NHL Power Plays 12/28/16

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 five games on Wednesday so let’s get cracking on what happened last night then look forward to tonight.

What Went Wrong?

Sadly, if you were crazy enough to choose most goaltending, you watched Calvin Pickard get hung out to dry among many others (Holtby, Crawford, especially Schneider, etc). Colorado’s depth is so dreadful offensively and defensively that focusing on their top players is better but not optimal. Sergei Bobrovsky gave up three goals but did get a win at least (faced 40 shots). Even Petr Mrazek gave up four goals to a Bufffalo team. Ottawa was in a decent spot but then blew a 3-1 lead to the Rangers. There were six games that went over last night and a lot were the early ones where the allegedly prime goalie match-ups were.

What Went Right?

Hey, there was scoring at least! Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist and even Sam Bennett chipped in something along with Dougie Hamilton. The double center approach worked with Pittsburgh as Sidney Crosby had three points and Evgeni Malkin had a multiple point night along with Justin Schultz scoring again. Martin Jones turned in a nice performance in the win for San Jose and so did Devan Dubnyk yet again. Pekka Rinne did get 36 saves but could not get past overtime sadly. It was the right call to fade Chicago as Connor Hellebuyck stopped all but one shot. Evander Kane scored twice as it was a night of some unexpected results. Also, goaltending is voodoo as we often say. Strange things happen on the return night from Christmas Break. Expect more of the same tonight for most teams. Anyway, here is the schedule.

 

The Schedule For Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AwayHomeTime (ET)
TorontoFlorida7:00 PM
CarolinaPittsburgh7:00 PM
MontrealTampa Bay7:30 PM
PhiladelphiaSt. Louis8:00 PM
Los AngelesVancouver10:00 PM
  • = Teams are on the back end of a back to back

No Third game in four nights because of Christmas Break *

 

Quick Plays (DraftKings and FanDuel pricing is used)

Centers

Evgeni Malkin – $7600 / $8600- PIT vs CAR

Malkin is a popular GPP play on Wednesday. That is because Pittsburgh is at home and the center is even more productive at PPG Paints Arena. He has 29 points in 19 home games and historically has been great against Carolina. Pittsburgh will continue to play offensive lights out because a great offense is a good defense.

Jeff Carter — $6900 / $7600- LAK vs VAN

Carter is a good GPP play on Monday as Vancouver does give up a lot of scoring chances to top six players. They just do. The center is hot of late as well with five goals in his last three games. He also has 12 goals away from home and did have five shots on goal in the first meeting against Vancouver. The Canucks will have a difficult time guarding him and his line.

Victor Rask — $5700 / $5900- CAR vs PIT

Rask can be a solid tournament or even good cash play tonight. Pittsburgh may be without four regular defensemen and they are on the back end of a back to back. Basically, if Carolina can get past their forwards often enough, the opportunities are going to come. Rask should be paired with Jeff Skinner and that is going to make an intriguing mini stack for some out there. The center has nine points in his last ten games by the way.

Wingers

Mitchell Marner — $6400 / $5700- TOR vs FLA

Marner is a slightly risky tournament choice with point upside against a Florida team that is just not so good lately at stopping the opposition. Auston Matthews will be a somewhat chalky play but Marner is the one who has fared well against Florida with his speed and hands. Florida has also redistributed their lines a bit and if lines match up against lines, Matthews may have a tough time keeping up with Jonathan Marchessault. The bottom line is Marner will go against two “slower” lines” and did have three points in a previous meeting. Connor Brown makes a fun almost punt play because he has also had success against Florida’s depth pairings.

Jonathan Drouin — $5700 / $6100- TAM vs MTL

Drouin is a gamble of a tournament or cash play on both sites tonight just because he can play but is he 100%. Tonight, will be about taking some kicks at the can and swinging big. The winger had seven goals and 13 points in his previous nine plus games. He will not be up against Montreal’s best defensive line because the “Palat-Johnson-Kucherov” line is back (Triplets). This even makes Val Filppula a possible value option.

Sebastian Aho — $4400 / $4600- CAR vs PIT

Aho will be a low owned tournament option on Wednesday against Pittsburgh with the news that Pittsburgh is now missing all these regulars on defense. There should be no reason why Carolina cannot create chances on Wednesday (don’t even say rust). The Finnish forward has six points in his last ten games but could have arguably had more. He has been one of the better Carolina players when it comes to medium and high danger chance creation. Guys like Aho need to come out of the gate fast tonight because Pittsburgh will try to as well.

Robby Fabbri — $5200 / $5300- STL vs PHI

Fabbri is certainly a risky play in tournaments tonight because he can disappear without notice at times. The winger has vanished of late but one never quite knows when the forward will heat up. His price has stayed stagnant over the past several weeks which helps. This will help one get Vladimir Tarasenko exposure and again is reasonably priced. Philadelphia is vulnerable to speed on the wings and Fabbri has plenty of it. He just has to shoot the puck more!

 

Defensemen

Justin Schultz — $5400 / $5000- PIT vs CAR

Schultz has good point potential against a Carolina team that does not always match up well against Pittsburgh. The defenseman scored against New Jersey and if you are looking for blueline production, Schultz is really the it option left in Pittsburgh right now. Do not be shocked if Pittsburgh even strikes on the power play. Carolina’s penalty kill is best in the league but hey rust is rust.

Victor Hedman — $5600 / $6800- TAM vs MTL

This is an excellent cash or GPP play on DraftKings. Consider that the defenseman has ten points in his last six games (Washington almost doesn’t count). Tampa Bay gets back most of their injured contingent tonight just in time for Montreal. The Canadiens are just not as good on the road and their defensive numbers are worse across the board. It should be a completely different Tampa Bay team tonight compared to the dreadful showing last week before the break.

Jeff Petry — $4900 / $4900- MTL vs TAM

Petry has more potential for a GPP than most think on Wednesday. He has eight points in his last ten games and is averaging nearly four shots per contest. These could both be elevated on Wednesday since he really is the main offensive defenseman in Montreal right now due to injuries. Petry may be lower owned than most realize simply because of the plentiful options out there. His floor is high enough and provides value especially on FanDuel.

 

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy — $7300 / $8600- TAM vs MTL

Vasilevskiy is a heavy risk at GPP on Wednesday. Tampa Bay is getting a lot of their players back and there will be an early adjustment of sorts. However, that DraftKings price offers some mild salary relief compared to the top choices. Montreal can drive the Lightning crazy with their speed game. The hope is that the goalie sees close to 30 shots to boost his GPP chances.

Carter Hutton — $7600 / $7700- STL vs PHI

Hutton is a high risk GPP play even with St. Louis at home. His last ten starts have seen him allow three goals or more on not that many shots. However, he is being given an opportunity here. Consider that he is well rested and faces a Philadelphia team that got shut out by New Jersey. Philadelphia will have a better lineup but in Hutton’s last start, he did stop 32 of 35 against a dangerous Edmonton team. These are extreme plays to try and get a leg up in GPP’s. It also offers salary relief.

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If for whatever reason, you are a little queasy on these goalies then wait a little closer to confirmations. Tonight’s a night where one could even go Matt Murray or Peter Budaj once more but will they get the W? That is quite a question. This is the type of slate where risk could be rewarded with the right mix of chalk plays. There will be tons of danger wherever you may go tonight.

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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!