NHL Breakdown (Playoffs 4/11)
Hello everyone and happy playoffs! There is nothing better than playoff hockey even if your team isn’t involved. I hope you’ve all been well during my absence as I was attending to some family stuff back home in Texas. I’m back now and ready to attack these playoff slates. Tonight is day one of the playoffs and we have three matchups to breakdown. Let’s take a look at the three matchups tonight:
PHI@ PIT 7:00pm
MIN@ WPG 7:00pm
LA@ VGK 10:00pm
It doesn’t get any better than a Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins playoff series. This game will be one of the most entertaining ones to watch tonight as these two teams have a big rivalry. Tonight should also be an interesting one as we get to see the Vegas Golden Knights play their first playoff series. Still lots of questions as to how they will look, but one things for sure, they had a heck of a regular season and I don’t expect them to fall off that play here in the playoffs. Not sure how I truly feel on the Minnesota@Winnipeg game but one thing I do know is that the Suter injury really hurts the Wilds chances in this matchup. Now let’s move into my plays of the day for this 3 game playoff slate!
Favorite Center Plays:
Evgeni Malkin vs Philadelphia Flyers ($9200 FD)
Malkin finished the season very nicely for the Penguins and recorded 5 assists in their last 4 games. He had a tremendous season all the way around as he managed 42 goals and 56 assists in 78 games. The Penguins have so much talent that I’d be surprised if they don’t sail straight to the conference finals. I like the second line with Malkin more tonight but honestly wouldn’t fault you for going with Crosby either.
William Karlsson vs Los Angeles Kings ($7300 FD)
First season and first playoff appearance for the Golden Knights. I think a lot of people will be skeptical to play very many Knights tonight against a team who typically plays pretty well in the playoffs. I’m not worried about them quite honestly. The Knights played tremendous in the regular season and I see that continuing to happen here in the playoffs. Smith returns to the lineup for the playoffs as well which is another huge boost to Karlsson and that first line.
Mark Scheifele vs Minnesota Wild ($7800 FD)
I like the Jets offense a lot tonight against the Wild, who will be without Ryan Suter for the rest of their season/playoffs. Suter was a key defenseman for the Wild and this is a huge blow for them. I expect a very good offensive game from the Jets first and second lines tonight.
Good Center Plays:
Anze Kopitar @ Vegas Golden Knights ($7600 FD)
Kopitar is a pretty good playoff player for the Kings. He also had a great regular this season which helped boost them into the playoffs. Anze has 64 points in 75 career playoff games and I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see him on the score sheet in this game tonight in Vegas. I expect Vegas to get the win however but if the Kings do find the back of the net, expect Kopitar to be attached to it.
Sidney Crosby vs Philadelphia Flyers ($9000 FD)
Crosby finished the regular season with some highlight reel goals, while also managing to score over 10 FD points in 9 of his last 10 games, with multiple games being well over 20 FD points. He has 57 goals and 107 assists in 148 career playoff games which are some tremendous numbers. I love this matchup with the Flyers and it should be a fun series all the way around.
Value Center Plays:
Nolan Patrick @ Pittsburgh Penguins ($4700 FD)
Patrick finished the season strong for the Flyers, managing 3 goals and 2 assists in their final 4 games of the regular season. This is the first playoff appearance for the 19 year old, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to this type of atmosphere and level of play.
Favorite Winger Plays:
Patric Hornqvist vs Philadelphia Flyers ($6600 FD)
Hornqvist had a goal in each of the Penguins last 5 games of the regular season. The offensive power this team has is incredible. My favorite line is the second one with Hornqvist and Malkin tonight. Hornqvist finished the season with 29 goals and 20 assists over 70 games played.
Blake Wheeler vs Minnesota Wild ($7300 FD)
Wheeler is without a doubt my favorite Winger tonight as this Jets team has some serious offensive power and are facing a Wild team, who just lost one of, if not their best, defenseman in Ryan Suter. He finished the regular season with 23 goals and an outstanding 68 assists. If the Jets get on the power play multiple times, the Wild will have no chance against this powerful powerplay unit.
Jonathan Marchessault vs Los Angeles Kings ($6900 FD)
Like I said on Karlsson, I expect the Golden Knight players to be lower owned tonight because everyone will be on the Penguins and Flyers stack. I could be wrong, but regardless I like the first line for the Golden Knights, with Smith returning to the lineup just in time for this playoff matchup against the Kings. March just looks so much better when he is on the ice with Smith and I’m ready to see this trio work their magic in the playoffs.
Claude Giroux @ Pittsburgh Penguins ($8100 FD)
Giroux had a tremendous season for the Flyers and is one of the main reasons why the Flyers made it into the playoffs. He finished the regular season with 34 goals and 68 assists to surpass the 100 point mark. This game could get to be fairly high scoring on both sides so a game stack may not be too bad of an idea but the prices could cause that to not be an option.
Good Winger Plays:
Mikael Granlund @ Winnipeg Jets ($6700 FD)
Granlund is the only Wild player I have in my article and I hope that doesn’t come back to bite me. I also like Staal tonight but the other options I listed, I prefer much more. Granlund had a great season once Staal was moved to his line and they clicked so much better than he did with Koivu. I expect the Jets to take control of this game early on and the Wild will have to chase.
Phil Kessel vs Philadelphia Flyers ($7800 FD)
Kessels price has finally come back down to reality as during the late regular season his price was in the 9k range on FanDuel. This price is much better for him and I think he is very very effective at this price. Could be a sneaky play to use with Brassard, who is the Line 3 Center. Kessel also gets great PP time with Crosby and Malkin which makes him even more valuable.
Value Winger Plays:
Kyle Connor vs Minnesota Wild ($5300 FD)
This might be the highest price I’ve seen on Connor this season but he is still fairly cheap for a first line winger especially considering who he is on a line with. As I’ve said above, I have the Jets taking control of this game early and I really like Connors chances tonight along with Wheeler.
Alex Tuch vs Los Angeles Kings ($3900 FD)
Tuch is really just a GPP only option for me. He has so much potential night in and night out at his price but you just truly never know what he is going to do. Could drop a goose egg or score a goal and an assist. At his price, he could be a good GPP punt in order to pay up for Malkin or Crosby if that’s the route you are looking at taking.
Favorite Defenseman Plays:
Kris Letang vs Philadelphia Flyers ($6100 FD)
This is the 9th straight playoff appearance for Letang and the Penguins. He has 18 goals and 50 assists in 116 career playoff games. Only downside for him is that he takes quite a bit of penalties in the playoffs. He has 119 PIM in the 116 playoff games. Should see him on the score sheet tonight.
Dustin Byfuglien vs Minnesota Wild ($6100 FD)
Byfuglien will be on the second defenseman pair tonight in the round 1 first game against the Jets. He is my favorite defenseman tonight on this 3 game playoff slate. I expect a very good offensive game from the Jets and Byfuglien should be included on at least one, if not multiple goals tonight.
Good Defenseman Play:
Shayne Gostisbehere @ Pittsburgh Penguins ($6300 FD)
Gostisbehere had a great season for the Flyers this year, picking up 13 goals and 52 assists in 78 games played. Him and Giroux have connected a ton this season and wouldn’t be surprised if you see that connection multiple times in this series against the Penguins.
Value Defenseman Plays:
Alec Martinez @ Vegas Golden Knights ($4500 FD)
Martinez finished the season strong for the Kings, managing 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games of the season. This will be the 6th time in the playoffs for Martinez and he has 6 goals and 10 assists over 60 playoff games. Most of his value comes from shots on goal and blocked shots. Cheap enough option to pay up for other higher offensive powers as well.
Nate Schmidt vs Los Angeles Kings ($3800 FD)
This is just about the cheapest Schmidt has been all season. He is still on the first defenseman pair for the Golden Knights and he is one of my favorite d men from the Knights. He has played in 21 career playoff games where he managed 5 points. He is not one of my favorite choices by any means but if you are looking to go cheap at defenseman to pay up for your Crosby or Malkin, then Schmidt is your go to guy at 3800 on Fanduel.
Favorite Goalie Play:
Connor Hellebuyck vs Minnesota Wild ($8700 FD)
This is Hellebuycks first play off appearance and I’m planning on it going well for him. I expect the Jets to get out to a quick lead and just work to hold onto it. I don’t expect a shutout by any means but I am almost certain he will get the win tonight.
Good Goalie Play:
Marc-Andre Fleury vs Los Angeles Kings ($8700 FD)
Fleury played tremendously well for the Golden Knights this regular season. Tonight will be the ultimate test for him as we get to see if his play will continue into the playoffs or if it will fall off. He has played in 115 playoff games and has a 2.63 GAA over those 115 games. I do expect him to have a good game tonight as the Knights play their first ever playoff game in their inaugural season.
Value Goalie Play:
Matt Murray (GPP Only) vs Philadelphia Flyers ($8100 FD)
I have the Penguins winning this first game of the series tonight but the reason I have Murray as GPP only is because the Flyers could score 3 but lose 4-3 due to the offensive power on the Penguins offense. Should get the win tonight though which is all you can really ask of your goalie fantasy wise in the Stanley cup playoffs. Should be a fun series regardless.
This article is meant to help you put together your lineup for the slate. If this helps you out tonight please post your winnings on twitter and tag me @DFSDevotee and @FanCaveDFS
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on twitter!