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The St. Louis Blues will look to book their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final with a win tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Here at DPA, we are heavily favoring the Blues in tonight’s matchup for various reasons…let’s dive in!
- Momentum has been noticeably on St. Louis’ side ever since San Jose received the benefit of a non-reviewable play in their contentious overtime win in Game 3. Since the hand-pass goal, San Jose has been outscored 7-1 by the Blues.
- Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington has stood on his head this entire season while Sharks netminder Martin Jones has been mediocre at best, especially during the playoffs.
- St. Louis’ depth far surpasses that of San Jose, and as we near the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, depth is everything! Last game alone, St. Louis’ first goal came courtesy of fourth-liner Oskar Sundqvist, and it’s not the first time he’s scored this series either. Sundqvist recorded the insurance goal in St. Louis’ 4-2 win in Game 2. On top of that, the Blues have received depth scoring in this series from the likes of Vince Dunn, Robert Bortuzzo, Ivan Barbashev and Alex Steen!
- Speaking of depth, San Jose only has two elite defensemen on their roster, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. To make matters worse, Erik Karlsson was injured in the 3rd period of Game 5. Not only is Karlsson dealing with injury, but San Jose will also have to deal with a limited Joe Pavelski and an injured Tomas Hertl as both players also did not play for much of the third period. With all of that said, 3 of the Sharks 5 top overall offensive players are in danger of missing out on tonight’s essential Game 6.
- Lastly, Vegas agrees with DPA staff declaring the Blues as -165 home favorites at time of publishing. This comes after the line opened at -150. We anticipate this line will go up or down depending on the status of the three players mentioned above. (Karlsson, Hertl, and Pavelski)
As per the format in our last Daily Faceoff article, today’s piece will go over a suggested Captain; three FLEX picks, and lastly some honorable mentions as players to be considered. DraftKings requires six FLEX spots which may or may not include a goalie, while FanDuel requires four FLEX positions and one Captain position – none of which can be a goalie. (Captain recommendations can also serve as FLEX recommendations for both DraftKings and FanDuel). Please note that DraftKings also distributes points for faceoffs won, so that ought to be taken into account when considering the essential peripheral stats needed to build winning rosters.
Jaden Schwartz (DK: $9,100 | FD: $14,500)
Jaden Schwartz had a HUGE bounce-back game after getting shut out in game four. The Blues top winger was a human wrecking ball in Game 5 where he recorded his second hat trick of the 2019 playoffs. Jaden has been the Blues most consistent scorer, going only five games without a point since Game 4 vs Winnipeg. Schwartz is averaging 17 minutes a game versus the Sharks, and has recorded 0.89 PPG (points-per-game) in these playoffs, including a point per game in this series. On top of that, he will play on the top power-play unit alongside his linemates, Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn. Momentum is clearly with Schwartz tonight. Not to mention, Schwartz has a CF (Corsi For)% of 57.87%, which is excellent, and indicates that more offensive danger chances occur than defensive danger chances are conceded when he is on the ice. (For your reference, Corsi is an advanced statistic which dictates offensive zone production, comparative to defensive zone production.)
(Alt CPT: Tarasenko, Couture, Burns, Meier)
Joel Edmundson (DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,500)
Edmundson has outperformed his all-star linemate Alex Pietrangelo this series, and at a fraction of the price too. Edmundson has recorded a goal and three assists against the Sharks and has averaged around 20 minutes of ice time per game. Despite not getting on the scoresheet over his past two outings, he is bound to rebound with a point or two given the talent that surrounds him on STL’s top line. Joel Edmundson has a CF% of 56.5% in these playoffs, indicative of a top performer in both the offensive and defensive zones.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (DK: $5,100 | FD: $8,000)
Vlasic has been playing top line defensive minutes alongside his all-star linemate Brent Burns again for a fraction of the price, and on top of that, both players have the same amount of points in this series. Vlasic has recorded at least one shot, and one blocked shot in his last four games. He is capable of recording high amounts of peripheral stats, and he has already recorded a multi-goal game in the 2019 playoffs via a Game 6 win against the Colorado Avalanche. If Erik Karlsson does not play tonight, or is in any way limited in terms of minutes, Vlasic will be tasked with picking up the slack as he is easily San Jose’s third best defenseman. (This potential roster change could lead to Vlasic seeing power play time tonight – an added bonus.) Vlasic has a CF% slightly above 50% , but that should be taken lightly as most of his production should come in the form of peripheral stats / blocked shots.
Brayden Schenn (DK: $6,700 | FD: $9,000)
Brayden Schenn has not been particularly great throughout these playoffs, but given the talent that surrounds him, I could see the Blues top line center recording an assist or two if the Blues top line plays like it has to this point in the series. He is the cheapest of the three St. Louis top liners and has seen around 17 minutes of ice-time per game against the Sharks. This also includes time on the STL top power-play unit alongside linemates Schwartz and Tarasenko. When it comes to line matching, the Sharks have been rather inconsistent when facing Schenn for the most part. Schenn matches up with the San Jose top line 50% of the time, while Schenn rocks a 52.5 CF% in the 2019 playoffs. That consistency on both ends of the ice should lead to more ice time, and also a few scoring chances for the Blues’ veteran centerman.
STUD Honorable Mentions: Meier, Perron (DK Only: Binnington)
VALUE Honorable Mentions: Labanc, Thornton, Sundqvist, Bozak
(↓ The last time the Blues faced the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals ↓)
Allan provides his personal advice and insight on his favorite plays for DraftKings and FanDuel. Allan, nor any of the Daily Play Action staff, are responsible for losses accrued by DPA subscribers. Additionally, please always remember to verify starting lineups and starting goalies prior to locking in your rosters.