Line Matching: October 18th

Updated: October 31, 2017 at 7:51 am by Adam Daly-Frey

Just a small, three-game slate tonight. There are some unexpected lines that pop up tonight – TOR2 again, for example – so there will be enough ways to differentiate lineups.


Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Toronto Advantage
DET2 (Tatar-Larkin-Abdelkader)

 

TOR1 (Nylander-Matthews-Hyman) Even: Larkin has been very effective at shutting down scoring chances against and has been on the ice for only 11 shots against when paired with Abdelkader (38 mins). The Matthews line will have a tough test, although the Nylander/AM34 combo have combined for 60 scoring chances in 74 minutes already.
DET3 (Frk-Nielsen-Helm) TOR2 (VanRiemsdyk-Bozak-Brown) TOR2: The Nielsen/Helm duo have been cratered in their time together, allowing 38 shots against to 27 shots for, and 29 scoring chances against. The numbers aren’t much better with Frk/Nielsen, while Bozak/JVR have put up 37 scoring chances in their hour together.
DET1 (Mantha-Zetterberg-Nyquist) TOR3 (Marleau-Kadri-Komarov) Even: Kadri’s continued to be a very solid two-way centre, winning every category by a wide margin and allowing less than 20 scoring chances against at 5v5 in an hour of play. They have a tough match against DET1, who put up 13 scoring chances in 20 minutes when Mantha moved to DET1. This should matchup should even out, with neither side having much of an advantage.
Conclusion: The ManthaZetterbergNyquist line would be an appealing line if this wasn’t in Toronto, but Kadri should be able to neutralize them. The real target in this game will be TOR2, even with Curtis McElhinney in the pipes for Toronto on a back-to-back.

St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago St. Louis Advantage
CHI1 (Saad-Toews-Panik) STL1 (Steen-Stastny-Tarasenko) CHI1: Steen is a positive possession player and will help pull STL1 out of the gutter a bit, but in his first game back from injury that effect won’t show as he regains chemistry. CHI1 hasn’t been as dominant at puck possession (barely over the 50% mark in all categories), but have fired a large amount of shots and scoring chances (a little over 0.6/minute).
CHI2 (Hartman-Schmaltz-Kane) STL2 (Schwartz-Schenn-Blais) STL2: Patrick Kane has been atrocious at 5v5 as his centres have rotated, but the Hartman/Kane duo have been on for 46 scoring chances against in 56 minutes. With Schmaltz back that should come back down, but like Steen don’t expect miracles in the first game. STL2 have put 17 high-danger chances together on 46 scoring chances, and should continue to get great looks tonight.
Conclusion: The Blues are playing just their second home game, so this game is tougher to figure out line-matching for. Against Dallas, Mike Yeo used STL2 to match against the Seguin line, but the theory for tonight will be that he’ll roll STL2 against the most dangerous scoring line (CHI2). If that holds, the targets from this game would be STL2 and CHI1. If you believe that he’ll pit STL2 against CHI1, the plays would be CHI2 and STL1.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Los Angeles Advantage
MTL1 (Pacioretty-Drouin-Lehkonen) LA1 (Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown) MTL1: Kopitar’s line has been above-average in possession as they’re wont to be, but have also given up a fair number of scoring chances and a shot against every two minutes. Drouin and Pacioretty together have been absolutely dominant at 5v5 and are high-volume in shots & chances, but have been unlucky in goals against.
MTL2 (Byron-Plekanec-Gallagher) LA2 (Pearson-Carter-Toffoli) LA2: Although Carter’s line has been impressive (above 58% in every category), Plekanec has been impressive at neutralizing chances against. This should be a fairly low-event matchup, but LA2’s scoring chance prowess gives them a small edge.
Conclusion: Against the heaviest favourite on the board, MTL1 should see lower-than-expected ownership on a small slate, and matching up against Kopitar on paper means they could be ignored. They have a good opportunity for success. LA2 should win their line-match, but don’t see much ice time and only have a slight edge in possession/chances.

 

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Adam Daly-Frey

Adam is a Daily Fantasy player from Ottawa that plays every sport, with a focus on hockey followed by PGA. He started writing hockey full-time in the 2016 season, and playing DFS full time in September 2017. You can find him on Twitter at @adalyfrey

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