Going On The Power Play: January 7th

“Going on the Power Play” is an article that will break down NHL DFS picks to target for their Power Play prowess, and some Punt Plays that look for players $4000 or under on DraftKings. You can find our NHL archives here

With the “Punt Plays” being either younger players or players that find themselves in good situations, it’s crucial to remember to check lineups. Any lineup changes will be mentioned on Twitter or in our subscriber group chat, and this article updated accordingly. Referee information updated once available, and courtesy of ScoutingTheRefs.com. Stats from Corsica.hockey, hockey-reference.com, hockeyviz.com and naturalstattrick.com.

Power Play Prowess


Marcus Johansson

LW – WAS – $4,900 on DraftKings, $5,200 on FanDuel:

As a team Washington is only clicking on the power play at 16.67% (19th), but tonight should see an increase in that regard against the ninth-worst goalie for 4v5  SV% over the last two seasons, Mike Condon. A big part about picking Marcus Johansson from this game is that the two referees, Eric Furlatt and Jon MacIssac call an absolute boat load of penalties – ninth and fourth highest, respectively. Otherwise Washington doesn’t tend to draw too many power plays, just 3.15/game (total rank of 19th).

As mentioned, Ottawa is expected to start Mike Condon with Craig Anderson still away from the team, and Ottawa is coming off their ‘bye week’ having only one practice over the last five days. Condon has a total 4v5 SV% of only 86.4% with the glaringly-bad aspect of his game coming against HD chances; from 2015-16 to the present, Condon has an HDVSV% of 73.58% and when looking at just this season that number doesn’t improve much, going up to just 76.92%.

From an offensive point of view, Marcus Johansson doesn’t offer much beyond junky garbage goals, but that’s exactly why he’ll get some points on the board tonight. MarJo has a PP average shot distance of just 21.17′ which is the second shortest distance on the Capitals (after Justin Williams), and has the fifth-most Individual Scoring Chances per 60 at 5.04/60 thanks to his net drive.

Johansson plays on the first unit  with Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom and plays on the second line with Evgeni Kuznetsov and Justin Williams at even strength. Through 38 games, MarJo has picked up seven power play points (3G-4A) and has averaged 2.78 minutes with the extra man. His PPSOG/60 are lower this year than last as his role has changed from PP2 to PP1 this year, making his main role getting rebound chances; his shot rate is down 2.5/60, but his points/60 have barely changed. The one concern for the former 1st-round pick is his first assist rate has dropped (to 0) due to the way Washington runs their power play.

Because Johansson is on the first unit, he’ll be on the ice against the “defensive” pairing of Cody Ceci and Dion Phaneuf who have SA/60 rates of 43.64/60 and 46.50/60 while killing penalties, and have double digit xGA at 12.59 for Ceci and 11.04 for Phaneuf. That pairing is one of the worst in the league, which will be a definite boon to the Caps.

With MarJo playing with different linemates at even strength and on the power play, he can be paired with John Carlson who has correlated with Johansson on six points since the Swedish forward started playing on PP1. Alternatively, Johansson can be a single bullet or be used in a full power play stack.

Other PP Plays

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Punt Plays

Frank Vatrano

RW – BOS – $4,000 on DraftKings, $4,300 on FanDuel:

UPDATE: David Backes is back tonight and will be on BOS2 with Krejci and Spooner, which pushes Vatrano to a line with Austin Czarnik and Jimmy Hayes. It’s cheating a bit because Spooner is $500 over the $4000 threshold, but he’d get the new consideration now.

If you wanted to keep Vatrano in, BOS3 should match up with the Florida line of Denis Malgin – Michael Sgarbossa and Colton Sceviour. Sceviour with Malgin have allowed 68 Scoring Chances Against, 28 HD Corsi Attempts, and five goals on 81 Shots Against in 139 EV minutes together. They’re definitely a line to target against, but downgrading Krejci and Spooner to Czarnik and Hayes would make Vatrano more attractive as a single bullet. Czarnik will be playing the point on PP2 with Vatrano still on the wing (Krejci, Backes and Colin Miller fill out the rest), so that option exists as a very under-owned mini-stack as well.

Boston gets to face the Florida Panthers tonight – who are playing on a back-to-back with James Reimer in net after Roberto Luongo got injured in warmups last night – and it sets up a great match-up for the Bruins’ second line and Vatrano specifically.

With the Cats playing at home, they’ll get to choose how the line matching will go for tonight’s tilt, and that should mean that FLA2 will be checking Vatrano and BOS2 (David Krejci and Ryan Spooner). That’s an educated guess after Nick Bjugstad went on Injured Reserve following last night’s game, because typically FLA1 (Jonathan Marchessault – Vincent TrocheckJaromir Jagr) would take on the opposing second line; given the Panthers’ lack of centre depth, they’ll want their best possession line matched up against the juggernaut BOS1 line.

That means that Jared McCann, Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith will face Vatrano and his linemates. McCann won’t feature into the analysis because he’s only played 14 minutes this year with either player, but Jokinen and Smith have played 166 minutes together and have been on the ice for eight goals against at 5v5. They’ve allowed 0.56SOG/Minute, and a whopping seven of those eight goals against have qualified as High-Danger goals. James Reimer is slightly better than Roberto Luongo at stopping HDGA, but since joining Florida Reimer has seen a drop in his HDSV% (81.25%).

When playing with Krejci or Spooner, Boston has taken at least 0.5SOG/Minute and 25% of those shots end up as High-Danger chances. As a line, the three are plus possession players at 5v5 (55% CF) and clearly have no problem firing the puck. On his own Vatrano at 5v5 has a career SOG rate of 12.4/60 and has scored 11 goals in his career (1.16G/60, all situations).

Since returning from an injury that had kept him out until just before Christmas, Frankie has averaged only 14:36TOI, but saw an uptick in his last two games to just under 16 minutes. He’s never going to be a player that collects blocks, but he has a floor of at least 1.0 from SOG alone, and has the scoring upside in this game to easily reach value. Vatrano also plays on the second power play unit with Krejci, so those two together make a good two-man mini-stack if you don’t want to run a full line. The full line only costs $13,300 on DraftKings which leaves a lot of room to take some higher priced players elsewhere.

Floor: 1.0 DraftKings points

Ceiling: 6.0 DraftKings points

Good luck tonight!
Follow me on Twitter @adalyfrey

Adam Daly-Frey

Adam is the Director of Content and Lead PGA Analyst for DFSDatalytics, as well as an NHL & NFL Analyst. Adam can be reached on Twitter @adalyfrey or via email at a.dalyfrey AT gmail.com

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