Another big slate of hockey tonight for my GPP Breakdown. We’ve got 10 games, including a projected shootout in Tampa, a big divisional matchup in Pittsburgh and a rekindling of a nearly 25-year-old rivalry in Denver.
No strategy sessions on these big slates, so let’s get right to the overview…
*all times are in EST
CAROLINA HURRICANES @ BOSTON BRUINS
- 7:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Boston 56% | Total: 5.5
Both top lines here are possession hogs. Too often this results in essentially canceling one another out at 5v5. Fun fact: In over 75 minutes together on home ice, the Bruins haven’t allowed a single even-strength goal against with Marchand/Bergeron/Heinen on the ice. Both team’s PK units are ranked in the top-5 since February 1. There are too many options on this slate to get cute using either of these team’s top lines.
Carolina’s second line is only generating 48.8 shot attempts per 60 minutes thus far. Even though they’re scoring at a rate of 6.8 GF/60, I don’t think I’m going to go here either. Boston’s depth is solid, and that number simply can’t hold up when you’re only shooting the puck at a rate of 25.8 SOG/60.
It seems as if Boston’s second line will see a lot of Carolina’s third – which, again, seems like a situation with two dominant possession lines that are probably more likely to cancel one another out. After examining the numbers and matchups in this one, that 5.5 O/U starts to make a lot of sense. Carolina still leads the league in SOG/game, so Jaroslav Halak has a lot of upside tonight. He’s one of my favorite options in goal.
Favorite Goalie: G Jaroslav Halak (BOS)
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS
- 7:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Columbus 69% | Total: 6.5
We have a lot of unknowns, as it relates to both teams’ lineups heading into tonight’s game. Nico Hischier and Sami Vatanen are out tonight, pushing the Devils lineup a couple steps closer to being a legit AHL squad. Columbus head coach John Tortorella blendered his lines multiple times on Sunday night, so there’s no telling what the Jackets lineup will look like tonight. He did say that he was happy with the way his team played towards the end of the Winnipeg game, so I’m going to assume he keeps his line combinations the same way they were for the third period of that game. This means we go back to Duchene centering Panarin and Atkinson. Why Tortorella continues to feel the need to split up one of the most dynamic lines in the league – I have no idea. The numbers haven’t looked nearly as good with Duchene on L1, as the team has managed just a single 5v5 goal in nearly 40 minutes with those three on the ice. Still, this Devils team is atrocious, so you need to consider this line. They’ll be very chalky – especially if DailyFaceoff.com updates their line to reflect Duchene on L1, which I fully expect them to do. If for some reason they don’t make that change, I think there will be some edge to having a CBJ1 lineup with Duchene at C, as most DFS players won’t bother to dig into a beat writer’s column to find the expected lines. Zach Werenski will fully correlate with the top line – playing with them at 5v5, as well as the top PP unit. Consider him a must-add.
The Devils top line will feature Travis Zajac centering Bratt and Stafford. Next up – Blake Coleman in between Agostino and Lappin. McLeod/Pietila/Anderson and Noesen/Rooney/Gabriel round out the forward lines for New Jersey (yes, these are real players). I REALLY, REALLY wish the Blue Jackets lines weren’t complete garbage. I honestly don’t know what to do with this game. In MME, it’s easy, have some exposure to all four lines. For single or even 3-entry max contests – I don’t know. I’d say the top line is probably in a good spot, but I’m not eating the chalk with a single lineup on a 10-game slate. If DFO fails to get the lines updated throughout the day, then yes, go with CBJ1. Otherwise, I’m not sure I trust any of these Blue Jackets lines. Just on matchup alone, I can get behind Dubois/Bjorkstrand/Dzingel. Dubois and Bjorkstrand have had some success together (4.8 GF/60 in 100 minutes TOI), and I’d tentatively expect them to face New Jersey’s bottom-six forwards and bottom defensive pair.
Favorite Stacks: CBJ1 – Duchene/Panarin/Atkinson/Werenski; CBJ2 – Dubois/Bjorkstrand/Dzingel
OTTAWA SENATORS @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS
- 7:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: NY Islanders 73% | Total: 6
Ottawa won their first game in over two weeks on Sunday…way to go Panthers! The Islanders are on home ice and have now lost five of their last seven. Back-to-back games against Ottawa seems like a solid opportunity for them to get back on track, though. I’ll preface this whole breakdown by saying that you need to check pre-game lines if you’re getting Isles exposure. There is a stomach bug going around the locker room, and there’s been some emergency recalls made (Dal Colle and Ho-Sang). I repeat – be sure you check pre-game lines for the Islanders tonight!
If there was ever a spot to get some exposure to Mathew Barzal – it would be here. He has just 1 goal in his last 12 games – shooting just 4.35%. His career shot percentage is 12.4%, so there is some positive regression coming soon. Over those 12 games, Barzal leads the team in both shot attempts and scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5v5, by a country mile. He’s third on the team in SOG/60, so the chances are there. He had 2 goals and an assist in his first game against the Sens back on December 28 – what better time to break the funk? I really like using Ryan Pulock in GPP’s. The kid has an incredible shot, piles up shots and blocks, and gets a ton of ice time for the Isles. He correlates at 5v5 with NYI2, as well as getting PP time with Bailey and Beauvillier. Not a must-add, but he’s a nice piece if you’ve got room.
The other line I really like here is Cizikas/Clutterbuck. This line doesn’t get a ton of ice time, but they make the most of it – Cizikas actually leads the team in goals per 60 minutes, and it’s not even close. Anders Lee’s 1.2 goals/60 is the closest any player comes to the 2 goals/60 that Cizikas averages. They’re both extremely affordable, and allow you to pay up for some of the higher priced stacks on this slate. One last note, Johnston is a guy I don’t think you need to include here – I prefer the two-man mini-stack.
Regarding the Nelson line, they’ve been busy playing shut-down duty, and I don’t think that White/Tkachuk are THAT bad defensively, so I probably won’t have much exposure to NYI1 tonight…and I don’t think I need to tell you NOT to play Sens against the Islanders.
Favorite Stacks: NYI2 – Barzal/Bailey/Beauvillier (Pulock optional); NYI4 – Cizikas/Clutterbuck (Johnston optional)
FLORIDA PANTHERS @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- 7:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Pittsburgh 63% | Total: 6.5
The Panthers have lost four straight, and face a stiff test against the Penguins tonight – in Pittsburgh. In 10 minutes of ice time together last game, the Penguins scored 3 even strength goals with Crosby/Guentzel/McCann on the ice together – and this came against a pretty good defensive line. Dadonov is back on the Panthers top line, which makes this a little bit tougher for PIT1 than it would’ve been had Hoffman still been up there – but I will still have some exposure, in hopes that the magic from Saturday night continues.
Malkin and Kessel are always a threat to put up multiple goals, as well, but if they see much of their ice time against FLA2, I don’t have as much interest there. Florida’s PK ranks in the top-10, so I don’t want to force PIT2 in there for PP upside, either. I think I’m sticking to a small amount of PIT1 here. Justin Schultz and/or Jack Johnson make fine add-ons. Schultz, of course, gives you the PP1 correlation, but Johnson is a minutes-hog with Letang out of the lineup, and he’s still super cheap.
Pittsburgh allows the fifth-most shots per game league wide, and Florida ranks fifth in SOG/game, so I will have many shares of Matt Murray tonight.
Favorite Stack/Goalie: PIT1 – Crosby/Guentzel/McCann (Schultz and/or Johnson optional); G Matt Murray (PIT)
WINNIPEG JETS @ TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
- 7:35pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Tampa Bay 64% | Total: 7
A big projected total here, with the implied final score being 4-3 Tampa. We aren’t going to see much line matching from the Lightning, but there is still a lot to like in this one. In the past month, the Winnipeg penalty kill ranks 29th in the league, killing just 71.1% of their opponent’s power-play chances. With one of the top power plays in the league, I’m going to want a lot of exposure to Tampa’s PP1 guys – chalk be damned.
With Patrik Laine on the Jets top line, they’re giving up 5.3 goals against per 60 minutes with WPG1 on the ice. WPG2 has been decent defensively with Hayes at center, but it’s a very small sample. In a larger sample with only Connor and Ehlers together, though, the team is allowing 4.3 GA/60. WPG3 is allowing 4.7 GA/60 thus far – another small sample, but still.
I’m not terribly interested in TB1 stacks, outside of the power play guys. They’re scoring at a rate of under 1 goal per 60 in their last 85 minutes together at 5v5. To be honest, I’m not very interested in full TB2 stacks, either. In THEIR last 82 minutes on home ice together, Kucherov/Point/Johnson have scored just 2 goals. By comparison, TB3 is scoring at a rate of 4.7 goals for per 60 minutes when together on home ice. As usual, I will have TB3 exposure again. They’re one of, if not my favorite value stack in the entire league.
For the big guns though, I am really just interested in stacking the PP guys together. On FD, this could be Stamkos/Kucherov/Point/Hedman with some value worked into the rest of your lineup. The full 5-man PP1 stack works on DK, perhaps with the NYI4 mini-stack worked in to make everything fit. I think the Lightning will score goals tonight, I’m just not sure I can trust their even strength lines to do most of that scoring.
Vasilevskiy is one of the best in the game and should see a load of shots tonight. His ownership should be on the low side due to the high total, but I don’t mind taking a shot with him in GPP’s tonight.
Favorite Stacks/Goalie: TB PP1 – Stamkos/Kucherov/Point/Palat/Hedman; TB3 – Cirelli/Killorn/Miller; G Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB)
MINNESOTA WILD @ NASHVILLE PREDATORS
- 8:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Nashville 63% | Total: 5.5
I am a huge fan of the Preds top line, but they should be hard-matched against the Staal line tonight, and MIN1 just isn’t allowing anything – just 54.2 shot attempts, 28.3 shots and 24.3 chances against per 60 on the road. More importantly, the home team has scored just 1 even strength goal in 76+ minutes with Staal/Zucker/Greenway on the ice in away games. Considering the Nashville power play ranks 29th in the NHL since February 1 – converting just 9.8% of the time – I can’t justify paying up for them here.
I’m not a narrative guy, but Mikael Granlund has looked really good in Nashville yellow, and if last game with his new linemates was any indication, he’s going to be scoring a lot in the near future. In just 8 minutes and 43 seconds together, Turris/Granlund/Smith racked up 14 shot attempts, 10 shots on goal, 6 scoring chances, and 5 of those were of the high danger variety. It was an incredible game for NSH2, despite the line not getting onto the score sheet against the Wild in their first meeting of the back-to-back on Sunday.
The Preds had 43 shots on goal on Sunday, so if you choose not to use any Preds in your lineup, Devan Dubnyk makes a lot of sense – huge upside there if we see another low scoring game.
Favorite Stack/Goalie: NSH2 – Turris/Granlund/Smith (Subban and/or Ekholm optional); G Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
NEW YORK RANGERS @ DALLAS STARS
- 8:35pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Dallas 64% | Total: 6
Alex Radulov is out tonight, leaving the Stars forward lines looking awfully thin. Faksa’s line will likely hard-match NYR1 – a tough match for the away team. I wish DAL3 was a little better because NYR1 is controlling just 43.7% of the Corsi share, allowing nearly 70 shot attempts per 60, 37.1 shots against, 31 chances and 17 high danger chances against per 60. More importantly, the Rangers are allowing over 6 goals against per 60 with Zibanejad/Vesey/Kreider on the ice together. I actually don’t mind a Janmark/Faksa mini-stack here as another option to pair with a TB PP1 lineup or other high-priced stacks.
This game scares me because I could see it being a shoot out, but it’s one of those instances where you have two really weak teams playing one another, so the scoring could come from literally anywhere. One would have to assume Jason Spezza gets PP1 time with Radulov out, so I don’t mind Benn and Spezza as another mini-stack option. They’ll see most of their even strength ice time against the Rangers bottom-six forwards. Joel L’Esperance was scoring at will at the AHL level – 29 goals in 50 games – but it hasn’t translated for the kid in the NHL, so I’ll probably leave him off if I need to.
Favorite Stacks: DAL2 – Benn/Spezza (L’Esperance optional); DAL3 – Faksa/Janmark (Comeau optional)
DETROIT RED WINGS @ COLORADO AVALANCHE
- 9:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Colorado 69% | Total: 6.5
This was my favorite rivalry in sports history between 1995-2000. These teams despised one another, and seeing their jerseys on the ice together certainly brings back all the memories or Claude Lemieux, Kris Draper, Patrick Roy, Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood, etc. Here’s a great video recapping the feud if you have 10 minutes to spare.
The game is much different these days, unfortunately. Fourth line enforcers have been replaced by fourth line grinders who score about 5 times per season…ah well.
The big three are back together for Colorado, and with Larkin/Mantha/Bertuzzi allowing 4.8 goals against per 60 minutes this season, I believe this to be the right spot to hammer COL1. The combination of a lack of recent results, and the numerous other chalky options on the slate tonight, should keep their ownership down to a reasonable level.
Both DET2 and DET3 have awful defensive numbers in limited samples, but it makes me like COL2 as another option in this one. They’re controlling 60.6% of the Corsi share, generating 69.3 shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5v5, including 34.8 SOG, 32.5 chances and 17.4 high dangers per 60 – scoring at a rate of 3.5 GF/60. I like the stack, but their salaries came way up since they were playing alongside Landeskog or Rantanen, and haven’t regressed yet. Therefore, they will be towards the bottom of my rankings, but you also have to consider how much this will affect ownership – they’ll have almost none.
Favorite Stacks: COL1 – MacKinnon/Landeskog/Rantanen; COL2 – Soderberg/Compher/Wilson
ANAHEIM DUCKS @ ARIZONA COYOTES
- 9:05pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Arizona 60% | Total: 5.5
The Coyotes will look to win their seventh straight game tonight, hosting the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf is back in the lineup for Anaheim, and I’m going to guess that he and Richardson cancel one another out tonight. The line I have the most interest in is Dvorak/Crouse/Archibald for the coyotes. In 11 minutes together on Saturday, the trio generated 20 shot attempts, 11 shots on goal, 9 scoring chances, 6 of them high dangers – and scored a goal. I’m assuming they get a lot of time against Adam Henrique’s line tonight, which has also played just one game together but ALLOWED similar numbers. Dvorak has been one of my favorite young kids to watch, and I’m excited to see him back in the lineup – so I’ll have some exposure there for value.
Otherwise, I’m not too interested in this game and it’s 5.5 O/U. Silfverberg tends to slow things down a bunch, so I’m not too keen on the Cousins line for Arizona. Neither team has much of a power play, and the game, in general, should be played at a pretty slow pace.
Favorite Stack: ARI2 – Dvorak/Crouse/Archibald
MONTREAL CANADIENS @ LOS ANGELES KINGS
- 10:35pm Faceoff
- Implied Odds: Montreal 56% | Total: 5.5
One more 5.5 O/U to close things up here. It’s a small sample of just 24:36, but the Kings have allowed 4 even strength goals in those 24 minutes with Kopitar/Toffoli/Brown on the ice. That line will match up with MON1 tonight, who is scoring at a rate of 4.4 GF/60 this season, while generating over 40 SOG/60, with 36.1 chances and 17.5 high danger chances per 60. MON1 is one of my favorite stacks here, despite the low total. Shea Weber provides full correlation to MON1 at 5v5, as well as PP1 time with Gallagher and Tatar.
More small samples, but Carter/Kovalchuk/Leipsic have allowed 2 goals at 5v5 in just 20 minutes together, while Domi/Shaw/Byron have scored once in 15 minutes. If you break it down, Domi and Shaw have skated together for 364 minutes this season, and the team is scoring 4.8 GF/60 with them on the ice together, while Domi and Byron have skated 136 minutes, and have a scoring rate of 3.1 GF/60. MON2 is in play here for me as well.
There is a big HOWEVER in all this, though. If you’re not playing any Habs, Jonathan Quick should be considered for GPP’s. After all, Vegas does put a 5.5 total on this game, and generally, they’re smarter than all of us are. Montreal is one of the fastest-paced teams in the league, and Quick is likely to see about 35 shots tonight, so he has the potential for a lot of upside tonight.
Favorite Stacks/Goalie: MON1 – Gallagher/Tatar/Weber (Danault optional); MON2 – Domi/Byron/Shaw; G Jonathan Quick (LA)
- COL1 – MacKinnon/Landeskog/Rantanen
- CBJ1 – Duchene/Panarin/Atkinson/Werenski
- TB PP1 – Stamkos/Kucherov/Point/Palat/Hedman
- PIT1 – Crosby/Guentzel/McCann (Schultz and/or Johnson optional)
- NSH2 – Turris/Granlund/Smith (Subban and/or Ekholm optional)
- MON1 – Gallagher/Tatar/Weber (Danault optional)
- NYI2 – Barzal/Bailey/Beauvillier (Pulock optional)
- CBJ2 – Dubois/Bjorkstrand/Dzingel
- MON2 – Domi/Byron/Shaw
- DAL2 – Benn/Spezza (L’Esperance optional)
- COL2 – Soderberg/Compher/Wilson
- NYI4 – Cizikas/Clutterbuck (Johnston optional)
- TB3 – Cirelli/Killorn/Miller
- ARI2 – Dvorak/Crouse/Archibald
- DAL3 – Faksa/Janmark (Comeau optional)
- Jaroslav Halak, BOS
- Devan Dubnyk, MIN
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB
- Jonathan Quick, LA