HIGH KEY STACKS
CGY1: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm
Possible add-on: Mark Giordano
Though they slowed down a little bit over the last couple months, Calgary’s top line was still one of the league’s elite this season on aggregate. They controlled nearly 54.1% of the shot attempts, 52.6% of the chances, and out-scored opponents 52-35 at 5v5. At home, they don’t have to worry about matching up against Nathan MacKinnon’s line or Colorado’s shutdown pairing. It just so happens the Avalanche take more penalties than any team in the league, and the Flames are near the top of the league in drawing calls, so they *should* have the opportunity to do some damage on the power play as well. Philipp Grubauer’s played lights out, and that’s a little worrisome, but this is a really good spot and there isn’t a ton to choose from with just three games.
BOS1: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak
Possible add-on: Torey Krug
I think Toronto’s defensive issues are a little overblown, however, I still have interest in arguably the league’s best line – especially at home, where they draw a sneaky matchup against John Tavares’ line. It’s a handful to defend against, no doubt, but Zach Hyman, John Tavares and Mitch Marner give a lot of the offense they generate back at the other end. On the year, they allow 61.4 attempts and 28.9 chances per 60 minutes of 5v5 play. BOS1 will get some chances against them, and they certainly have the talent to capitalize.
MID KEY STACKS
CAR1: Nino Niederreiter, Sebastian Aho, Justin Williams
Possible add-on: Justin Faulk
This line has been nothing short of spectacular since Day 1. In better than 440 minutes together, they’ve controlled an absurd 59.1% of the attempts, 58.4% of the chances, and 61.0% of the goals. They’re essentially matchup proof at 5v5, they’re fully correlated on the power play, and I don’t think they’ll carry much ownership. I really like this line.
WSH2: Carl Hagelin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie
Possible add-on: John Carlson (correlates with Kuznetsov and Oshie on PP1)
This line hasn’t spent much time together so it’s hard to say just how effective it will be. What’s attractive to me is the mix of talent (Kuznetsov and Oshie are really good), opportunity (those same two skate on the top power play), and matchups. I’m assuming Nicklas Backstrom, as he so often does, will draw the opposition’s top line, which means Kuznetsov and co. *shouldn’t* have to deal with the Aho line very often. If you like the Capitals side of things, this line is in a better 5v5 spot than Backstrom’s and I doubt they’ll carry anywhere close to the same level of ownership.
LOW KEY STACKS
COL2: Colin Wilson, Carl Soderberg, Mikko Rantanen
Possible add-on: Sam Girard (PP2 with Wilson, Soderberg)
We’re dealing with a small sample size but the early returns on this line have been encouraging. Through ~50 minutes together, they’ve controlled 55.8% of the attempts and 60% of the chances. They’ll avoid the 3M line, and Mark Giordano, at even-strength, Rantanen has exposure to the big boys on PP1, Wilson and Soderberg both play on PP2, and the Avs just so happen to lead the league in penalties drawn.
TOR3: Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri, William Nylander
Possible add-on: Jake Gardiner (PP2 with Marleau, Nylander)
With regards to playing well over a small-ish sample size, this is COL2 on steroids. In ~110 minutes together, they’ve controlled 62.4% of the attempts and 64.4% of the chances. Absolutely insane numbers. With Kadri and Nylander, two top-6 players on basically any team in the league, it’s no surprise they’ve been able to eat opponent’s depth guys alive. While Boston did make some moves to improve their depth at the deadline, I’m not scared of it and think TOR3 is capable of making some noise.
I always recommend correlating with a stack. Even more so tonight, with the games so hard to predict. The ‘safe plays’ – home favorites – aren’t even safe with Boston taking on an elite Toronto offense, Mike Smith being a sub .900 goaltender, and Braden Holtby going up against one of the league’s hottest teams. Factoring in price and expected ownership, Petr Mrazek might be my favorite play of the night.
Beyond names mentioned in stacks above, here are some values I like:
Derek Ryan (3.5 DK, 4.3 FD)
Lars Eller (3.3 DK, 4.4 FD)
Kasperi Kapanen (4.4 DK, 4.2 FD)
Michael Frolik (4.1 DK, 4.3 FD)
Andreas Johnson (4 DK 4.4 FD)
Alex Kerfoot (3.8 DK, 4.5 FD)
Karson Kuhlman (3 DK, 3.4 FD)
Rasmus Andersson (3.5 DK, 3.8 FD)
Nick Jensen (2.9 DK, 3.6 FD)
As always, sorted by price (DK first) not preference.
Patrice Bergeron (7.1 DK, 8.3 FD) – TOP PLAY
Auston Matthews (7 DK, 7.9 FD) –
Nathan MacKinnon (6.9 DK, 8.6 FD) – TOP PLAY
Mikael Backlund (5.3 DK, 5.7 FD)
Nazem Kadri (3.8 DK, 4.9 FD) – TOP PLAY
Lars Eller (3.3 DK, 4.4 FD)
Alex Ovechkin (7.6 DK, 9.1 FD) – TOP PLAY
David Pastrnak (7.3 DK, 8.4 FD – Marchand also very much in play but I lean towards Pasta
Johnny Gaudreau (6.8 DK, 8 FD) – prefer on DK
Gabriel Landeskog (6.6 DK, 7.4 FD)
Matthew Tkachuk (6.2 DK, 6.6 FD) – TOP PLAY
Mitch Marner (6 DK, 8.2 FD) – DK only
Mikko Rantanen (5.8 DK, 7.6 FD) – DK only
Justin Williams (4.9 DK, 5.5 FD)
William Nylander (4.5 DK, 5.2 FD)
Alex Kerfoot (3.8 DK, 4.5 FD) – TOP PLAY
Mark Giordano (6 DK, 7.2 FD) – TOP PLAY
John Carlson (5.7 DK, 6.7 FD)
Morgan Rielly (5.6 DK, 6.4 FD)
Tyson Barrie (5.4 DK, 6.3 FD)
Dougie Hamilton (5.2 DK, 6.2 FD) – TOP PLAY
Travis Hamonic (4.7 DK, 3.9 FD) – LOVE on FD
Charlie McAvoy (4.5 DK, 4.7 FD)
Ron Hainsey (3.4 DK, 3.7 FD) – *dies inside* I think his usage could go up a bit in the playoffs
Nikita Zadorov (3 DK, 3.6 FD) – prefer on DK
Brooks Orpik (2.5 DK, 3.5 FD) – Canes shoot a TON and he’s not shy about blocking/should see 18+ minutes
Braden Holtby (8.2 DK, 8.8 FD) – Even if he loses, the shot volume should give him a good floor
Mike Smith (8.1 DK, 8.3 FD) – Has played a bit better of late and is most likely to win
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com