NHL Power Plays 4/13/17             

The playoffs are upon us and six more teams open their Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight. It is like a present in many ways. Night number one featured an explosion of sorts. The playoffs do not just start…they erupt! That is the best way to describe them. Out of almost nowhere, there were two overtime games as well. It was the first of many late nights for hockey fans and DFS players alike.

There are three games on the Thursday night slate. Let’s get cracking on this edition of NHL Power Plays.

What Went Wrong?

Sadly, the goaltending does get better come playoff time. Space is harder to come by in most series and goals are at a premium. Henrik Lundqvist turned in a masterful performance with a shutout in Montreal last night. Jake Allen stole the entire slate with a 50+ save effort for St. Louis. Minnesota threw everything at the goalie and he stood tall. Montreal just did not generate the chances expected. It was sort of a weird game where the Canadiens had 31 shots but few dangerous opportunities. Edmonton jumped out of a 2-0 lead and then were blown out of their own building essentially by San Jose. If not, for Cam Talbot, that game could have easily ended up 5-2 San Jose in regulation instead of going to overtime.

What Went Right?

Hey, there was some scoring at least and some role players thrived in newer roles. Few expected Tanner Glass to score the game winner for New York. However, Vladimir Sobotka did score for St. Louis and did see some nice power play time. Milan Lucic had a great first period for Edmonton and then the Oilers seemed to go away from that plan. Phil Kessel had a goal and assist making us forget about that long scoring slump. Marc-Andre Fleury came in to save the day when Matt Murray went down to injury (or was he injured already?). Those who got him in before lock benefitted. Anyway, here is tonight’s schedule.

 

The Schedule For Thursday, April 13, 2017

Away

Home

Time (ET)

Toronto

Washington

7:00 PM

Nashville

Chicago

8:00 PM

Calgary

Anaheim

10:30 PM

 

* = No Back end of back to back. 

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Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)

Centers

Ryan Getzlaf – $6700 – ANA vs CGY

Getzlaf is a chalky play in cash and even in some GPP formats just because most will concentrate on the fact that the center has a good match-up against a team that does not do well against Anaheim’s top line and power play threat. He has six assists in five games this season against the Flames and has had quite a few high danger chances. Nicklas Backstrom is in play but expect him to be highly owned. Even Auston Matthews will be a chalky contrarian play. People will want to see what he can do on the bigger stage.

Tyler Bozak — $4500 – TOR vs WSH

Bozak is a nice GPP play and cash option against Washington. While most will be on Auston Matthews and rightfully so, Bozak is a mid-priced center that can get some results. He has ability to produce in the playoffs. Here is the thing. The center’s line will give as good as they get. This allows one exposure to James Van Riemsdyk and Mitchell Marner. With less games, there are less options. The contrarian options dwindle as well.

Lars Eller — $3400 – WSH vs TOR

Eller is a value GPP play on Thursday especially at his price. This third Capitals line is built for the playoffs and now we just have to wait and see if this translates to the second season. The Eller trio could be matched up against the Bozak line. Keep an eye out for that. There is risk in the sense that he does not see power play time in abundance but again it is the playoffs.

 

Wingers

Patrick Kane — $7900 – CHI vs NSH

Kane is a very chalky play in tournaments. He has nine points in five meetings against Nashville this year. These games often take a life of their own. Chicago is going to want to come out with a ton of pace and that is what Nashville is vulnerable with. The game projects out at over six goals combined and it is figured that Kane will play a role. It is vital to stack with pieces that take the sting out of Kane’s price. Only Alex Ovechkin may be higher owned on this night.

Viktor Arvidsson– $6500 – NSH vs CHI

Arvidsson will be a moderate risk GPP play on against Chicago because of his price. However, he has three goals in four meetings against Chicago on 13 shots. Eight of those 13 shots were medium or high danger chances. His speed could be a major problem at times against a Blackhawks defense that will give up some opportunities. It will be a temptation to game stack this contest but the key is again to arrange the pieces right. Do not spend just to spend. Marcus Johansson is a good pivot for power play stacking if one goes the Washington route. Even James Neal could be plausible on this night because of again the likelihood of higher event hockey.             

Andre Burakovsky — $4000 – WSH vs TOR

Burakovsky is going to be a little higher owned in tournaments than expected simply because people will take a shot on him for his value play alone. The Capitals know they have a big match-up advantage here with their third line. It is just a matter of execution. Brett Connolly may be with him as well which could make for a good mini stack. There will be lots of money spent elsewhere.

Kris Versteeg – CGY vs ANA – $3600

Let’s get dangerous with a higher risk GPP pick here. Anaheim has dominated Calgary for what feels like since the stone ages. However, the winger had been red hot going into the playoffs with ten points in his last ten games on 26 shots. Anaheim does give up a lot of unblocked shot attempts especially on the power play. They do leave a lot for their goalies to clean up. It is why Versteeg may be highly sought after tonight. He plays a little less than 15 minutes per night but the winger is placed into situations where he can attack.

 

Defensemen

Kevin Shattenkirk – WSH vs TOR – $6100

 

Shattenkirk is a highly owned GPP play tonight against Toronto with more point upside. He can play an all attack role plus with ease. Shattenkirk has eight points in his last nine games with good shot volume. Toronto just offers a great match-up that makes him the play of the night. Toronto’s penalty kill had looked shaky in the last 15 games of the season. Opportunities seemed easier and they were giving up shots from the point at an alarming rate.

 

Hampus Lindholm – ANA vs CGY- $3500

 

Lindholm sits at a nice price in cash and tournament games tonight. That alone will bump up his value because of a decent floor and match-up. He has six points in his last nine games but his floor lately push his average to value alone. Calgary has struggled enough defensively of late to make him an easy option on and his ownership should be low enough because most have not stumbled onto him. Some plays in this price range (err pivots) may include Sami Vatanen and Ryan Ellis as contrarian choices.

 

Roman Polak – TOR vs WSH – $3100

 

Do not laugh! Polak makes for a punt play because of his floor. Add in the bonus of four assists in his last eight games and guys like the Toronto defenseman have usage for better or for worse. He will get picked on extensively by Washington’s offense but that will lead to blocked shots. Polak has been averaging nearly two shots on net a game too. The Toronto player does have a nagging lower body injury but all signs seem to point to the fact that he is at or close to 100%. Just make sure he starts. Brandon Montour is another excellent punt play at this price range.

 

 

Goalies

John Gibson – ANA vs CGY – $7900

Gibson is a moderate GPP and cash play going up against a Calgary team that has some speed and can play with some edge. The goalie had two excellent starts to end the regular season. One concern will be rust as he has not played in a week. That is the problem with teams that rested. They get the extra day to boot because of schedule and practice only does so much. Despite his excellent numbers, Calgary also comes in with nothing to lose. The first period will be vital and expect the Anaheim goalie to be tested early in this one.

 

Birthday Shots

The birthday contrarian play is Brian Elliott by the way. Our birthday forward of the night is Richard Panik. The defensive special is John Carlson.     

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If for whatever reason, you are a little queasy on Gibson then pivot to Holtby. No one is sure on Corey Crawford which could make him the high risk/high reward player of the night. This is the type of slate where risk could be rewarded with the right mix of chalk plays. Watch out for any late changes.

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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…the second night of the playoffs.