Line Matching: October 19th

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

Lots of areas to look at for tonight’s 9-game slate, but a couple are dependent on health (c.c. Patrice Bergeron) so make sure to check the line combinations or @DailyFaceoff for game-time updates.

Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Boston Advantage
Conclusion: This game will come down to the health of Patrice Bergeron, currently a game-time decision. Boston has been using the David Krejci line to face the opposition’s top talent (which would be Sedin x2 and Granlund), but if Bergeron is in, expect that to switch. With that being such a question mark this early in the day, there’s no advantage to either team.

The second line of the Canucks becomes appealing if Bergeron is in, because the triple B line (BurmistrovBaertschiBoeser) *ALBEIT IN A VERY SMALL SAMPLE* has looked great with almost one full scoring chance per minute.

New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders

NY Islanders NY Rangers Advantage
NYI1 (Lee-Tavares-Eberle)


NYR1 (Nash-Zibanejad-Zuccarello) Even: Both first lines are very strong puck possession lines, and with Zuccarello/Nash joining Zibanejad for the second game in a row, that line is even stronger defensively. No real advantage to either line.
NYI2 (Ladd-Barzal-Bailey) NYR2 (Kreider-Desharnais-Miller) Even: Young Mathew Barzal has been very effective between Andrew Ladd and Josh Bailey, winning most possession metrics but not creating many shots or chances. Matched against Desharnais who is almost a mirror of Barzal will be a wash.
Conclusion: This will be a fairly even game that should come down to goaltending or special teams.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Nashville Predators

Nashville Philadelphia Advantage
Conclusion: In their only home game, PHI1 matched against WSH2. It’s a tough game to gauge, with only the one home game to consider and a Western Conference team playing an Eastern Conference team. The assumption will be that PHI1 gets to face NSH2, which would give the advantage to NSH1/PHI1 in tonight’s game.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Columbus Advantage
TB2 (Palat-Point-Gourde) CBJ1 (Panarin-Wennberg-Atkinson) CBJ1: Whoever plays against TB2 will have an advantage until Brayden Point gets swapped out for Tyler Johnson. Point is porous defensively (41% SF%), while the CBJ1 line continues to run rampant on the league at 60% SF%.
TB1 (Kucherov-Stamkos-Namestnikov) CBJ2 (Calvert-Foligno-Bjorkstrand) TB1:  The Foligno/Calvert pair have historically been good defensively together and in 20 minutes this year have continued that trend (outshooting opposition 2 to 1), but will have their hands full against arguably the best line in the league.
Conclusion: In two home games this season, CBJ1 has had mixed matches. The assumption tonight is that with Matt Calvert playing beside Nick Foligno, Torts will use CBJ2 to try and shut down the top Tampa Bay line rather than go power-on-power as he did against NYI1. That makes CBJ1 a very, very enticing line to stack from that side of the game, and the chalk Lightning also appealing.

IF this doesn’t play out as expected and CBJ1 matches TB1, the Wennberg line will remain in play (TB1 is not exactly the strongest defensively) but CBJ2 get a massive bump up.

Ottawa Senators vs. New Jersey Devils

                        New Jersey Ottawa Advantage
NJ3 (Gibbons-Zacha-Bratt) OTT1 (Ryan-Brassard-Stone) Even: Gibbons has been a surprise source of scoring opportunities and puck possession for New Jersey and paired with Zacha should be able to neutralize OTT1 a touch.
NJ2 (Johansson-Henrique-Palmieri) OTT2 (Smith-Turris-Dzingel) OTT2: In a small sample, Adam Henrique has been cratered between Johansson and Palmieri, getting out shot attempted 2 to 1 and allowing a scoring chance per minute.
NJ1 (Hall-Hischier-Stafford) OTT3 (Hoffman-Pageau-Pyatt) NJ1: Although Boucher trusts Pageau as a shutdown centre, he’s been absolutely awful so far – sub 35% CF% with both Hoffman and Pyatt in over 32 minutes of 5v5. NJ1’s sample together doesn’t inspire the most confidence – they allow a ton of scoring chances against – but should run rampant over OTT3.
Conclusion: Because coach Guy Boucher trusts J.G. Pageau to play very tough minutes – OTT3 spent almost all their TOI against WSH1 at home, and a good portion against VAN1 – that opens up nice opportunities for the top two lines of the Sens. That also opens up opportunities for NJ1, because as sound defensively as Pageau has been, NJ1 is just better.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Chicago Advantage
EDM1 (Maroon-McDavid-Yamamoto)


CHI1 (Saad-Toews-Panik) EDM1: The Toews line is keeping their heads above water against tough competition, but facing McDavid is another level. McDavid is above 60% CF% with everyone he’s played more than 20 minutes with, and is firing 0.76 shots per minute with Patrick Maroon.
EDM2 (Lucic-NugentHopkins-Strome) CHI2 (Hartman-Schmaltz-Kane) EDM2: Kane hasn’t performed nearly as well as when he had Artemi Panarin beside him (40% CF% with Ryan Hartman), and the RNH line has been very solid hockey. Getting to face softer competition on the road is always a good spot for the second line of the Oilers.Hra
Conclusion: As CHI1 will struggle to get anything going offensively against the McDavid line, neither CHI1 nor CHI2 will be in play tonight. The Oilers should easily take care of the Hawks tonight – with Chicago on a back-to-back, no less – so avoid the ‘Hawks netminder(s) and consider a low-owned EDM2 lineup.

Calgary Flames vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Calgary Advantage
Conclusion: This game will tricky to figure out, with the Hurricanes having more of a 1A/1B set up rather than a stacked first line. That means the 3M line for Calgary could realistically face either CAR1 or CAR2 – whichever line doesn’t face Mikael Backlund will get lots of scoring opportunities. Last year when it was the 2M line (Backlund and Frolik), they played primarily against the Rask/Skinner duo, but that was a full 364 days ago and Rask is between Lindholm and Aho tonight.

Teuvo Teravainen is the 3rd best forward in the league at 5v5 (min. 20 minutes) in terms of CorsiFor – 68% – and is getting 0.65 shots on goal per minute, and could have himself another good game.

Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Colorado Advantage
STL1 (Steen-Stastny-Tarasenko)


COL1 (Yakupov-Duchene-Andrighetto) COL1: Duchene continues to show his worth as an excellent two-way centre that can flash some offensive prowess: 28 scoring chances in 56 minutes with Yakupov and 34 SOG. STL1 still gives up too many chances at 5v5 (42 in 75 minutes) and is a supermassive possession black hole.
STL2 (Schwartz-Schenn-Sobotka) COL2 (Jost-MacKinnon-Rantanen) STL2: Even off a back-to-back, the Schwartz/Schenn combo continue to dominate both possession and scoring chances.
Conclusion: With Jaden Schwartz off a hat trick and Jonathan Bernier between the pipes for the Avs, STL2 will be in play even off the back-to-back. Nathan MacKinnon is allowing 0.5 scoring chances against per minute, sub-50% in every possession metric and has allowed 16HD chances in 60 minutes of 5v5 alongside Mikko Rantanen. COL1 makes a nice low-owned play on an 11-game slate, especially with Andrighetto in Kerfoot’s spot.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Dallas Stars

Dallas Arizona Advantage
Conclusion: Arizona hasn’t matched at home yet, but when these two teams faced off in Dallas, Derek Stepan performed well against DAL1: outshot only 9-7 and actually won the Corsi fight 15-14. Rick Tocchett may try to match them up again, especially with Tobias Rieder on the wing rather than Clayton Keller. In their 11 minutes against each other, both ARI1 and DAL1 had a very good number of SOG and Scoring Chances, so look for fireworks in this late game – from either line.


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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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