NHL Grind Down: Wednesday, February 14th

The RotoGrinders NHL Grind Down article will give you an in-depth analysis into the NHL schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy hockey there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, salaries, and more.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. Hockey is an extremely high variance sport. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.

Remember, these writeups are done prior to lineups being released, so make sure to check our Starting Lineups page to ensure the recommended options are playing.

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Stackability Rating System (Offense):

Green : Friendly matchup at 5v5 and/or on the power play; multiple lines worth stacking
Yellow : Line specific matchup at 5v5 and/or friendly power play matchup
Orange : Stacking is best left for GPPs, secondary scoring units and/or power play in tough matchup
Red : Difficult 5v5 and/or power play matchup, stacking not advisable

Stackability Rating System (Goalies):

Green : Goalie has a plus draw and is playable in all formats
Yellow : There is risk at 5v5 or the penalty kill; iffy for cash games and better for GPPs
Orange : Realistic risk at 5v5 and the penalty kill; not advisable in cash games but viable in GPPs
Red : Elevated risk in all situations and not a recommend crease to chase

Team Ranking Key
CF = Corsi For = shot attempts generated
CA = Corsi Allowed = shot attempts allowed
xGF = expected goals scored
xGA = expected goals allowed
Numbers in parentheses denote the league ranking for the particular metric.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs

Columbus Blue Jackets Toronto Maple Leafs
Joonas Korpisalo Frederik Andersen
Record Record
29-23-4 34-19-5
Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Stats GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK%
Team Stats 2.56 2.75 14.01 75.35 Team Stats 3.22 2.78 20.50 83.04

Blue Jackets Offensive Outlook

5v5 (adj): 60.95 CF/60 (8) | 58.23 CA/60 (17) | 2.51 xGF/60 (3) | 2.38 xGA/60 (9)

After getting the pee-wee Islander defense last night, Columbus will have a bit of a tougher matchup tonight. Toronto plays fast and that does open up their offense to some scoring chances allowed, but for the most part they (and virtually everyone) is better defensively than New York.

Columbus’s offense is skating well at the moment, producing oodles of shots on goal and top ten rates of shot attempts, scoring chances, and high-danger shot attempts per hour at 5v5 over the last month. At the same time, Toronto’s defense has been vulnerable to shot attempts but have done pretty well limiting high-danger shot attempts.

There’s a matchup issue at play for the top line of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Artemi Panarin, and Cam Atkinson as they will likely see the Kadri line and Rielly defensive pairing at 5v5. It’s too bad they have such an unfavorable matchup tonight as they have been playing quite well of late. It’s a three game slate so this group can’t be written off entirely, but they are certainly not as high on the totem pole as they could (or should) be in this one.

This is a much better matchup for the Columbus middle six. Alex Wennberg is skating between Nick Foligno and Oliver Bjorkstrand, and they are likely to draw the Matthews line at 5v5. While the Matthews line is flashy and can push play, they do give up plenty of shots and attempts going back to the other way. Bjorkstrand has been surging a bit, getting the puck to the net and showing some of that potential, while Foligno has been playing much better than he had been earlier in the year.

Given it’s a short slate, the third line of Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner, and Josh Anderson are in play for the budget focused. They have an eminently winnable 5v5 matchup against the Bozak line and Roman Polak. Jenner and Anderson are both volume shooters that are working through some unsustainably low shooting percentages, making them ideal tournament plays here.

It’s also a fine matchup for blueline help. On the high end is Seth Jones and Zach Werenski, and David Savard — everyone’s favorite punt play from prior years — is back on the radar.

Blue Jackets Special Teams Outlook
Though they did light the lamp (twice!) on the advantage last night, Columbus remains one of the worst teams on the power play. They have the worst generation rates (per hour) in all of shot attempts, scoring chances, and high-danger shot attempts. They don’t get a favorable matchup tonight as the Leafs have kept high-danger attempts on the low side, and their rates of overall attempts and scoring chances allowed are still just middle of the road. Additionally, Toronto goes shorthanded just under three times per game, so Columbus may not get many opportunities anyway.

Blue Jackets Goaltending Outlook
With Sergei Bobrovsky going last night on Long Island, the Jackets will need to give his tired legs a quick turnaround or else turn the crease to Joonas Korpisalo in a highly flammable matchup. Regardless who starts, this is a potential blowup spot. With baseball season coming up, you can think of this as a “gas can” goalie as the past time people say. Bobrovsky, tired legs or not, would be the preferable option to Korpisalo, but the lethal Toronto attack is going to pounce on a Columbus defense that has been struggling to slow opposing offenses of late.

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About the Author

  • Ben Benwell (benwell311)

  • Ben has been playing fantasy hockey since the turn of the century, focusing on NHL DFS over the past three seasons. He has previously written hockey content for eDraft and The Fake Hockey. Feel free to reach out with questions, comments, and memes on Twitter @Benwell_B.

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