The stakes don’t get much higher. Boston and St. Louis will close out the 2018-19 NHL season tonight at the Garden.
We’ve got one more Showdown slate, so let’s close out the season’s ROI on a high note – here’s who I’ll be targeting tonight…
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RYAN’S RULES FOR BUILDING OPTIMAL NHL SHOWDOWN LINEUPS
RULE #1: Set minimum salary to $42,000, maximum to $50,000
RULE #2: Use at least 4 players for one team
RULE #3: Don’t play both teams’ goaltenders
RULE #4: Play no more than 2 defensemen
RULE #5: Do not full-stack any lines
RULE #6: No more than 1 mini-stack
RULE #7: Use only lines 1 & 2 when mini-stacking
RULE #8: Multi-enter whenever possible
ST. LOUIS BLUES @ BOSTON BRUINS
- 8:08pm Faceoff
- Game Seven (Series tied 3-3)
- Implied Odds: Boston 63% | Total: 5.5
There are still some books with tonight’s game at a 5.0 over/under, but most have jumped to 5.5. Anytime it’s under 5.5, I’m giving the goaltenders a bit more attention in my lineups. Throughout the series, the shot totals have been about even, with Boston averaging 29.8 SOG/game, and St. Louis with 29 per game. If you look at the three previous games in Boston, however, the Bruins shot total jumps to an average of 33.3 SOG/game, while St. Louis has averaged just 26 per game. All the being said, from a DFS standpoint, Jordan Binnington gives us more upside, he’s cheaper, and considering the betting odds, his ownership should be significantly lower, as well – that’s the GPP/game theory play for tonight. That being said, his GAA is somewhere near 4.00 for the series, and the Blues top line has all but disappeared in games 6 & 7 – this one won’t come easy. If you’re a St. Louis supporter looking for greener grass, you can take solace in the fact Boston has managed just four even-strength goals in three home games this series, and three of them have come from their fourth-liners. In the three home games, Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak have combined for just one goal (a Marchand empty-netter) and one assist. All things considered, this will be no walk in the park for the Bruins, either.
In most of my Binnington lineups, I’ll probably be tacking on the O’Reilly/Sanford mini-stack. These guys have been great since Sanford joined the lineup – he has three assists in his four games, while O’Reilly has piled up four goals and two assists in those four. Sanford also costs you just $4,200 on DK, which allows you to fit some other nice pieces into lineups.
I still like Tarasenko, too, but his linemates have let down here in this past week. Since his hat trick in game five against San Jose, Schwartz has just two assists in seven games, while averaging only 1.4 SOG/game. Schenn had a nice stretch early in the series but has zero points and only 2 SOG in his last two games. With the game in Boston, that top line is going to see a lot of McAvoy and Chara, so I’m not putting too many eggs into that basket tonight.
I’m not sure what Karson Kuhlman brings to the table exactly, but for some reason, the second line excels when he’s on the ice with them. Kuhlman/Krejci/DeBrusk spent almost 70 minutes together at 5v5 during the regular season, and in that time, the Bruins averaged 38.5 SOG per 60 minutes and scored eight goals – averaging 7 GF/60. In the playoffs, they’ve been on the ice together for 46:22, and the Bruins average 44 SOG/60 and 3.9 GF/60 in that time. DeBrusk has had a lot of power-play production, of late, and Kuhlman will cost you just $4,300 on DK – so that’s a mini-stack I’ll have some exposure to, in order to get away from the BOS1 chalk.
…and the BOS1 chalk is what we’ll talk about last. I don’t know if it’s the Parayko/Bouwmeester pair that spends so much time against them or some other factor, but this line is averaging just 19.1 SCF/60 and 6.4 HDCF/60 in this series. As I mentioned above, neither of these guys have been producing much – in six games: Bergeron 1G 3A, Marchand 2G 3A, Pastrnak 2G 2A. In the three games in Boston, it gets even gloomier for the Bruins top-three regular season point producers: Marchand has just one goal and no assists, Pastrnak has zero goals and one assist, while Bergeron has gone pointless. Now, I certainly don’t want to be the guy standing there with only my dick in my hand if these guys go ham in the most important game of the season – which seems likely – but I also don’t want to be spending nearly 50% of my salary cap on two of them, either – not with the way things have gone in this series. This is a tough fade, but I’m going to keep it to one-offs with the BOS1 guys.
Favorite Mini-Stacks: STL – O’Reilly/Sanford; BOS – DeBrusk/Kuhlman
One-Off Player Pool: STL – Binnington, Pietrangelo, Dunn, O’Reilly, Bozak, Tarasenko, Sanford; BOS – Rask, Krug, Chara, Bergeron, Coyle, Kuraly, Marchand, Pastrnak, DeBrusk, Kuhlman