Game five of the Western Conference finals will be in San Jose this afternoon. Here’s a look at some of my favorite options for Showdown contests today.
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 team’s 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 @ SAN JOSE SHARKS (3:05pm Faceoff)
Game Five (Series tied 2-2)
Implied Odds: San Jose 53% | Total: 5.5
The series shifts back to San Jose, which means Couture and Meier become my favorite two-man stack once again. The Sharks controlled 69.1% of the Corsi share in games 1 & 2 with Couture and Meier on the ice together (5v5), generating an average of 79.2 attempts per 60 minutes, and scoring thrice – in just 22 minutes.
For mini-stack purposes, I still want some lineups with Schwartz/Tarasenko. Those two spend about 24 minutes together at even strength in games 1 & 2 in San Jose, and in that time, the Blues scored twice, and had six high danger scoring chances. It’s quite easy to see how much of a threat they are together just by watching a few shifts. Schenn is a decent player, but hasn’t been producing at all – I haven’t even bothered to include him in my one-off player pool, and haven’t missed him a bit.
I am not as high on the Hertl line on home ice in this series, as they’re matching up with the O’Reilly line, which has resulted in some extremely low-event hockey. Hertl and Kane spent 27 minutes together on home ice in games 1 & 2, and the Sharks managed just 3 (!) shots on goal in that time. That’s outstandingly bad, and the rest of their possession numbers have been low across the board, as well.
As you can see, I’ll be using a lot of one-offs, and a lot of defensemen in lineups today. One more note – keep an eye on Erik Karlsson, who seemed to be bothered with an injury of some type in game four. There’s been no confirmation as to whether or not he’ll play today.
Favorite Mini-Stacks: STL – Tarasenko/Schwartz; SJ – Couture/Meier
One-Off Player Pool: SJ – Jones, Burns, E. Karlsson (make sure he’s playing), Vlasic, Couture, Hertl, Meier, Pavelski; STL – Binnington, Pietrangelo, Edmundson, Bozak, Tarasenko, Schwartz, Perron, Maroon