Well, why don’t we get our week started off on the right foot? Tonight’s lineup is going to be a mix of cash and GPP plays, although I am definitely looking to avoid some big-time ownerships up front for some lower-owned players. All in all, I am going to call this a GPP lineup for tonight’s four-game slate.
C – Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – $8,300 vs. NSH
The Colorado Avalanche have given the Preds a solid run for their money in this series, and tonight they will be playing on home ice where they play their best brand of hockey. Obviously, MacKinnon is due to see some ownership tonight, but I still think the Preds will see some ownership given the amount of goal scoring they’ve done in the series. MacKinnon has a goal and two assists on nine shots in the series so far, and considering he notched 1.72 points per game at home this season I could see him with a couple more points tonight.
C – Tyler Bozak (TOR) – $4,600 vs. BOS
The Bruins have clobbered the Leafs in this series so far, outscoring them 12-4 in Boston. However, the series switches to Toronto for tonight’s Game 3, and the Leafs dominated on their home ice in the season’s second half. With the majority of ownership destined for the Bruins tonight, let’s get a lower owned Leafs stack going here. It beings with Bozak who snapped a month-log scoring streak in Game 2. He is the center of the Leafs’ third line, but also their top power play unit, a group that has clicked at 42.9% over their last six home games.
W – Mikko Rantanen (COL) – $6,600 vs. NSH
Of course, if we are going to use MacKinnon we need either Rantanen or Landeskog next to him. We will pay up for Rantanen has he brings the higher floor of the two into play. He scored 29 goals this season while adding 55 assists on 178 shots on goal. He scored 12 of those 29 goals on the power play, a group that clicked at 25% at home this season, good for eighth league-wide. Like MacKinnon, Rantanen is at his best at home where he notched 1.38 points per game this season.
W – James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – $6,600 vs. BOS
Not many teams have a 36-goal scorer on their third line, but that’s exactly what van Riemsdyk did for the Maple Leafs this season. JVR notched his first goal of the series in Saturday night’s losing effort and as the go-to scorer on the Maple Leafs power play, I like his chances at production tonight. He and Bozak skate alongside each other at both 5v5 and on that lethal top power play unit. Toronto has scored at least four goals in four of their last six at home and 3.75 per game over their last four at home against the Bruins, so I’m not writing the Maple Leafs off quite yet.
W – Kyle Palmieri (NJ) – $5,600 vs. TB
Like with the Bruins in Toronto, I believe most of the ownership goes to the road team in this one, but don’t sleep on the Devils at home. In fact, New Jersey ended up tying the Pittsburgh Penguins for the NHL’s top home power play this season at a whopping 26.7% clip. Palmieri scored 11 of his 24 goals this season on the power play, while he added 20 assists and 181 shots on goal in just 62 games. The Lightning ranked 23rd in road penalty killing in the regular season, so let’s make sure to get some Devils’ power play exposure at what I believe will be low ownership.
W – Patrick Maroon (NJ) – $4.500 vs. TB
Here is another member of that top power play group for the Devils. Maroon hasn’t produced a ton since coming over from the Oilers in a trade deadline deal, but apparently coach John Hynes is willing to stick with him on the top power play unit where he will form a mini-stack with Palmieri. He does know how to score as he notched 17 goals on 141 shots in 74 games this season. He should be had at real attractive ownership tonight so let’s see if he can eclipse some value.
D – Tyson Barrie (COL) – $5,300 vs. NSH
Barrie is coming off a strong Game 2 against the Predators where he notched two helpers and four shots on goal in the losing effort. Barrie had a big-time regular season, tallying 14 goals, 57 points and 178 shots on goal in just 68 games. His 0.84 points per game were the second most among defenseman this season behind only Erik Karlsson’s 0.85 mark. That mark improves to 0.90 at home, so let’s roster Barrie to finish off an Avalanche stack tonight.
D – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $4,900 vs. BOS
Another three-man stack is complete here with the addition of Rielly. He has struggled so far in this series in his general play, but he still has two assists in two games, showing what he can do when he’s not even at his best. He is the quarterback of that top power play group, so we have a 5v5 and PP1 stack here as well. Rielly shattered his previous career high of 36 points with 52 this season, 25 of which came on the power play. He’s very consistent as well with 19 assists in his last 20 games, so I will take that type of production at this price every day of the week.
G – Frederik Andersen (TOR) – $8,100 vs. BOS
Certainly this is a GPP play. Andersen was torched again on Saturday to the tune of three goals on five shots, but he had zero puck luck as some of the goals Boston has scored this series have come no horrible bounces/deflections that you can’t pin on a goaltender. Andersen should be able to get some more goal support tonight to increase his chances at win while he posted a solid 2.64 GAA and a .924 Sv% at home this season to go with his sparkling 23-8-2 record.