It’s a great sports Sunday with the final round of the Valspar Championship, Selection Sunday, NASCAR, and three NHL games to finished it off. Here are some news, notes, and analysis for this slate:
** = updated at 4:35 ET
Backlund vs. Tavares
Monahan vs. Barzal
Jankowski vs. Nelson
This game will of course be popular in tournaments because of the pace that these two teams play, and we also have a pretty good idea of the matchups as Calgary is one of the teams that usually hard-matches at home.
The Islanders have allowed the 3rd-most SCA/60 and 2nd-most HDCA/60 over the last 28 days.
Right off the bat, the Tavares line is going to be a fade for me tonight. The matchup against the Backlund line at home is one of the worst matchups in the NHL, and I’m not going to try to get cute on this slate. It’s a terrible even-strength matchup, and while they could do some damage on the power-play, I don’t want to pay almost $20K to stack against the Backlund line.
On the other side of that matchup, CGY2 makes for a fantastic play. They have great possession numbers, Tkachuk has been a beast, and they’re affordable. They’ll be very popular, but a lot of people tend to leave off Frolik, so if you want to be a little different, a full CGY2 stack is fantastic because of the even-strength matchup.
The Isles swapped Beauvillier and Ladd, so NYI2 will now be Ladd-Barzal-Eberle, which is a little bit less appealing for me in terms of wanting to use the Islanders but Ladd is only $2,900. NYI2 (276 minutes) 33 SCF/60, 12.3 HDCF/60 – 29.5 SCA/60, 10.7 HDCA/60.
Despite Beauvillier not being on the line, I still have a lot of interest in NYI2 as a stack for only $14.4K.
CGY1 will also see a lot of ownership, but possibly less than CGY2 in some tournaments. It’s a great spot for Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland even though they don’t get the best offensive matchup.
If you want to get exposure to both lines, a CGY PP1 stack is certainly a route I’ll consider tonight. Something like Monahan-Gaudreau-Tkachuk-Hamilton gets you exposure to a lot of the likely goal-scorers assuming Calgary can put up a few here.
Sam Bennett is only $3,400 and would be the other guy I’m looking at as a punt that’s not in the Calgary top-6.
On D for the Islanders, I like Boychuk first, then Pulock. Boychuk is not listed on the PP, but sees solid minutes and shoots it quite a bit for only $4K.
On D for Calgary, Dougie Hamilton is someone I’m going to try to jam in tonight (39 shot attempts over last 5 games), and a double d-man stack with Giordano is an awesome play that not a lot of people will go to in the same lineup. At $3.3K, Hamonic is a decent punt as he should see 20-22 minutes, he shoots at a decent rate, and blocks shots.
**It’s tough for me not to play CGY today even though I know they’ll be chalk. After playing around with lineups construction, my advice would just to get a little different with your CGY skaters. Do a double D-man stack with Dougie-Gio, go Backlund-Tkachuk-Gaudreau-Dougie, etc. to get exposure to both lines. Even though the Isles have tightened it up defensively over the last five games, they’ve done it against the Oilers, Canucks, Penguins, and Canadiens twice so I’m not really buying that they’ve turned it around.**
This game has a lot to sort out as we get closer to lock. We have clarity on the Dallas lines (at least how they’ll start out), but it’s likely that Benn-Seguin-Radulov end up back together at some point.
On the PIT side, coming off a loss in Toronto last night, we could definitely see some line shuffling that we probably won’t know about until very close to 7ET lock.
For now, we’ll assume that PIT keeps their lines the same.
We should see both Sheary-Crosby-Guentzel and Hagelin-Malkin-Hornqvist rotating against the Stars’ top two lines. As far as playing Stars skaters, there’s not really a matchup that I’m scared of as the Crosby line allows over 16 HDCA/60 and the Malkin line over 11 HDCA/60.
My favorite DAL line to stack is the Seguin line. It’s only a small sample, but they’re playing up-tempo, and Seguin has been brilliant at creating chances over the last few games. Radulov is on the top PP with Seguin, and Janmark for $4K is a nice value. While there isn’t a lot of clarity on the lines/line matching in this game, PIT as a team has allowed the 5th-most HDCA/60 over the last month, which is not optimal when you’re going up against Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and are on a back-to-back.
The Faksa line is frustrating because Benn is the only one that gets PP time, so I don’t have interest in them as a full stack, but Benn is a great one-off or addition to a PP1 stack.
The Spezza line for DAL doesn’t have much of a sample size, but Spezza has been has been solid offensively with both Ritchie and Roussel. Ritchie and Spezza are both on the second PP unit as well, so as a contrarian mini-stack, you could do a lot worse than Spezza-Ritchie for $6.5K.
On the PIT side, my favorite stack to go to is Malkin-Hornqvist. Over the Penguins last five games, Hornqvist leads the team in iCF (32), iSCF (25) and iHDCF (14). The Malkin line has the best offensive numbers of the three lines, and the most PP1 time of any of the three scoring lines for PIT.
If Crosby stays with Sheary and Guentzel, that becomes a nice mid-tier stack, but I prefer PIT2, DAL1, CGY1, CGY2 over them, so I don’t think I’ll be able to sneak them in.
The Brassard-Kessel combo has not been great so far, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with them on this back-to-back.
On D for Dallas, I love Klinberg if you can fit him in, otherwise Esa Lindell is only $3,500 and is on the top pairing with Klingberg. If you’re looking to get even cheaper, Hamhuis is $2,900 and on the second PP with 3 SOG in each of his last couple games.
On D for PIT, Letang and Schultz have been rotating on PP1, so both of them make for viable plays, but I prefer Schultz for the savings.
**Everything I have from earlier is pretty much the case. I like the Seguin line, I like the Malkin line. This is going to be the other popular game, but Dallas has allowed the fewest HDCA/60 over the last month, which is something I missed when looking at this game earlier. I’d much rather fade this game than the NYI-CGY game if I had to choose one.**
Arizona on a B2B after getting beat by the Avs yesterday afternoon.
The Coyotes switched up their lines in yesterday’s game, but are dealing with a handful of injuries. If I we get word of lines this afternoon I’ll update and post, but for now I’ll assume it’s Perlini-Stepan-Keller as the top line and Domi-Dvorak-Fischer as the second line.
We should see Stepan matchup against the Bo Horvat line, which is a matchup that I like a little bit for both sides. VAN started with Gagner on the Horvat line, but he was replaced with Virtanen about midway through the game. I’m hoping to see Leipsic-Horvat-Virtanen because I think they can succeed in the matchup against the Stepan line (30.9 SCA/60, 13.1 HDCA/60).
I don’t really like using the Sedins in general, and definitely not on the road.
The Dvorak line should see depth of the Canucks, and if they’re able to keep Domi and Fischer on that line, they become an intriguing stack, as they have posted over 19 HDCF/60 in 119 minutes of ice time together.
VAN1 and ARI2 are the stacks I like to target in this game, with a preference to VAN1 provided it’s Leipsic-Horvat-Virtanen.
On D for Vancouver, Edler is the guy I’m actively targeting as he’s on PP1 and plays big minutes every game.
On D for Arizona, especially if you’re playing ARI2, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the top play, then Chychrun for cheap. Goligoski is likely to be back, but I’m not going to be on him here.
This game is likely going to be written off because it’s the lowest total on the board and two bad teams, but I want exposure to it through VAN1 or ARI2.
**Since the Coyotes didn’t skate this morning and there were no lines posted for the Canucks, this one is still uncertain in a few spots. If you’re getting exposure to this game, I’d try to have a backup plan in place in case we see some funky lines on either side. VAN1 (Horvat-Leipsic) is probably my favorite play here, followed by Dvorak, assuming he skates with Domi and/or Fischer.**
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