Last time it was Saturday, we were ringing in the new year. Now we're here in 2023 with seven NHL games this Saturday night. Here are some players to target, and a handful to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Matt Murray, TOR vs. DET ($36): Murray got off to a hot start for the Leafs, and while he's slipped a bit lately, he still has a 2.61 GAA and .913 save percentage. Saturday, assuming he's in net, he'll get the Red Wings and their below-average offense on the second leg of a back-to-back.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Alexandar Georgiev, COL at EDM ($28): Georgiev has a .915 save percentage this season, but he's allowed at least three goals in each of his last five starts. The Oilers, powered by Connor McDavid, rank third in the NHL at 3.55 goals per game.
Charlie Coyle, BOS at SAN ($14): Since the start of December, Coyle has 11 points in 16 games. None of them have come on the power play, but that's a good thing, as the Sharks have the second-ranked penalty kill. However, San Jose still is in the bottom eight in GAA, and it is also on the second leg of a back-to-back.
CENTER TO AVOID
Dylan Larkin, DET at TOR ($23): Larkin is an All-Star, but he's also on the road for the second night of a back-to-back. The Maple Leafs have a 2.67 GAA as a team, and also have only allowed 28.4 shots on net per game. Whether Murray or Ilya Samsonov is in net, the Toronto defense is too good for this salary.
Drake Batherson, OTT vs. SEA ($20): Batherson has been crushing it on the power play this year. He's averaged 3:49 per game with the extra man and has 19 power-play points in only 38 games. The Kraken have the 31st-ranked penalty kill, so this is a matchup right up Batherson's alley.
Brandon Saad, STL at MON ($18): Saad has picked up two points in each of his last two games. He takes that into a favorable matchup with the Canadiens. Montreal has a 3.79 GAA and has allowed 33.6 shots on net per contest, both in the bottom eight in the NHL.
WINGS TO AVOID
Timo Meier, SAN vs. BOS ($29): Meier is having a great year, but I don't think he's going to be able to live up to his salary Saturday. It's not just that he's on a back-to-back. The Bruins are way ahead of the league defensively, posting a 2.16 GAA when no other team is better than 2.55. Plus, Boston has the league's top penalty kill.
Kevin Fiala, LOS at VGK ($22): Recently, the Kings shook up their lineup a bit and dropped Fiala to the third line. Perhaps because he only has one goal in his last 12 games? Logan Thompson has a 2.61 GAA and .915 save percentage, and over his last eight outings he has a 2.40 GAA.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. DET ($19): Rielly doesn't have a goal yet this year, but he has 17 assists in 24 games. Plus, he's put 41 shots on net, and he won't have a goose egg on the goal front all season. The Red Wings are on the second leg of a back-to-back, and Magnus Hellberg will likely be in net. He's a 31-year-old who has played in only 10 NHL games for a reason.
Arber Xhekaj, MON vs. STL ($12): The rookie defenseman has 13 points and 62 shots on goal through 37 games. That includes five points over Xhekaj's last eight games. Jordan Binnington has a 3.21 GAA and .894 save percentage, and the Blues are in the bottom five on the penalty kill as well.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Erik Karlsson, SAN vs. BOS ($28): Karlsson has had a great season, but this matchup is still too daunting. Want to talk about great seasons? Linus Ullmark has an 1.86 GAA and .939 save percentage. Also, don't forget that the Bruins have the top-ranked penalty kill.
Filip Hronek, DET at TOR ($15): Hronek has been the best defenseman for the Red Wings this season, but he's slowed down a bit. He only has one goal over his last 16 games, and only two points in his last 11. The Maple Leafs, as I noted, have a 2.67 GAA and have only allowed 28.4 shots on net per game, both top 10 in the NHL.