The Leafs average 69.9 attempts, 36.8 chances, and 3.8 goals per 60 minutes with this line on the ice…
HIGH KEY STACKS
TOR1: Zach Hyman, John Tavares, Mitch Marner
Possible add-on: Morgan Rielly
I’ve played a lot of TOR2 of late, and have enjoyed some success, but I think it’s time to hop back on the TOR1 train. The Leafs average 69.9 attempts, 36.8 chances, and 3.8 goals per 60 minutes with this line on the ice. They’re one of the league’s best offensive trios, and tonight, they draw a fairly nice matchup. They should see plenty of the Jack Eichel line, which plays at a pretty high pace and can be leaky defensively. They’ll also draw Buffalo’s ‘matchup pairing’ (Rasmus Ristolainen and Zach Bogosian), one that happens to be worse defensively than the Rasmus Dahlin – Brandon Montour pairing TOR2 will likely see plenty of tonight.
VAN2: Josh Leivo, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser
Possible add-on: Alex Edler
Stacking against Ottawa is almost always a good strategy, and I don’t think tonight is an exception. While VAN2 did go quiet for a little bit, they appear to be heating up (Pettersson and Boeser have points in at least three consecutive games) and will have a great opportunity to keep it going in this one. Ottawa’s been a train wreck defensively all season long, and things are even worse now without Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, Thomas Chabot (injury) and co. in the mix. Over the last 10 games, no team in hockey has given up scoring chances at a higher rate than Ottawa. I have no doubt VAN2 will be able to create opportunities, and they certainly have the talent to capitalize. They’re also fully correlated on the top power play, which makes them even more attractive.
MID KEY STACKS
BUF1: Jeff Skinner, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart
Possible add-ons: Rasmus Dahlin (PP1), Rasmus Ristolainen (even-strength)
I think Buffalo’s top line also has a chance of doing some real damage tonight. They should see plenty of TOR1 which, while strong offensively, gives up a lot in their own end. I wouldn’t expect anything different tonight, especially with Toronto missing some key defensive personnel behind them in Jake Gardiner and Travis Dermott. Factor in the Leafs are on a road back-to-back, not to mention Frederik Andersen isn’t starting, and it’s pretty easy to be attracted to BUF1.
TB1: Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos, J.T. Miller
Possible add-on: Victor Hedman
TB2 is obviously the more talented line, and the trio is always in play, but I think TB1 is in a sneaky good spot. The better defensive line (Nicklas Backstrom’s) should see a lot of TB2, which means TB1 will likely see a good dose of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. They’re an extremely talented duo, of course, but the Capitals allow 61.57 attempts, 32.76 chances, and 16.81 high-danger looks per 60 with them on the ice. Those are really bad defensive numbers. TB1 has low-key been excellent at 5v5 (55.61 CF%, 66.67 GF%), two of the three skate on the top power play, they have a pretty good matchup, and I don’t imagine they’ll carry much ownership at all.
LOW KEY STACKS
OTT1: Brady Tkachuk, J.G. Pageau, Max Veronneau
Possible add-on: Christian Wolanin
This one is pretty simple. Brady Tkachuk is a high-end 5v5 chance generator and producer, Max Veronneau has piled up the shots at a high clip since signing (small sample size, I know), and J.G. Pageau is playing 18-20 minutes on a nightly basis. They are being given a ton of opportunity to produce and, though I prefer Vancouver’s side in this game, the Canucks are not exactly an elite defensive team you have to avoid stacking against in GPPs.
ANA1: Nick Ritchie, Ryan Getzlaf, Daniel Sprong
Possible add-on: No preferred play
This line does carry some risk because the Ducks are basically rolling lines. Though designated as the top unit, their ice time is all over the place. With that said, Getzlaf is heating up (eight points in his last 10), Sprong is a volume shooter who scores goals at a very efficient rate (playing with Getzlaf will only help), and Ritchie is a decent 3rd wheel who also happens to share the ice with Getzlaf on the power play. The Jets are looking the part of a paper tiger right now – they’ve controlled just 44% of the attempts and 45% of the chances over the last 10 games – so I’m not scared of playing against them.
As always, I recommend correlating. If you’re not, or are curious, here are my preferred plays for tonight’s slate:
- Jacob Markstrom
- Andrei Vasilevskiy
- Connor Hellebuyck
Regarding true GPP plays, Gibson is my preferred play but I can understand playing whoever starts for Buffalo. I would not pay up for Sparks (DK) in a B2B situation with the way the Leafs are defending.
The majority of the values I like are mentioned in stacks above. Beyond them, here are a few options:
Evan Rodrigues (3.7 DK, 4.1 FD) – Shooting the puck a ton right now and is a good bet to see 17+ minutes in a pace-up game against Toronto.
Tanner Pearson (3.3 DK, 3.3 FD) – Riding shotgun on the top line with Bo Horvat and has a dream matchup vs. the Senators. All it takes is a point to hit.
Tyler Myers (3.9 DK, 4.2 FD) – Very strong peripherally and skates on PP2, which is attractive against an undisciplined Ducks team.
Braydon Coburn (3.2 DK, 3.6 FD) – He ranks 29th among defenders in 5v5 attempts per 60. He loves to shoot. If he gets a couple extra minutes tonight or manages to pot one, he could put up a nice score for the price.