NHL Power Plays –12/20/16

Large slates can be crazy 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 twelve games on Tuesday so let’s take a quick look back at last night’s games then we can look ahead.

What Went Wrong?

Sadly, this was an issue that could not be dodged last night. The Carolina-Detroit game was postponed because the ice was not in playable condition. Basically, the ice needs to be at a certain temperature and it was not going to by 9:30 PM ET. It caused an issue as far as refunds and such. Let me be clear. There was a possibility that the game could be cancelled as soon as 6:44 pm ET. With knowledge of the delay available, most players had the option to switch lineups. That is tougher to do when you have dozens but it is what it is. Hopefully, situations like these are handled better on all fronts because last night there was definitely a lot of backtracking, flip flopping, and uncertainty till later at night.

As for the games themselves, Brian Elliott got a win of all people. That is almost all you needed to know about Monday night. All four road teams won and even despite getting the right shot pace, Carter Hutton of St. Louis lost as well as Mike Smith and Steve Mason. Even the top chalk plays had mostly mixed to poor results on Monday. One needed a considerable amount of luck to get through this slate.

What Went Right?

Hey, it was just one of those nights where having the road goalie was a good thing. All four of them won but John Gibson was great for Anaheim stopping all but two shots and Pekka Rinne allowed only one goal. Cam Fowler had a goal and an assist in the Ducks win. Leon Draisaitl had two more assists in the Edmonton win. Calgary was actually the stack of the night in a sense as they scored four goals in all and had three players with multiple point nights and Mikael Backlund had a goal with five shots on net and two blocked shots. Brian Elliott stopped 25 shots for the win but that first period was shaky as several pucks were misplayed. He did right the ship just enough for the win. Anyway, here is today’s schedule.

 

The Schedule For Tuesday, December 20, 2016

AwayHomeTime (ET)
Los AngelesColumbus7:00 PM
Nashville*New Jersey*7:00 PM
NY IslandersBoston7:00 PM
NY Rangers*Pittsburgh7:00 PM
Anaheim*Montreal7:30 PM
BuffaloFlorida7:30 PM
DetroitTampa Bay7:30 PM
ColoradoMinnesota8:00 PM
St. LouisDallas8:30 PM
Ottawa*Chicago*8:30 PM
WinnipegVancouver10:00 PM
CalgarySan Jose10:30 PM

Back end of a back to back

Third game in four nights *

 

Quick Plays (DraftKings and FanDuel pricing is used)

Centers

Eric Staal – MIN vs COL – $6,500 / $5600

The Minnesota center makes a nice cash play tonight with GPP potential. Staal is playing some good hockey right now, has a four game point streak rolling, and two games straight with multiple points. The Wild are red hot right now winning seven games straight, and they have a beautiful matchup tonight against the Avs who have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Colorado is giving up the most goals per game in the league, and allowing the fifth most shots on net per game also. The Wild should be all over the Avalanche tonight and I will have exposure to stacks in this game.

Sidney Crosby –  PIT vs NYR – $8,400 / $9100

The Pittsburgh pivot is a marvelous cash play and will be used in GPP’s by many. Crosby likes playing against the Rangers, in his career he is averaging 1.3 points per game. The last time he played the Rangers he scored two goals. The Rangers have been playing solid hockey as of late, but their best two-way player Rick Nash is out (groin). The Penguins have been lighting the lamp a bunch lately and they should be in for a couple tonight.

Adam Henrique –  NJ vs NSH – $4500 / $4900

The New Jersey center makes a fun tournament play for a low price on Tuesday. Do not expect him to be owned by a lot of people. However, he does have eight points in his last ten games and is finally coming around after a rough start to the year. His shot volume is still less than two per contest but Nashville is on a back to back and third game in four nights. When will the legs wear down for them? That Devils top six and even power play may not be a half bad idea to try. It’s risky but on a huge slate, one can afford to take a few big swings.

Radek Faksa – DAL vs STL – $3600 / $3800

Faksa is a value play with some top six upside in cash or tournaments tonight. St. Louis has a rough time on the road allowing 3.71 goals per night. His minutes have been elevated and in two of the last three outings, he has exceeded value. Devin Shore may be considered by some or even Patrik Berglund from St. Louis but Faksa may be the one that surprises everyone tonight. He will also block shots which is something not many centers do a lot of.

Wingers

Taylor Hall – NJ vs NSH – $6800 / $7100

Hall is a good tournament choice with goal upside against a slightly banged up and tired Nashville team. New Jersey is tired too but Hall just feeds off a home crowd like Ilya Kovalchuk used to. He has no points in the last two games but does have nine shots on net. That is encouraging considering the slight slump he was on generating chances of late. The Devils will try to get him matched up against Nashville’s second and third lines as much as possible. Nashville’s penalty kill may even be vulnerable since they hover around 80% on the road.

Zack Smith – OTT vs CHI – $4100 / $4400

Smith is a whale of a tournament or cash play on all sites today because of his price relief. He has been consistent enough of late. The left winger has five points in the last two games with Mike Hoffman out. Hoffman is back in but do not be surprised if Guy Boucher rides his hot winger. By the way, Scott Darling is starting his tenth straight for Chicago. Fatigue could start to set in and Chicago’s penalty kill is still under 74%.

Conor Sheary – PIT vs NYR – $6000 / $5200

Sheary is going to be a popular tournament choice on Tuesday, especially on FanDuel. He has 36 shots on goal in his last ten games and nine points in that span. The one weakness that the Rangers have against the Penguins is speed on the wings setting up or creating chances. Sheary has that and above average shooting ability. Rangers-Penguins could be an all or nothing match-up but the risk is not outrageous and the winger gets to play with Sidney Crosby in all scoring situations. He also is one of the few wingers Crosby has had to adjust his accelerations to because Sheary can play that fast.

Zach Parise – MIN vs COL – $6700 / $7200

Parise is a moderate risk but could be a higher reward GPP opportunity. The only concern is this one of those games where Colorado decides to show up. That is always the danger here but Parise has points in four straight contests. His shots on goal are starting to tick up and so are his possession numbers. Colorado is a wreck defensively allowing 22 goals in the last five games and their penalty kill is 78% on the road. There will be plenty of chances.

Robby Fabbri – STL vs DAL – $5000 / $5100

Fabbri is again a dangerous play in tournaments tonight because he is a speed merchant. The winger has been piling up points with nine in his last ten games. If you can get a little exposure to Vladimir Tarasenko without paying up for him one must do it. Also, the Dallas penalty kill can give up two or three power play goals in a heartbeat. That alone is worth taking a chance even if Dallas only allows 2.31 goals per contest at home.

Mats Zuccarello – NYR vs PIT – $5800 / $5800

Again, Zuccarello is far from a sure thing on Tuesday with Rick Nash out due to that sore groin but he has GPP upside. The winger has been mostly exceeding value over his last five outings and Pittsburgh is a team that will give up lots of chances to lines that have speed. Chris Kreider and Zuccarello could create a little havoc against a Penguins penalty kill that is only at 78.6%. Game theory is a little all over the place for this one. This game will have twists.

Defensemen

Ryan McDonagh – NYR vs PIT – $5000 / $5400

McDonagh has solid point potential against a Pittsburgh team that likes to give as much as it receives. The defenseman also has two assists in two previous match-ups against the Penguins. His floor is reasonable enough at a little over two blocks and two shots per night. Power play potential is the real intrigue here as the Penguins get guilty of playing a little too loose at home sometimes. McDonagh’s price is not highway robbery and he won’t go crazy fantasy wise but the defenseman finds his way to value more often than not.

Erik Karlsson – OTT vs CHI – $7300 / $7400

Karlsson is a good idea for cash or tournaments. Consider that the defenseman blocks about three shots a game and has 13 points in his last ten games for a second. Then there is his price which is solid by most standards. The defenseman has seven power play points in that span and Chicago’s penalty kill is still among the bottom three. Ottawa comes in on a bit of a roll and may play at a higher pace game than most expect. We know Chicago will try to and that may play into Karlsson’s hands. Chicago’s depth will be severely tested.

Justin Schultz – PIT vs NYR – $4700 / $4400

Schultz is going to be highly owned and yet he has to be played in all formats just for price relief. It is insane to think a player with five goals and 13 points in his last ten contests is still this low priced but here we are. His home numbers have been better as he does have four of his five goals there. More importantly, the chances, shots, and possession have all spiked since his role was tweaked slightly. With Kris Letang in and out of the lineup, he has been a consistent DFS play for the last few weeks. Did we mention his power play ability? Schultz has been a huge catalyst there as well.

Zack Redmond – MON vs ANA – $2800 / $3000

Redmond is an excellent punt play in all formats for Tuesday. The shots are not great at all but with Andrei Markov out, everyone will see their ice time bumped up a hair. Montreal has a smooth defensive core that can create chances with their quick decision making ability. Redmond moves the puck up with ice quickly and Anaheim’s Jonathan Bernier has no wins with disastrous numbers against Montreal. They know him well and attacks from the blueline on up have done Bernier in frequently. Redmond has four assists in four games. Riding the wave may not be so bad here.

 

Goalies

Antti Raanta – NYR vs PIT – $7400 / $8900

Raanta is a crazy enough tournament and even cash play that could possibly work. These Rangers-Penguins games are not for the faint of heart. However, the goalies likely will not have that moderate or high level of ownership the ones below will. If for whatever reason you feel like the Ranger goalie may not be a good idea, pivots to Matt Murray and even Tuukka Rask might not be a bad idea. The backup has a 2.76 goals against and .923 save percentage in two appearances (one start) against Pittsburgh this year. Lundqvist’s numbers have been too hit or miss and the Rangers were not going to play him in a three in four nights scenario.

Cory Schneider – NJ vs NSH – $7400 / $8700

Schneider is an extreme risk play tonight because New Jersey is on their third game in four nights. Despite this, he could provide a decent reward if the goalie plays like he did against the Rangers. Pekka Rinne may or may not play tonight and the goalie is cheap, especially on DraftKings. The problem is New Jersey has given up so many goals over the last 15 contests that DFS players may have the Jersey goalie written off for now. It is a match-up that the Devils may finally be able to snap their losing streak at long last.

Devan Dubnyk – MIN vs COL – $8300 / $9400

Dubnyk is going to be the crown GPP play on Tuesday which means he will be as high owned as Carey Price potentially. Shot volume is the only risk because no one knows how Colorado will come out. The Wild has allowed only seven goals in the last five contests. Minnesota has also won seven straight to boot. Dubnyk is 8-0-2 with a 1.65 goals against average and .944 save percentage over his previous ten decisions. The goalie is white hot and with the Avs losing ten of their last 12, this is chalk.

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If for whatever reason, you are a little queasy on these goalies then wait a little closer to confirmations and maybe tilt a bit towards Carey Price and even Roberto Luongo. This is going to be a night where numbers are going to fly from all over the place and to think there are two more slates like that this week before the Christmas break.

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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!