NHL Power Plays 2/24/17

It is a short four-game slate on Friday night in the NHL, but it features a lot of high-end talent. Saving cap space in some areas will be paramount to being able to access some of these high-end options.

Note: All pricing is for Fantasy Draft.

Center

Jonathan Marchessault (Florida) – $10,300

A breakout season for the third line winger has seen him post 18 goals and 18 assists to date, including nearly two and a half shots per game. The important note for his value in Friday night’s game is that their opponent, Calgary, gives up the most power plays per game to the opponent at 3.6. For reference, the league average in that regard is 3.1. Research done by Travis Yost has shown that teams playing on back-to-back nights, like the Flames tonight, take more penalties than rested teams. With Marchessault skating on the top power-play unit, he should have opportunities find the back of the net with the man advantage.

Zack Smith (Ottawa) – $7,900

Keep an eye on information resources throughout the day, as both Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman may or may not play Friday night for Ottawa, which would change the outlook for this team.

The line of Smith, Stone, and Derick Brassard has been excellent for the Senators this season, as in nearly 200 minutes of ice time together, they have helped generate over 66 shot attempts per 60 minutes (data from Corsica Hockey). To put that into context, it’s about the same rate as the Mitch Marner line in Toronto, and the Max Pacioretty line in Montreal. Carolina has been in a free-fall defensively for a couple of months now, giving up the fourth-most adjusted shot attempts per minute at five-on-five since Christmas.

Winger

Teuvo Teravainen (Carolina) – $7,800

Superstars like Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Tyler Seguin, and Jamie Benn, to name a few, are all on the docket for Friday night. Fitting those players means saving elsewhere, and Teravainen is a good option for those savings.

The very early returns on Teravainen centering Jeff Skinner have proven solid offensively, as that duo helps put up about the same shot rate as the Stone line that was just discussed in Ottawa. The young Finn doesn’t shoot much, which takes him out of consideration for cash games. For tournaments, however, the third-year forward can help fit in the more expensive options.

Marcus Johansson (Washington) – $10,700

There are two factors that work in favour of Johansson’s fantasy value for tonight. First, he is lined up on the top power-play unit for Washington, and their opponent tonight, Edmonton, gives up the eighth-most scoring chances while on the penalty kill. Also, the top line for the Capitals should be lined up often against Connor McDavid’s line for Edmonton, which frees up better matchups at five-on-five for Johansson and his line. For those looking to get exposure to the Caps but not spend up for the elite talents, this is the option to use.

Radim Vrbata (Arizona) – $10,600

One thing Vrbata does well is shoot the puck, landing over three per game on target. Though Arizona is playing their second game in as many nights tonight, they get a Dallas team coming off of their bye week, and a Dallas team that has been worse than the aforementioned Carolina team with regards to allowing shot attempts since Christmas. In fact, since the holiday break, only Buffalo and Arizona have given up more shot attempts per minute than the Stars. Given Vrbata’s propensity for shooting, and the rate at Dallas allows shots, this is a good matchup for the 35-year old.

Defense

Michael Matheson (Florida) – $7,300

The floor that Matheson can provide given the low cost is something that should be cherished for cash game players. On the season, he’s managed 132 shots on goal and 84 blocked shots in 58 games played. That works out to about 3.72 shots and blocked shots combined per game, or nearly 7.5 Fantasy Draft points per contest without registering a goal or assist. A floor like that at that at his price point makes him a very good cash game option that enables DFS players to get to the pricier options.

Esa Lindell (Dallas) – $5,900

Though Dallas is coming off their bye week, which hasn’t boded well for most teams having done so this year, this is still a great matchup offensively Friday night for the Stars with the Coyotes in town. Most notably is the fact that Arizona gives up the second-most scoring chances, and sixth-most shot attempts, while short-handed. There has been a change to the top power-play unit for the Stars, with Lindell taking over for John Klingberg. Lindell is highly thought of in the organization, and in his first pro season in North America last year, he posted 14 goals and 42 points in 73 games in the American Hockey League. With his price and opportunity, he is hard to fade in cash games on Friday night.

Team Goaltending

Florida Panthers – $15,800

The assumption is that James Reimer will be getting the start for the Panthers tonight.

On the season, Reimer is up to a .918 save percentage in all situations. That is above league average, and a very solid mark considering on December 5th, he was under .900 (he’s been at .930 since that date). Calgary in town on a back-to-back means the Panthers are lined up for a schedule win tonight. This option should be popular tonight, so it’s more of a cash game option than one for tournaments