Today’s NHL Showdown Breakdown goes over Sunday’s Showdown contests featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers. Lineup lock is going to be 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT.
I’m not gonna lie, I am not a big showdown player, but our own Ryan Clifford is, and he has been able to outline six specific rules that we are implementing for Showdown. The rules are:
Rule #1 – No defensemen at CAPT (87.7% of optimals)
Rule #2 – Use a max of 1 goalie (86.2% of optimals)
Rule #3 – Set a minimum salary of $43,000 (86.2% of optimals)
Rule #4 – Remove third and fourth line forwards from CAPT pool (84.4% of optimals)
Rule #5 – Do not use any full-line stacks (95.4% of optimals)
Rule #6 – Use a max of 2 players from opposing team when using a goalie CAPT, and max 3 players from opposing team when using a UTIL goalie. (~92.8% of optimals)
Implied win percentage: 60%
There’s a lot of unknowns here because this will be our first time watching the Panthers in action. They were scheduled to face the Stars to kick off the season, but due to COVID issues in Dallas, both of those games were postponed. There have been some MAJOR chances in Sunrise, and that starts with the loss of Evgenii Dadonov, who was a mainstay on the Panthers top power-play unit.
As of right now, Barkov and Huberdeau are split up, and they’re both on lines with some new fresh new faces (not necessarily new to the NHL). Barkov will be centering Verhaeghe (former Lightning bottom six-er) and Anthony Duclair (who had a breakout season last year), while Huberdeau will be playing left-wing on a line with Patric Hornqvist while being centered by Alexander Wennberg. While Hornqvist is getting up there in age, Wennberg is surprisingly only 26 years old even though he has regressed over the last few seasons to the point where my mind was suggesting he was probably in his mid-30’s.
I think a low-key play for today’s game will be targeting some of the Panthers bottom six players, as they will likely be very low owned, yet they have some upside considering Coach Q does like to roll four lines whenever he has 12 competent bodies available. My preference would be to do something with Noel Acciari, who had an amazing 2019-20 campaign, where he somehow went 20-7-27 in an increased role compared to what he was doing in Boston.
For the Hawks, we were able to get a glimpse of the 2021 of the Chicago Blackhawks through their two rough outings against the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions. Are they really this bad? Probably not. But there wasn’t much from those first few games that felt too promising. Obviously, one major absence from their lineup is Jonathan Toews, who is out due to an unknown medical issue. But another one is Kirby Dach, who hurt his wrist during an exhibition at the WJC.
I would imagine that there’s a reasonable chance that the Hawks will be changing up some of their lines, so I definitely recommend checking the Twitter beat writers for lineup information. Kane and DeBrincat took a few shifts with Pius Suter in Game 2, so keep that in mind as well.
Defensively, both games were more of the same, but offensively, we definitely saw more of a spark from the Hawks in Game 2. Offensively, Patrick Kane was able to hold his own against a tough Lightning defense, and that’s not surprising because he tends to produce against the NHL’s best. I think rolling with a heavy dose of CHI1 exposure is probably the right move, but I wouldn’t overlook the Hawks depth guys either, considering they have shown that they are at least capable of generating scoring chances. Philipp Kurashev is a guy who I would imagine has less than 1% ownership, yet, I feel he has a reasonable shot at producing a cheap point or two. But that’s definitely pushing it. The more responsible leverage play would be Dominik Kubalik, who has already proven that he belongs in the NHL, and will be overlooked since he not on the top power-play unit, and likely won’t play with Kane.
I’m not sure if you you took 12 defensemen from any two other teams in the NHL, they’d be this boring, but there’s definitely viable targets to consider.
One big mystery at the time of my writing is the status of Keith Yandle. Apparently, based on previous practices, Yandle was the odd man out, which may put his Iron Man streak in jeopardy. Take Yandle out of the mix, then we have a situation where former #1 Overall Pick Aaron Ekblad may be the likeliest of all the Panthers to take over the point on the top power-play unit.
For the Hawks, it has been awhile since we’ve seen Adam Boqvist do anything of fantasy relevance (honestly, I feel his only contribution to DFS NHL was a crazy PRESEASON game last season), but he is currently the PP1 quarterback and SHOULD be able to do much more than what we’ve seen. I don’t know if I’m going to have too much exposure to him, but if you are playing anyone on the Hawks PP, you probably need to strongly consider him.
Small sample size here, but I think both Hawks goalies are atrocious. The bright side of this is that I am someone who believes that even though it may appear that a goalie is atrocious, they are NHL goalies for a reason, and they can easily still having monstrous fantasy games regardless of their skill. Yes, if we are comparing guys like Collin Delia and, well, Jonathan Quick at this point of his career with Andrei Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck, then yes, there’s obviously a skill gap where you can say these goalies are Vezina candidates, and these goalies aren’t, but in the grand scheme of things, you place either one of them on teams with good defenses with scoring help, they’ll be okay.
So yes, regardless if it’s Delia or Subban, I am going to have exposure to them; however, I do think that Chris Driedger, who will be in between the pipes due to an injury to Sergei Bobrovsky, is likely the better play from a floor and upside perspective.
Captain Pool: Kane, Debrincat, Strome (CHI); Driedger, Barkov, Duclair, Huberdeau, Hornqvist (FLA)
*it should be noted that Duclair is $2000. Hornqvist $2600. LOL
Favorite Mini-Stacks: Kane/Debrincat, Kubalik/Kurashev (CHI); Barkov/Duclair, Huberdeau/Hornqvist, Acciari/Connolly
Favorite One-Offs: Kane, Debrincat, Strome, Kubalik, Kurashev, Carpenter, Keith, Boqvist (CHI); Barkov, Duclair, Huberdeau, Hornqivst, Vatrano, Acciari, Connolly, Ekblad, Weegar, Gudas, Forsling