NHL Power Plays 4/12/2018

It’s playoff time, baby!

The best time of the year for hockey fans is here. With the postseason arriving, though, it’s important to note how much things can change, or very much stay the same:

  • Goalies that don’t have a lock on the starting role like Philipp Grubauer or Keith Kinkaid will be pulled at the first sign of trouble. If the Caps or Devils get down 2-0 early, you could see the goalie replaced quickly whereas in the regular season they would try to give the other netminder some rest. Philadelphia last night notwithstanding.
  • Coaches will rely on their top guys a lot more. In last year’s postseason, Patrice Bergeron played three more minutes per game than in the regular season; Connor McDavid played about a minute and a half more; Ryan Johansen nearly two minutes more. Sure, longer overtimes are part of this, but consider that these guys’ teammates like Tim Schaller, Zack Kassian, and Austin Watson all saw increases under 90 seconds compared to the regular season, and you can see that even in lengthy games, the ice time increase for the top guys often outpaces everyone else.
  • As for something that doesn’t change as we think it should, Garret Hohl at Hockey Graphs found that penalties called per 60 minutes at five-on-five don’t decrease in the postseason. In fact, there’s a slight increase. Don’t discount guys on the power play with the expectation of fewer power plays. That just isn’t the case.

Playoffs also mean smaller slates. Thursday is as big as it’s going to get with five games. Some will be three. Later rounds will be even less. Because of this, I’m going to do something a bit different. Normally I would provide one player at each position to target and one player at each position for pricing discrepancies. Fewer games means fewer pricing discrepancies and even if they do exist, it’s not necessarily a good idea to target them.

For this playoff slate, I’m going to go over a few players whose values stand out but also provide a couple of (expected) low-ownership stacks.

Let’s not waste anymore time.

 

Center

Alex Wennberg – CBJ at WSH

DraftKings – $4,100

FanDuel – $4,700

The huge issue with Wennberg is that he doesn’t shoot the puck. He’s basically Joe Thornton-lite. He averages an assist every two games – going back a few years – but he doesn’t shoot at all. In fact, his shots per game have declined each of the last two years.

However


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