However, will he make enough of those medium and high danger saves for an elevated point total? It is a great question and then there are his nerves. He must stay calm or else.
Craig Anderson vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Anderson is a contrarian tournament play provided he starts tonight. The Ottawa goalie is not CONFIRMED yet but typically has played well this year after coming back from time off due to personal matters. He also got hit hard by Buffalo last week for five goals and that will create some bias to drive his ownership down a little lower. The goalie has been excellent all year though and a huge part of why Ottawa is even where they are right now.
Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby vs. Buffalo Sabres
Holtby is a cash play with very limited GPP upside on Monday. For those chasing the win, that is great and all but there’s risk. The problem is the goalie is .500 in his last ten starts despite solid goals against and save percentage numbers across the board. Even his advanced metrics have been consistent for the most part. It begs the question is a winning streak coming soon. That is only if the Capitals start to break out offensively.
Robin Lehner vs. Washington Capitals
Lehner is a higher risk tournament play but has upside because of the prospect he faces more of the pace. The Buffalo goalie is now CONFIRMED and Anders Nilsson will not start. However, Lehner has been good in net and again Washington has issues scoring and converting on the power play. Buffalo kills penalties at around 77% though and that may be why there will be some apprehension here.
Arizona Coyotes @ Columbus Blue Jackets
EDITORS NOTE: Louis Domingue is starting in place of Mike Smith.
Mike Smith vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Again, Smith is to be considered for GPP’s just on shot volume IF he starts. Will Arizona give up a ton of shots again? It is a distinct possibility. You are not going to see 60 again! The risk is that the Coyotes try to deliberately plug things up. They sent down Anthony Deangelo on Monday and one has to wonder what their plan is. Either way, the goalie still will see a good shot volume. He will still be low owned.
Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Arizona Coyotes
Bobrovsky is a chalk play for cash and GPP with some adverse potential. What do we mean here? Shot volume for Arizona has been low to middling at best of late. The Coyotes are making an appearance of trying to bolster their defense a bit. Will Columbus give up enough chances and shots to make this goalie a viable enough play on Monday? That answer is probably a no. However, enough people will go for it anyway. He does have the best win probability of the night.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Jack Eichel – $7200- BUF vs WSH
Eichel is a high priced contrarian play that may be more suitable for cash games than GPP’s. Someone is going to try it and might get rewarded for it. It could also fall flat in their faces. Washington is an overwhelming favorite for a reason tonight and that is the “they are due to break out” theory. The reality is they may struggle like they did against Tampa Bay on Saturday once again. Eichel could take advantage of this as Buffalo has the much more threatening power play coming in. He is a center who has excelled on the man advantage in his first few games back – three points in three games.
David Krejci — $6200- BOS vs FLA
Krejci is an excellent match-up option in all formats on Monday night. He is shooting more as evidenced by his eight shot outburst a few games back. The center is going to avoid Florida’s top line and defensive pairing. He also has nice power play exposure and this is a good time to take advantage of the Panthers while they are still trying to adjust to their new coach. Krejci has also played 20 or more minutes in three straight games. With increased time always seems to come increased opportunities.
Mike Hoffman — $6300- OTT vs PIT
Hoffman is a risk play tonight against the Penguins because of game theory but still has upside. He has 11 points in his last ten games and even when he is not playing well, the winger finds a way to squeeze out points. Consider that Pittsburgh has a bottom third penalty kill and gives up lots of shots to lines that can dictate pace and one has the base to give this option a shot. Even if he plays against Crosby’s line, they can be attacked. Hoffman has the wheels and skill set to do it.
Sam Gagner — $4200- CLB vs ARZ
Gagner makes for a good value GPP play on Monday for reasons of slight salary relief. The great thing is that his price does not fluctuate too much. Over the last ten games, he has been plus or minus $200 of his current price tag. His production has been relatively consistent in that time. He had five shots and the shootout game winner against Arizona. There is no reason why not to play him if just to gain a little power play exposure and the chance that Columbus may fire 30+ shots on Arizona again. Do not expect 60!
Erik Karlsson — $7400- OTT vs PIT
Karlsson is a great cash play choice on Monday and can be dabbled in some GPP’s. The only knock on the defenseman is he misses the net a lot at times. Look at three of the last four games where it seemed like he just missed a half dozen shots. His floor is the best on the slate tonight and has seven points in the last ten games. Plus, Pittsburgh’s penalty kill can give up goals. The three home favorites are going to be heavy chalk tonight but Ottawa and Karlsson may go under the radar a bit.
Tuukka Rask — $7700- BOS vs FLA
This is challenging because Florida is tough to gauge yet Rask’s price is low enough tonight to make him a GPP or cash play. His price per dollar is less than $1250 per point which is great for goalies. He just came off a masterful 35 save performance but has been more consistent than most goaltenders this year. Florida can hit a high volume of shots and drive possession which creates more chances which means Rask can get engaged in the game early.
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 with tonight!