Line Matching: October 23rd

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

This slate only has two games, which means it’ll be tougher to find any low-owned players to win a GPP with. With only 8 lines, tonight’s Line Matching will be more in-depth than normal to help that along.

New York Rangers vs. San Jose Sharks

San Jose New York Rangers Advantage
SJ1 (Labanc-Thornton-Pavelski)


NYR1 (Nash-Zibanejad-Zuccarello) Even: Although getting out-scored 0-3, NYR1 has been positive in puck possession, scoring chances and shots for (in a little over 30 minutes together). Conversely, SJ1 has been dominant at 5v5 but has been out-scored 2-1. Expect fireworks with these two teams out at the same time.
SJ3 (Donskoi-Tierney-Boedker) NYR2 (Vesey-Hayes-Fast) Even: The Hayes-Vesey duo have looked very strong together, crushing scoring chances and sitting above the 55% mark in shot %. Tierney has held his head above water so far this season but would lose this possession battle if not for the addition of Donskoi on his line. In 65 minutes, Donskoi has crested 65% in every possession metric and been on-ice for 41(!!!) scoring chances for vs. 15 against.
SJ2 (Hertl-Couture-Karlsson) NYR3 (Kreider-Desharnais-Miller) SJ2: Desharnais and Miller have been pasted so far this season, and it’s been worse since Kreider joined them – the DD/CK duo have a 34% CF% and have allowed 18 SC in 35 minutes. SJ2 have more than doubled up the opposition in shots for and scoring chances for, and should continue that tonight.
SJ4 (Goodrow-Carpenter-Ward) NYR4 (Grabner-Buchnevich) Even: This is a tough match-up to determine, as Goodrow makes his debut and Joel Ward has only played 14 5v5 minutes with a mish-mash of linemates. With no defined centre for NY, this just defaults to even.
Conclusion: Since moving Zibanejad’s around two games ago (both home games), NYR1 has seen primary minutes against a second line (NYI2) and mixed minutes against NSH1/NSH2 with a touch more going NSH1’s direction. Against San Jose, expect them to see mixed minutes again with more going against the Thornton line which will make for an even matchup. The same mix of minutes applies to NYR2/NYR3, who saw almost equal minutes against NSH2/3.

One of the things to note in tonight’s game is that Zibanejad, Hayes and Desharnais will see some extra minutes 5v5 as NYR is currently slated to go with 11F-7D.

On a two-game slate, consider using Joonas Donskoi – in the Sharks’ last game, he was moved up to the top line for the third period, and his individual numbers are the best on the team. SJ2 is probably the best line on the slate at 5v5.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Toronto Advantage
LAK3 (Cammalleri-Kempe-Lewis) TOR1 (Nylander-Matthews-Hyman) TOR1: If Mike Babcock puts his top line out against the Kempe line, expect a ton of fireworks from Toronto tonight. Kempe with Cammy have combined for 44 shot attempts against in 30 minutes (34% CF%) and 26 scoring chances against, and although his numbers alongside Trevor Lewis are a bit better, the Matthews line is just too good. They’re better in every metric available and are insanely good at creating scoring chances (see conclusion).
LAK2 (Pearson-Shore-Toffoli) TOR2 (vanRiemsdyk-Bozak-Brown) LAK2: Shore has looked good in his 20 minutes in Jeff Carter’s spot on LAK2, almost doubling the opposition in shots for and putting 12 scoring chances up, 7 of which were high-danger.

Since Brown’s moved up to the second line, TOR2 is a bit more sound defensively but is still getting out-chanced at evens.

LAK1 (Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown) TOR3 (Marleau-Kadri-Komarov) Even: At some point, Dustin Brown will come back to down to earth (11 5v5 goals for on 65 shots), although this line is approaching the 60% possession number and have taken 29(!) high-danger chances. Against Nazem Kadri, who’s allowing only 0.39 scoring chances against/minute, tonight should be that night.
LAK4 (Andreoff-Laich-Dowd) TOR4 (Martin-Moore-Marner) TOR4: Although he only played 7 minutes with Brooks Laich, Andreoff got killed at 5v5 (5 scoring chances against). Laich is laughably bad and shouldn’t be in the league, which means TOR4 should have their way against them. Moore has managed to still drive possession alongside Matt Martin (54% CF%), and in his short time with Marner on his line has looked even better.
Conclusion: There are a couple low-owned spots to pick off from this game, but the line that pops out in the biggest way will be TOR1. Auston Matthews continues to tear up the competition, with 77 scoring chances in 100 minutes with William Nylander. Against LAK3 and on the power play, they should run rampant over the Kings. Mitch Marner as a part of the 4th line but also on the power play is a decent one-off as well, as his linemates are trash but face an even worse 4th line for LA.