It was a nice start to the NHL playoffs with last night’s FanDuel NHL DFS Picks and the unbelievable 5-OT game between the Lighting and Blue Jackets helped.
No, we did get in on the winning goal as the Lighting’s Brayden Point did that, however it allowed us to rack up more shots and blocked shots along the way.
That said, the majority of the damage was done early as Pierre-Luc Dubois opened the scoring while he led our line with a goal – of the power play variety – an assist, four shots on goal and three blocks. Seth Jones also delivered excellent value, notching a power play assist, six shots on goal and six blocks as well.
Our four-man Golden Knights stack got nice production from a pair of players, but also a couple duds as well. Shea Theodore stayed red-hot with a goal on three shots and four blocks while Jonathan Marchessault notched two assists and six shots on goal. However, William Karlsson tallied just a shot and a block, as did Mark Stone. We needed more there.
Milan Lucic delivered fantastic value at minuscule ownership as he recorded a power play assist with three shots on goal.
Finally, Cam Talbot was solid in turning aside 24 of 26 Stars shots en route to an upset win.
It was a nice start, now let’s keep it going on another four-game slate!
FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – August 12, 2020
C – Elias Pettersson (VAN) – $6,700 vs. STL
The Blues normally play a solid defensive game, but the Canucks really cranked up their offense after being shut out in Game 1 of their play-in series against the Wild and I’ll look for them to carry that momentum into this one tonight.
Vancouver scored 12 goals over their final three games of their 3-1 series win, including five in the final game to wrap up the series. This comes on the heels of notching an eighth-ranked 3.25 goals per game during the regular season, however the Canucks also checked in at fourth with an impressive 24.2% clip on the power play throughout the season. The power play was solid, if unspectacular in the series against the Wild, going 4 for 19, resulting in a 21.1% clip.
Nonetheless, Pettersson was productive in the series, He notched a goal and four points over the last three games of the series and put nine shots on goal across Games 2 and 3 of the series as well. He’s going be relied on heavily to provide offense in this series after skating at least 19:07 in three of the four games against the Wild, a tad higher than his 18:32 average from the regular season when he tallied 27 goals and 66 points in 68 games.
He doesn’t shoot the puck a ton, but Pettersson had scored at an 18% clip in his career, so let’s look for him to lead the Canucks’ offensive attack tonight.
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) – $6,300 vs. NYI
We should certainly expect some ownership with this Capitals stack tonight as they line up against the New York Islanders, but I’m okay to use this lineup in both cash games while it’s optimal enough where we can try it out in GPPs as well.
Backstrom is set to skate alongside Alex Ovechkin on the team’s top line and top power play, which is a win in itself. He was his usual self in the regular season, tallying 12 goals but also 42 assists in 61 games for 54 points in that time while he too doesn’t shoot the puck much with 132 shots on the season. When you play with Ovi, you usually let him do the shooting anyways.
Backstrom has a lengthy postseason resume as he’s skated in 126 playoff games in his career, tallying 36 goals and 107 points in that time and has 46 power play points in that span as well.
He was quiet in registering just one assist and three shots on goal in the three-game round robin, but to me this Islanders defense is not the same as it was last year when they led the league in overall defense.
I think there’s some holes there this season and I’ll look for Backstrom and the Capitals to exploit them tonight.
W – Brock Boeser (VAN) – $5,800 vs. STL
I wanted to ensure I got Quinn Hughes into this lineup as he’s just playing at such a high level, so I had to make a decision between J.T. Miller and Boeser, and I’m perfectly comfortable taking Boeser at the far lower price, $1100 lower, in fact.
Miller is having a great season and has certainly turned the corner as a player, but there’s no doubt in my mind Boeser is the superior goal-scorer and will continue to be throughout his career, so I’ll bank the extra $1,100 here with a smile on my face.
After all, Boeser tallied 16 goals and 45 points in his 57 games this season, but that was actually a little bit of a disappointment. Over the first two years of his career, Boeser tallied 55 goals in just 131 games while he scored four times in his nine-game cameo in the 2016-17 season. He suffered from some poor puck-luck this season, scoring on just 9.5% of his shots compared to his 12.9% career mark, so I’ll look for a turnaround in the puck-luck department in these playoffs.
As the top-line winger at 5v5 and on the deadly Canucks top power play unit, I like the potential we get with Boeser despite a fairly tough matchup.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WSH) – $8,400 vs. NYI
Of course, we’re not going to stack the Caps and leave Ovi out of it.
All this guy does is score goals. He’s led the league in goal-scoring eight times at this point and tied David Pastrnak for this year’s goal-scoring lead with 48 tallies in just 68 games. He didn’t lead the league in shots – that belonged to Nathan MacKinnon – however Ovechkin put 311 pucks on goal in the regular season, good for second-best in the league.
It’s probably fair to say he’s not entering this series hot. Ovechkin was held without a point in the Capitals’ three-game round robin, however he did put five shots on goal in his final game while putting 10 on goal across the three games. Perhaps it’s good news that he hasn’t scored in his last three games as you simply don’t keep this guy off the scoreboard for much longer than that.
The Great 8 is a lock in any cash lineup, but I don’t mind grabbing his high-owned floor in GPPs, either.
W – T.J. Oshie (WSH) – $6,700 vs. NYI
At the moment it looks like Oshie will skate on the right wing of Backstrom and Ovechkin for this one tonight, not only at 5v5, but also on the team’s top power play unit.
Unlike Ovechkin, Oshie doesn’t bring a terribly high floor to the table as he doesn’t shoot the puck a ton with just 133 shots in his 69 games this season, but he’s an efficient shooter as he posted a 19.2% shooting rate on the season and owns a 14.3% mark for his career – a number he’s surpassed in three of the last four seasons.
The key to Oshie scoring goals is usually on a feed into the slot for a quick-strike one-timer, something the Capitals utilize on the power play extremely well. Ten of his 26 goals on the season came on the man advantage and I’m willing to bet that almost all of them came on a feed into the slot and he fired off a one-timer into the back of the net.
As a result, Backstrom and his elite vision and passing skills is the perfect center for him, so I’m actually quite excited to see if that duo can connect for some offense in this one tonight.
W – Joel Farabee (PHI) – $3,300 vs. MON
Farabee comes in at a near-minimum price tonight, but the value potential is massive as he’s projected to skate on the team’s top line alongside Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. Additionally, Farabee should see second-unit power play reps as well.
Farabee sniped a beauty one-timer in the Flyers’ No.1 seed-clinching win over the Lightning on Saturday, and he also notched an assist and another shot on goal to five himself a productive evening in his 14:38 of ice time. He’s bounced up and down the Flyers’ depth chart his season, but his standing on the team’s top line should once again have him exceeding his solid 14:06 of average ice time per game this season.
It was a solid rookie campaign for the 20-year-old as he notched eight goals and 21 points in 52 games while putting 81 shots on goal in that time. He won’t shoot the puck a ton with just 81 shots on goal in that time, but he certainly displayed some quick-strike ability with his goal from Saturday.
We needed a cheap winger with some high-priced Capitals in this lineup, and Farabee is the best option in that department on this slate while he’ll be part of a nice little mini-stack tonight.
D – Quinn Hughes (VAN) – $5,200 vs. STL
I mentioned earlier I wanted Quinn Hughes in this lineup and for good reason.
He was arguably the Canucks’ best player in the qualifying round win over the Wild, tallying a goal and six points with six shots on goal over the final three games of the series while four of those six points came on the power play where he was electric during the regular season as well.
Hughes finished the season with eight goals and 53 points in 68 games – a wildly impressive number for a 20-year-old rookie defenseman – but he also notched three goals and 25 points on the power play. While the Canucks’ power play has some nice young talent on it with Pettersson, Boeser, Miller and Bo Horvat, they simply don’t rank fourth in that department without Hughes and the work he does manning the point on that unit.
He’s going to be used a ton in this series as he gives the Canucks their best chance to win. He skated at least 22:39 in all four of the team’s games against the Wild, including 27:31 in the series-clinching Game 4 OT win. The Canucks scored just 11 seconds into that overtime, so all of that 27:31 was in regulation.
With how he’s playing, he’s nearly a lock for me on my blueline tonight.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $4,000 vs. MON
He’s the forgotten man on the Flyers’ blueline with the ongoing development of Ivan Provorov into a top-tier defenseman and the emergence of Travis Sanheim on that blueline as well, but don’t forgot about what Gostisbehere can bring to the table.
I watched a couple of the Flyers’s round robin games, and Gostisbehere was noticeable in his lone game against the Lightning. He was using his bomb of a shot whenever he could and was skating like he did when he burst onto the scene with 17 goals and 46 points in 64 games during his rookie season. After tallying 13 goals and 65 points in 78 games – with 221 shots – in the 2017-18 season, Gostisbehere’s game as tailed off and he registered just five goals and 12 points in 42 games this season with only 73 shots on goal. That production led to consistent healthy scratches as his career in Philly was hanging on by a thread.
He tallied two assists and two shots on goal in his team’s 4-1 win, and he did so while skating just 15:24. We probably shouldn’t expect a ton of usage, but don’t be shocked to see him sneak onto the team’s second power play unit alongside Farabee. With the way he played against Tampa Bay, the Flyers should absolutely be using that new-found confidence on the second power play where Gostisbehere’s skill set works best.
G – Carter Hart (PHI) – $8,400 vs. MON
I like that Hart and the Flyers are favored to win at -150 in this one tonight over the bottom-seeded Canadiens, however I simply like how sharp the young netminder looked in the round robin as he was a big part of the Flyers locking down the top seed.
In two games against some top-tier offenses in the Bruins and Lighting, all Hart did was post a cool 1.00 GAA and .966 Sv% while notching wins on both occasions. While March was a long time ago, it was a continuation of his his elite play down the stretch as he posted a 1.77 GAA and .943 Sv% in March and actually worked to a 2.02 GAA and ,929 Sv% in the month of February to boot.
The biggest issue with Hart this seas was his work on the road where he was torched for a 3.81 GAA and .857 Sv% in 18 games compared to his dominant 1.63 GAA and .943 Sv% in 25 games at home. While these games are technically on the road, and I don’t know whether it’s the whole no fans thing, but Hart had no problem slamming the door on some potent offenses last week.
I don’t see why we should expect that excellent play to stop tonight as he’s my top netminder on the slate.