NHL Power Plays – 3/5/17

This week’s schedule is more back to the norm. 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 seven games on Sunday but has mixed slate (six games for DraftKings, all day for FantasyDraft, and split slate for FanDuel). Let’s get cracking on this edition of NHL Power Plays.

What Went Wrong?

There were no afternoon games so normally an all evening slate would bring much joy. Yet, it was a total mixed bag. The Boston game featured 40 shots from Boston but again a dud. Scoring was spread out and Anton Khudobin only stopped 15 of 17 shots. There was the New York Rangers, who flopped at home again. Tampa Bay and Buffalo turned into a 2-1 dud in a shootout. Edmonton gave up three goals again at home but won. This is all while Los Angeles stumbled out of the gate, went down 4-0, and then “That 70’s line” still disappeared despite a three goal near rally. It was that kind of night where if too many players were in those dud games, one died a hard, miserable death.

What Went Right?

Hey, there were some good goaltending performances. Carey Price stopped all but one shot in New York. Braden Holtby had 30 saves in an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 31 saves for Tampa in their shootout victory over Buffalo. After that, it was a mixed sort of finding one’s way on offense. Jordan Eberle had a multiple point night to give him ten points in his last eight games. Bo Horvat had three points as Sven Baertschi also scored for Vancouver. Winnipeg was the team to have as they blew out Colorado 6-1. Several players had multiple point nights and though Connor Hellebuyck did not get the shutout, he was an easy cash goalie to take. Alec Martinez and Adrian Kempe both had two points for Los Angeles and Martinez even scored a shorthanded goal when Los Angeles pulled the goalie.

The Schedule for Sunday, March 5, 2017

AwayHomeTime (ET)
NY Islanders @Calgary4:00 PM
Buffalo*@Pittsburgh5:00 PM
Columbus*New Jersey*5:00 PM
San JoseMinnesota6:00 PM
St, LouisColorado*@8:00 PM
Vancouver*@Anaheim8:00 PM
CarolinaArizona @8:30 PM

* = Back end of back to back. @ = Third game in four nights.

News and Notes (Well More Notes)

Like we mentioned before, DraftKings are running their main slate starting at 5:00 PM so that will be today’s focus. FantasyDraft has an all-day main slate while FanDuel starts at 6:00 PM. Please note that some teams are on their third game in four nights, on a back to back, or there’s a Carolina-Arizona game.

FantasyDraft Value Plays:

  1. Christian Dvorak (ARZ) — $7000
  2. Adam Henrique (NJD) — $7800
  3. Oliver Bjorkstrand (CLB) — $7400
  4. Tobias Rieder (ARZ) — $7800
  5. Travis Hamonic (NYI) — $6200
  6. Mark Streit (PIT) — $7300
  7. Arizona Goaltending — $14,300 (it’s high risk!)

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Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)

Centers

Evgeni Malkin – $7700 – PIT vs BUF

Malkin is a great play in cash and even in some GPP formats just because he is hot and has six goals and 11 points in the last ten games. Power play points are up and there is that home split where Malkin has 44 points in 30 games. He has great correlation with slightly cheaper players and goes up against the most inferior lines at home. Buffalo has around a 75% penalty kill on the road which makes this chalky.

Bo Horvat — $4700 – VAN vs ANA

Horvat is a solid GPP play and cash option against Anaheim on Sunday. Even most people acknowledge the high shooting percentage but this is riding the wave. He has four goals in the last ten games on only 21 shots. Vancouver’s second line arguably sets the tone offensively with their speed and hands. Sven Baertschi being back in the lineup makes Horvat that much more dangerous. It also makes for a cheap, contrarian mini stack.

Travis Zajac — $4200 – NJD vs CLB

Zajac is a high risk GPP play but has potential because he is playing with a hot hand in Kyle Palmieri. Zajac had a doughnut against Boston and given what New Jersey has generated over the last two games, few will be on New Jersey’s first line. Some may even pivot to Adam Henrique as he did squirrel a few shifts on the top line away from the center. New Jersey has been around 30-35% on the power play over the last month and Columbus can give up a goal or two that way.

Jordan Staal — $5000 – CAR vs ARZ

Staal is a somewhat risky GPP play against Arizona on Sunday. The center did light the lamp against Arizona in the last match-up and has a favorable match-up again. He has to avoid getting in funks where he misses a bunch of shots. He does try too hard at times. His line could be a viable play for contrarian stacks on Sunday night as that is the late hammer game. Staal has 31 shots in his last ten games and could be good for 3-5 more shots tonight.

 

Wingers

Cam Atkinson — $6700 – CLB vs NJ

Atkinson could be a solid play in cash and GPP’s as his price has come down somewhat. Also, the one thing New Jersey fears is speed. Atkinson has plenty of that and though pucks are not going in for him, they could start going in at any time. He has three goals on his last 33 shots which is way off his season average of 16.2%. See who New Jersey starts in net this evening and this could be a pick that provides much profit.

Phil Kessel — $6500 – PIT vs BUF

Kessel will be another chalky cash/GPP play on Sunday against Buffalo because of goal potential. He does have 36 points in 33 home games this season and again everyone knows Buffalo’s penalty kill. It sounds like a broken record by now but with Kessel and Malkin seeing time together. The temptation to stack is great. Match-ups are key here and whatever line goes up against them will not be the Ryan O’Reilly line.

Kyle Palmieri — $4500 – NJD vs CLB

Palmieri is going to be higher owned in tournaments tonight because he has been playing very well of late. He has six goals and ten points in his last ten games and yet his prices have remained stagnant. The winger has points in five of his last six contests and arguably could be even better if Taylor Hall was not in a bit of a slump. That is a scary thought. While he may not score 30 goals this year, he should easily break 50 points again.

Radim Vrbata — $5500 – ARZ vs CAR

Again, Vrbata is a good tournament play and even cash on Sunday against Carolina. Carolina’s defense was shredded repeatedly by transition and Arizona does have the players in their top six to do that once again. Vrbata has 11 points in his last ten games with a solid chance and shot volume. He is their best scoring chance creator per 60. Again, the Hurricanes will give up nearly three goals a game on the road. It could be a bit up and down but Vrbata will have chances for points tonight.

Mikael Granlund — $6200 – MIN vs SJ

Granlund will be a HIGH risk GPP play on Sunday against San Jose because his potential is high but it can also be very low. Yes, the winger has been one of the hottest wingers in the league this year and yet San Jose can be a frustrating match-up. The biggest problem against Columbus was they just ran into a hot Sergei Bobrovsky. However, some may not look deeper than the box score to realize that Granlund hit a post and generated six scoring chances despite lower shot volume than usual. Minnesota’s second line could be very dangerous. Keep an eye on Zach Parise and Jason Pominville. Both could very well play on Sunday which boost Minnesota’s balance and could be pivot points.

Brandon Saad — $5300 – CLB vs NJ

Saad is still a solid idea in tournaments tonight because he has goal potential on a night like this. New jersey has a poor penalty kill at home and plays more like a road team at home than anything else. The winger has seven points in his last ten games on 27 shots. He is also carrying the puck into the zone with greater frequency which often creates more chances than the traditional dump and chase. He has enough speed to excel at both though and the Devils defense is one of the slowest in the league.

Gabriel Landeskog — $4500 – COL vs STL

Landeskog is a dicey play but with the top line could be halfway decent. St. Louis is still not very good on the road and does give up nearly three goals a night. The forward has five points in his last nine games and is on an uptick with scoring chances. Colorado cannot get off to the start they did against Winnipeg when they had nine shots in the first 40 minutes. The Blues defense is just not the same without Kevin Shattenkirk for what it’s worth.

 

Defensemen

Mark Streit – PIT vs BUF – $3800

Streit is a must play tonight against the Sabres because of his price and Buffalo’s issues at 5 on 5 and the penalty kill. Buffalo is very likely to give up 30+ shots again and point blank chances on the penalty kill. While Kris Letang is out, Streit has extra value and why not take advantage of his price. It will not take much for him to exceed value.

Rasmus Ristolainen – BUF vs PIT- $5700

Ristolainen sits at a risky price point tonight and is in play in GPP’s. His lack of blocked shots lately is a bit troubling along with the concern for goals. It may not be a bad idea to pivot to Justin Faulk or even Jaccob Slavin from Carolina. However, he has a whopping 21 power play assists alone on the season. Pittsburgh’s penalty kill is not that great and maybe Buffalo gets a little lucky. Again, this is a pick not for the faint of heart.

Alex Goligoski – ARZ vs CAR – $3700

Goligoski comes rolling into this game as a questionable play only because when does he revert to the shell of a defenseman he was most of the year. He has eight points in his last ten games and comes off a night where he scored another clutch goal! His shot volume is low but Goligoski is being more assertive with puck movement. That was something Arizona has sorely missed from his game all season long. He may even have a tiny bit of power play potential tonight. David Savard may be a good pivot point in this price range.

Jared Spurgeon – MIN vs SJ – $4700

Spurgeon is a good play in GPP’s for a little salary relief tonight. His price is creeping up some but does have six points in his last ten games on 27 shots. His blocked shots might not be quite where they were earlier in the year but again, Minnesota had a bout with the flu and now the mumps. As they get healthier, expect the numbers to come up once more. Not everyone can play Brent Burns (cash game recommended) all the time so it is good to take different shots here.

 

Goalies

Jonathan Bernier – ANA vs VAN- $8300

Bernier should be a cash play with upside geared towards the chances of a win. He has won two of his last three starts and had only one bad lapse against Los Angeles. Vancouver could be good for a moderate shot count but 30 shots is not likely. That is why Bernier is not a good GPP pick on this night. Also, Vancouver did score four goals on Los Angeles but how much gas do they have left in the tank? It’s a great question. Several backups may play tonight so keep an eye on that.

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If for whatever reason, you are a little queasy on Bernier then wait a little closer to confirmations. A lot of confirmations did not come in early. Tonight’s a night where one could even go with backup options 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. Watch out for any late changes as well due to the flu and other illnesses like the mumps. It has been a factor of late.

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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 on the social media. Good luck with tonight!