Each day of the NHL Playoffs, Dylan and Brock will be collaborating on a full preview of that night’s playoff action. Dylan will break down each game from a Daily Fantasy Hockey perspective, giving you some of his favourite targets. Brock will provide his Daily Fantasy Notebook after morning skates, including Projected Lineups, Injury Updates, Goalie Rankings and DFS Value Plays. Enjoy playoff hockey and the best time of the year!
By: Dylan Berthiaume
Penguins vs. Flyers [Game 1]
The Penguins’ top-end talent is so spread out across their top nine that powerplay stacking them has become the recommended play in DFS this season, and that should certainly ring true for the entirety of this series. The Penguins finished the 2017-18 regular season with the league’s top powerplay, converting on 26.2% of their opportunities. Inversely, the Flyers had the third worst penalty kill in the league and the worst among playoff teams, killing off just 75.8% of their penalties. Much of that was driven by an abysmal .812 shorthanded SV% from Brian Elliot ($7,200), who is expected to get the call tonight. If you’re looking to stack the Penguins at all this series you’re going to want to own as much of that top powerplay unit as possible.
While the Flyers do not have the depth to match up against the second and third lines of the Penguins, their top line is as strong as any in the league and their production will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this series. Michael Raffl ($4,000) is expected to occupy the right-wing slot alongside Claude Giroux ($6,700) and Sean Couturier ($6,300), a spot that’s more commonly been filled by Travis Konecny ($4,900) this season. Most DFS players would feel a lot more comfortable stacking Philadelphia 1 with Konecny, but Giroux and Couturier are the drivers of this line’s production and their numbers haven’t waivered with Raffl. Their 55.83 CF% and 61.54 GF% with Raffl are right on par with their season-long averages, and their 32 scoring chances per 60 with Raffl is actually a touch above their rates without him. Don’t let Raffl deter you from using what’s been a very reliable line stack all season long; take advantage of the value he adds to this build.
Jets vs. Wild [Game 1]
The Jets come into the series as the heavy favourite having defeated the Wild 3-1 in their season series, outscoring them by a total of 14-10 in the process. The two teams have not played since the Jets acquired Paul Stastny ($5,200) on February 26th. Acquiring Stastny allowed the Jets to balance out their offense and roll three potent lines, drastically changing how opposing teams need to match up against them. As a result, the line matching for game 1 becomes harder to forecast, but with the last change at his disposal you can expect Paul Maurice to avoid matching his top line against Minnesota 1 as much as possible. The matchups will likely play out much differently in Minnesota, but with all of this in mind the Jets’ top line of Kyle Connor ($6,000), Mark Scheifele ($6,600), and Blake Wheeler ($6,600) becomes the premier stacking target in tonight’s contest. The three of them average over 30 scoring chances per 60 together and their production should be unimpeded so long as their up against the depth of the Wild.
I would advise against stacking the Wild until the series heads back to Minnesota where Bruce Boudreau can better control the line matching. This is a series that’s inevitably tilting in the Jets’ favour, and I would be much more inclined to stack Winnipeg 2 in the first two games of the series before I consider playing the Wild’s top line in Winnipeg. The Jets’ blueline offers a plethora of decent value plays, but as always, Dustin Byfuglien ($5,400) holds the highest ceiling tonight as he mans the point on the top powerplay unit.
Golden Knights vs. Kings [Game 1]
Regardless of where the games are played in this one, you can expect Vegas and LA’s top lines to be hard-matched against each other for the duration of the series. Both are as reliable defensively as they are offensively, and as a result I’m expecting this matchup to be a wash at 5v5. Each line will have to rely on their powerplay time for the bulk of their production which is always much less reliable on a game-to-game basis than 5v5 production, especially when considering both teams possess elite penalty-killing units. On a whole, the Golden Knights and Kings project to be one of the lowest-scoring series of the first round, and it would be wise to avoid them all together.
While much of the star power on either team should be mitigated in this series, there are some decent value stacks to be found on both rosters. Most notably, the Kings’ second line has posted solid even strength production since the return of Jeff Carter ($5,800), averaging nearly 30 scoring chances per 60. They offer tremendous value at just $12,600 for the full build on DraftKings, and Carter’s presence on the top powerplay unit brings added compatibility to a full stack featuring either Dion Phaneuf ($4,000) or Drew Doughty ($5,200).
By: Brock Seguin
– Jacob Trouba (undisclosed) will be back in the Jets lineup for Game 1.
– Derick Brassard (lower-body) will be a game-time decision for Game 1.
– Jared Spurgeon (hamstring) will be a game-time decision for Game 1.
– Jake Muzzin (upper-body) is doubtful for Game 1.
-Alex Iaffallo (upper-body) is expected to be on the Kings first line for Game 1.
– Ryan Suter is out indefinitely following ankle surgery.
– David Perron (undisclosed) will not be available for Game 1.
– Luca Sbisa (undisclosed) will not be available for Game 1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Philadelphia Flyers|
Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild
|Winnipeg Jets||Minnesota Wild|
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings
|Vegas Golden Knights||Los Angeles Kings|
✅ – Confirmed
🅿️ – Probable
🅾️ – Projected
|BROCK SEGUIN||DYLAN BERTHIAUME|
|1. Connor Hellebuyck (vs. MIN)
|2. Matt Murray (vs. PHI)
|t-3. Jonathan Quick (@ VGK)
|t-3. Marc-Andre Fleury (vs. LAK)
|t-5. Devan Dubnyk (@ WPG)
|t-5. Brian Elliott (@ PIT)
|BROCK SEGUIN||DYLAN BERTHIAUME|
|FORWARD||Mathieu Perreault ($3,800)||Michael Raffl ($4,000)|
|DEFENSEMAN||Justin Schultz ($4,000)||Dion Phaneuf ($4,000)|