NHL Power Plays – 12/12/16
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 two 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 Anaheim game was not on the main slates because through most of the night that was where the scoring was bunched. That is for Anaheim, anyway. Five goals in all and mostly clustered around the first two lines. After that, the slate kind of turned into a bit of a goaltender’s paradise led by Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche (51 saves, 1 GA, assist, Win). That hurt lots of people who stacked Toronto. A few of us even were hesitant to fade Toronto a little to a lot. Sometimes it is luck but other times, that hunch is right on.
What Went Right?
Hey, it was a great if you could have started a half dozen of the goalies or more on the slate. There were plenty of good performances to be had and some incredible ones too. It seemed the New York Rangers had to be a solid choice but again the balanced scoring always presents a dilemma. All in all, they scored a bunch on a downtrodden New Jersey team that took a beating last week from Montreal and St. Louis first. The late hammer was a little all over the place but it came together as they say. Sunday’s slate was not that high scoring of one but points were to be had (just not at where people are used to).
The Schedule For Monday, December 12, 2016
No teams are on a back end of a back to back tonight. It is goaltender breakdown time.
Arizona Coyotes @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Murray vs. Arizona Coyotes
Murray is going to be owned quite highly tonight and makes a very good cash option. Again, this depends on if he starts. He is not CONFIRMED and that is important to note. Murray has put up excellent numbers this year while Marc-Andre Fleury has not. It is really that simple. The Pittsburgh goalie has been okay over the last ten starts but good enough to win eight of his last ten starts. Fleury has not even been close to average. Murray will carry a high price though.
Mike Smith vs. Boston Bruins
Smith has high point potential which makes him the extreme contrarian GPP play tonight. Arizona defensively can be best described as being all over the place. They give up 3.57 goals per game on the road and well over 30 shots a night. Pittsburgh is a high octane team going up against a young opponent average age wise. The Arizona goalie has a goals against average of 2.56 but a save percentage of .931. That means he faces over 37 shots per 60 and double digits high danger chances on a nightly basis. He has seen only 33.8 shots per 60 on the road. That is little solace considering the Penguins top six is capable of that and more.
Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price vs. Boston Bruins
Price has been outstanding and continues to be a great tournament and cash play. He has been a little more human over the previous ten starts at a save percentage of .921 but is still 6-3-1 in that span. The Montreal goaltender is very likely to get the nod on Monday. Montreal is 14-1-1-1 at home allowing only 1.56 goals per game. They score nearly four a game to boot. If you look at it, the Habs goalie is not even the highest price goalie on the slate across the board for once. Did we mention Price is 24-8-3 against Boston in his career? We just did.
Tuukka Rask vs. Montreal Canadiens
Rask is a contrarian tournament play provided he starts tonight. The Boston goalie is NOT CONFIRMED yet but should be in short order. He has cooled off considerably with a drop off in not only save percentage but high and medium danger save percentage. The goals allowed has gone up by over a half goal a contest over the last ten starts. Boston has only allowed 24.8 shots per game over Rask’s last nine starts. The problem is Montreal is shooting over 40 shots a game over their last three outings. They just play at a different gear at home. Boston does not really have the defense to slow that down much unless their top six is engaged and often.
Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)
Andrew Shaw – $4300- MTL vs BOS
Shaw is a value tournament play that may be used for modest cash relief in cash games. Someone is going to try it and might get rewarded for it. It could also fall flat in their faces. Shaw is a fiery personality that will see Brad Marchand of Boston a lot. Whomever drives the opponent more crazy may even be more successful from a daily fantasy standpoint. Shaw has eight points in his last ten games and has looked much better with an increased role on the power play and top six.
Evgeni Malkin — $7400- PIT vs ARZ
Malkin is an excellent match-up option in all formats on Monday night. He is shooting more as evidenced by his seven shot outburst and two goals in his last game. The center is going to avoid Arizona’s top line and defensive pairing. He also has been excellent on the power play and has 14 points in his last ten contests. Pittsburgh’s second line could really crater Arizona possession wise and on the scoreboard which makes it a good stack or even trying to power play stack in some form.
Max Pacioretty — $7300- MTL vs BOS
Pacioretty is a chalk GPP option tonight but since choices are few, he could be owned by a third or more easily. He had four goals in his last game and Montreal has been even faster out of necessity since the injuries to Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais. The winger’s five points and eight shots were incredible but his underlying possession numbers were improving rapidly along with him shooting the puck much more. Boston has always had a tough time matching up with the winger. Alex Radulov could be an alternative in cash but remember his shot averages have only ticked up slightly to 2.5 shots per contest.
Conor Sheary — $5700- PIT vs ARZ
Sheary makes for a solid GPP play on Monday for reasons of exposure potential. The great thing is that his price does not fluctuate too much. His price has been creeping up a good bit over the last ten weeks by about 20% ($1100). It will get to the point soon where he will be considered in the upper echelon of either play or total fade (stay away). His fantasy points per game do not equate to his price but the potential does. His ability to be stacked with Crosby or anyone on the power play against a bad Arizona team helps for now.
Justin Schultz — $4300- PIT vs ARZ
Schultz is a great cash or tournament play choice on Monday and can be used in some of your best lineups. The only knock on the defenseman is he misses the net too often. He has nine points in his last ten games though and Pittsburgh’s offense is firing away the chances, Schultz will have his opportunities to rush the puck up the ice and create opportunities. That is what he excels at. A good defense is a great offense sometimes.
Carey Price — $8200- MTL vs BOS
This is challenging but Price is the play from a game theory, numbers, and logical standpoint. Price seems to save his best against Boston and often gets the help of timely offense from his forwards and defense. See above for more. However, if you are feeling off the reservation nuts then Mike Smith might be viable. He will be the lowest owned but have a risk that is off the charts. Basically Arizona will have less than a 35% chance of winning in betting circles which will be even less in daily fantasy (more like 10-15%).
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!