NHL Power Plays – 5/7/17         

Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight features two games. It is like a present in many ways. Game four of the second round sometimes has just an edge about it that borders on pure hate. The games are spread out (3:00 and 7:00). Let’s get cracking on this edition of NHL Power Plays as the West takes center stage. It’s time for the capsule.

The Series Capsules

St. Louis vs. Nashville

Game five was a subtle momentum shift. St. Louis played the line but did not cross it nearly as often as Nashville did. As a result, the Blues staved off elimination and keep the Predators on their heels at the same time. St. Louis must be disciplined for at least 60 minutes and maybe more. They gave up one goal on their penalty kill as it was. That turned out to be the only one St. Louis allowed.

Nashville will still be popular this afternoon but will it be the top line? They have hardly been visible for most of the series. Viktor Arvidsson and company have been creating chances but Jake Allen has found ways to stop them. It has been players like James Neal and Ryan Ellis who have been St. Louis’ biggest thorns. There will be a spotlight on Roman Josi, who looked lost at times in Game 5 defensively (especially in the third period). Nashville has to get something from its top lines. St. Louis at least is getting that in this series at times.

Edmonton vs. Anaheim

Edmonton is a case that is baffling. They are down 3-2 and blew a 3-0 lead that left most people in disbelief. The Oilers allowed three empty net goals. Yes, they were down to five defensemen but let that last sentence sink in. Corey Perry scored in the second overtime to put them on the brink. It is a question of what do the Oilers have left? Can the depth of Edmonton bounce back? Has anyone seen Jordan Eberle for that matter?

Anaheim has dominated most parts of this series – especially at even strength. Yet, their hold on the series is tenuous at best because of who they are playing. Edmonton is a wildcard in all of this. Ryan Getzlaf has been a wrecking crew throughout. The Oilers have few answers, if any, for him. For 56 minutes, they held him down. Then Getzlaf scored and the rest was history. It looks like Patrick Eaves may be out again. However, Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg, and Corey Perry can handle the load late in the series against a young team. Both goalies have been severely tested but Cam Talbot has been through the ringer more. He stopped 60 shots late Friday night. Can Talbot save Edmonton one more time? The Oilers must come out with a more balanced effort or tonight will be more of the same. Let’s get to the schedule.

One quick final note is key. Potential elimination games tend to be tighter for obvious reasons but the later game may buck that trend a bit. There is so much uncertainty with the Edmonton-Anaheim game. Anything could happen at any time.

 

The Schedule — Sunday, May 7, 2017

AwayHomeTime (ET)
St. LouisNashville3:00 PM
AnaheimEdmonton7:00 PM

 

* = No back end of back to back.

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Quick Plays (DraftKings pricing is used)

Centers

Ryan Getzlaf – $7500 – ANA vs EDM

Getzlaf is the biggest chalk play in cash and GPP formats just because he is the hottest player in the playoffs right now. Consider that he has 18 points in his last ten games. Also consider that he is the show for the Ducks and Edmonton has few answers. With his eight shot outburst in Game 5, the center is averaging three shots a game over the last ten contests. He must shoot the puck more to be successful. This has resulted in some lights out numbers that would make Connor McDavid jealous. Getzlaf creates so much space for others. McDavid is the other higher tier play and then it is about finding value.

Mark Letestu — $3900 – EDM vs ANA

Letestu is a higher risk GPP play and cash option against Anaheim. The idea that the center has been very good on the man advantage against a bad penalty kill is encouraging. Anaheim has allowed 11 power play goals in this postseason and is number one in the league in unblocked shot attempts yielded. The forward has been a bit up and down as far as production but does have 11 blocks in his last nine contests. That adds a bit of a floor. All four goals Letestu has in the last ten games have been on the man advantage by the way. Paul Stastny is a good contrarian play and Mike Fisher is a higher risk option on Sunday.

 

Wingers

Viktor Arvidsson — $6400 – NSH vs STL

Arvidsson is again a dicey play in tournaments. He has shots and scoring chances galore and Leon Draisaitl along with Jakob Silfverberg make nice alternatives considering the price. The Nashville winger is a bit cold in this second round when it comes to the bottom line. However, opportunities have been there. When does this line finally strike? The projections are there and the advanced stats even seem to indicate it. This forward is an energizer bunny. If Arvidsson just is a little more calm with the puck, maybe the production finally happens.

Patrick Maroon — $5000 – EDM vs ANA

Maroon will be a moderate risk GPP play against Anaheim because he showed some nice flashes in this series but Game 5 saw some weird bounces not go his way. He had four shots on goal and three scoring chances. The winger had a point in every other game against the Ducks though so the expectation is that he may strike once more. Edmonton will have all the urgency and Maroon can play with speed. That has hurt the Ducks in this series. The problem is sustaining that pace which is something Anaheim has been able to do. Edmonton needs that in Game 6 and they need it from guys like Maroon.

Vladimir Sobotka – STL vs NSH- $3900

Let’s ride this intriguing GPP and cash play here as Sobotka has hit value in four of the last six games. The forward has six points in his last nine games but on low shot volume which does add some risk factor. Contrarian plays like David Perron are possible because the thought is St. Louis could score a goal, maybe even two. His skill is there and at least assist potential is moderate especially if he sees a little bit of time with Vladimir Tarasenko. Expect the unexpected on a slate like this.

 

Defensemen

Ryan Ellis – NSH vs STL – $5600

 

Ellis is an almost chalky play on Sunday against St. Louis because of his floor and production in these playoffs. He has points in seven of the last eight contests and has an excellent floor (over three blocks a game and nearly 2.5 shots per night). Josi might be less chalky just because he has been so iffy lately. St. Louis has not been able to stop Ellis and his rushes up the ice for the most part. Game 5 might have been a bit of an aberration considering how poorly Nashville played (22 shots on goal). The early pace may be a benefit for Ellis. Keep that in mind.

 

Shea Theodore – ANA vs EDM- $3800

 

Theodore is a safer pick on Sunday given the volatility of what the value plays represent. He has exceeded value over eight of his last ten games! He has eight points in that span on three goals and good shot and block volume. More importantly, Randy Carlyle is trusting him with more offensive zone minutes and he is producing well. His overall ice time is only around 18.5-19 minutes a night in the playoffs but his impact so far has been worth his low price. Brandon Montour could be used again in a punt role. The key is his floor goes up on the road where he has exceeded value so far this round. Anaheim should have to block more shots but they will get chances too.

 

 

Goalies

John Gibson – ANA vs EDM – $7500

Gibson is a high risk play for GPP and cash on Wednesday given this short slate. The goalie has not played bad but the feeling is he could get a confidence boost from the Game 5 win. That may be a benefit because, at times, the Anaheim goalie looked bored. He showed against Calgary that he could handle the increased load. Anaheim is up 3-2 in the series. Edmonton is a young team and projections suggest a bit of a correction tonight. However, risk is quite elevated because shot volume can be erratic with the Oilers. Jake Allen is another contrarian play and is a viable option if Nashville pushes pace. Gibson was great from the third period on in that fifth game.

 

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If for whatever reason, you are a little queasy on Gibson then pivot to Rinne perhaps for a safer pick. This is the type of slate where risk could be rewarded with the right mix of chalk plays. Watch out for any late changes. Line shifts are very possible later. Keep that in mind.

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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.