The first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs could be over as soon as tonight. If the Capitals and Bruins both win on the road, we will be set to move onto the second round. However, I doubt the home teams are willing to roll over so let’s look for some lower-owned players tonight in a mostly GPP lineup!
C – Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS) – $7,700 vs. CLS
Kuznetsov has been a beast in this series and has been a huge factor in Washington storming back to take a 3-2 lead in the series against the Blue Jackets. Over the last two games, the Russian star has bagged two goals and added three assists with six shots to boot. He’s now scored four times in five games and has taken 25 shots, or five per game, for the series. He is the top line center at 5v5 and on the top power play unit, so he is part of this lineup that will definitely see some ownership tonight.
C – Tyler Bozak (TOR) – $4,400 vs. BOS
The ownership should be fairly spread out on the Maple Leafs tonight as Mike Babcock has put his lines in a blender as of late. Unlike the other three teams on the slate, you can’t pinpoint one like and believe they will do most of the scoring for the Leafs. I believe the Bozak line will see GPP-worthy ownership tonight with some real nice upside. Bozak scored a goal and added an assist in a big Game 5 win while he continues to center the team’s top power play unit, a group that ranked second with a 24.9% clip in the regular season.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $8,700 vs. CLS
Ovi was held off the scoresheet in the Capitals’ Game 5 overtime win, but he still fired seven shots on goal which shows the floor he brings even when he misses the scoresheet. He still has three goals and three assists on the series with a whopping 30 shots on goal, or six per game. There’s no one in the NHL with a floor as high as Ovechkin’s, and with the Capitals operating at a solid 22.5% clip with the man advantage I’ll look for more damage from Ovi tonight.
W – James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – $6,200 vs. BOS
After scoring 36 goals to lead the team in the regular season, van Riemsdyk hasn’t skipped a beat in the postseason. He notched his third goal of the series in the Game 5 victory, and all three have come on the power play where van Riemsdyk and Bozak will form a stack on the top unit. van Riemsdyk likely owned the best pair of hands in the NHL from in tight where he scored the eventual game winner on Saturday night. I’ll look for that success to continue tonight on home ice.
W – Boone Jenner (CLS) – $4,700 vs. WAS
I certainly don’t think the Blue Jackets are going to roll over and die, so I want to get some exposure there as well. Jenner is solid exposure at a solid price as he skates on the second line as well as the second power play unit. He has scored just one goal and added one assists in the series, but Jenner has also fired 21 shots on goal through five games, which equates to 4.2 per game. He’s also blocked eight shots in five games, so let’s look for some cross-category production from Jenner as he and his Blue Jackets face elimination tonight.
W – Josh Anderson (CLS) – $3,700 vs. WAS
I don’t usually roster players who don’t form a stack at 5v5 or on the power play, but I’m still going to use Anderson here as I believe he holds excellent value upside at this price. Anderson has chipped in a goal and a pair of helpers in the five games this series, but has basically played just four games after his early ejection in Game 1 where he skated just over three minutes. Since that time, he’s skated at least 15 minutes in each game including 26 minutes in the Game 3 double overtime loss. Anderson scored 19 goals on a whopping 188 shots in just 63 regular season games, so there is a ton of value to unlock here with the young winger.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $6,300 vs. CLS
This Washington trio will see some heavy ownership, but I think they provide a real nice base for the rest of our lineup to build off of. Carlson has been just as good in these playoffs as he was in the regular season, posting one goal, seven assists, 14 shots and eight blocks. That’s excellent cross-category production which makes him the highest priced blueliner on the slate. Very high floor and very high ceilings with this three-man group tonight.
D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $4,900 vs. BOS
We have another three-man stack here, but this one will see notably lower ownership than our Capitals’ trio. Rielly has had a real nice series in terms of production with five assists in as many games with six shots and seven blocks as well. What I like most about Rielly is the fact he is the lone defenseman on the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit where he forms a three-man stack with Bozak and van Riemsdyk. With the Leafs clicking at a 30% clip on the power play, I feel real good about this trio.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,300 vs. BOS
Andersen was easily the better goalie in Game 5, so I’m looking for him to build off of that stellar outing in tonight’s Game 6. While the Leafs chased Rask on Saturday, Andersen was busy turning aside 42 of 45 shots to notch the win. Many of those shots were while short handed as the Leafs were short six times including a lengthy 5 on 3. Two of the three Boston goals were unbelievably bad bounces, so his line would look even better with any sort of puck luck. Regardless, I am looking for a big-time performance from the Leafs’ MVP with their backs against the wall.
PLAY THIS LINEUP