Stanley Cup Game 3 Draftkings Preview
So far we’ve been middle of the road with our strategies but that’s how GPP strategies go, with a need to balance optimal production with slight differential in our lineups because when we win we want to get paid out and not split the top prize 10 ways. Also just to touch on some contest selection decisions, make sure whatever contests you participate in you can reach the maximum entries, putting in one entry for a contest that has a ten entry limit immediately puts you at a disadvantage and drastically lowers your margin for error. I prefer to play in single entry GGP tournaments, it ensures everyone is on the same level as for as entries are concerned. Now as game 3 approaches us we need to consider not only the playoff sample size but also the direction the series is going, two games is a small sample size but two trends are developing. The first is that Montreal is containing Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, they put up 5 of their combined 6 points this series in the third period of game 1, the Habs have contained them besides that one twenty minute span. The second trend is Andrei Vasilevskiy vastly out playing Carey Price, Vasilevskiy has face 62 shots stopping 60 of them, allowing 1 goal in each game. Meanwhile Price has faced 50 shots only stopping 42 of them and allowing over 3 goals in both games. Montreal desperately needs Price to find his game, it’s almost now or never time for the Habs. Two other notes for game 3, the series is heading to Montreal, that means the Canadiens will have the last change and will have more control dictating matchups and Dominique Ducharme returns back behind the bench giving Montreal their head coach back.
With Ducharme back and the Canadiens at home I expect to see a lot of the Danault ($5,000)/Gallagher ($7,000)/Lehkonen ($4,200) line in an attempt to continue shutting down the Kucherov ($10,000)/Point ($10,400)/Palat ($7,600) line. While that means a lot of thankless defensive work and tough defensive zone starts it also means a ton of ice time for Gallagher, who despite his quiet game 2 is still the Habs leader in shot attempts (86) and second in shots on goal (46). A Montreal stack I like for this game is Tyler Toffoli ($8,400) and Cole Caulfield ($7,400), they play on the second line and the top power play unit together. He’s been quiet so far this series but Toffoli led the Habs in goals (28) and points (44) in the regular season and is currently tied for the team lead for points in the playoffs (14). Caulfield only played in 10 regular season games but has stepped up his game in the playoffs, and is second on the team with (9) points. Gallagher, Toffoli and Caulfield are a good group to build your Montreal side of your lineup around.
The Tampa Bay side of things as always starts with how confident we are with Kucherov and Point finding time and space against Montreal’s suffocating defensive top line. If we believe that there’s no way Montreal can continue to slow them down and top end skill wins out eventually, this could be that game. The Habs are desperate, backs against the wall, that can lead to taking more chances and more mistakes, allowing Kucherov and Point to feast. If you pay up for both of them you’re going to need cheap options to fill out the rest of the roster that’s where someone like Tyler Johnson who checks in at $3000 comes in. Johnson replaced Killorn, who’s out again, on the second line, played over 15 minutes and assisted on Cirelli’s goal. Even with a cheap Johnson in your lineup stacking Kucherov and Point is going to be pricey and potentially a let down if Danault’s line continue their ability to shut down opposing teams’ top lines.
With this game shifting to Montreal and the Habs being desperate I expect this game to tighten up and be a very balanced affair, I’m favoring balanced lineups (3-3) with both goalies rostered and using depth players to round out the rest of the roster. I also like the idea of captaining one of the goalies, Vasilevskiy ($16,800) has been much better and is the safer option even at the higher price tag. But a return home might be all Price ($14,400) needs to find his form, he’s 5-3 in 8 home games this post season with a goals against average of 1.88. Vasilevskiy has been stellar in the start of the series continuing what has been an amazing run so far this postseason, so slide him into your lineups with confidence tonight. Relying on two quiet games in a row from Kucherov and Point is sort of like playing with fire but I have faith in Montreal’s defensive game and Price resembling some version of what he’s been all season. A 2-1 final either way is how I see it, with both goalies delivering quality performances.