Daily Fantasy Hockey: Friday picks for two-game slate

Daily Fantasy Hockey: Friday picks for two-game slate

Friday is not going to excite hockey fans out there. We only have two games on the slate in the NHL. Having said that, you can still enjoy some DFS action Friday, even if your options are limited. I still have recommendations related to your lineups, so let's get to that.

GOALIE

Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. OTT ($24): This was one of the toughest goaltending decisions I can recall, but not because the choices were too good. No, I was trying to find the option I disliked the least, which I guess is DeSmith. The Senators have averaged 2.95 goals per game, lowest of these four teams, and DeSmith gets to be at home as well. I wish Tristan Jarry was healthy, but this is the best I could do Friday.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Alexandar Georgiev, COL at VAN ($30): Georgiev has a .916 save percentage, but this matchup is a concern. The Canucks are bad defensively and Bruce Boudreau always seems to be on the precipice of being fired, so the fact they have averaged 3.36 goals per game may get overlooked. That's top 10 in the NHL.

CENTER

J.T. Compher, COL at VAN ($17): The Avalanche have gotten healthier, and recently Compher has found himself with Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin on his wings. He also has three two-point outings in his last five contests. The Canucks have a 3.95 GAA, second highest in the NHL. I told you they were bad defensively.

CENTER TO AVOID

Bo Horvat, VAN vs. COL ($26): Given my lack of confidence in any goalie Friday, it stands to reason I am also not particularly feeling negative about many players either. The Avalanche will have the best goalie in net of these four teams, even if Pavel Francouz starts instead of Georgiev. Horvat has had a great year, but he also has a 22.9 shooting percentage, which is unsustainably high.

WING

Brady Tkachuk, OTT at PIT ($25): Few players put pucks on net like Tkachuk. He's tallied 187 shots on goal through 44 games. The Penguins, meanwhile, have allowed 33.5 shots on net per contest. I fully expect Tkachuk to be active and threatening the Pittsburgh defense in this one.

Bryan Rust, PIT vs. OTT ($17): Rust has been on a bit of a cold stretch in terms of scoring goals, but he has six points over his last 10 games. He also only has an 8.8 shooting percentage this season, so more luck could be coming his way. The Senators have a 3.25 GAA and two goalies just above .900 in terms of their save percentage, so Rust could be enjoying a dose of regression toward the mean Friday.

WINGS TO AVOID

Rickard Rakell, PIT vs. OTT ($19): Interestingly, Rakell's last four goals have come with the extra man. That is interesting, but also concerning. The Senators have a top-10 penalty kill, so it is an area where they are performing well.

Brock Boeser, VAN vs. COL ($17): It's been a tricky year for Boeser, who only has nine goals through 36 games, but also an 11.1 shooting percentage that isn't unusually low. Colorado's 2.79 GAA isn't great, but Pittsburgh's 3.07 GAA is the second lowest of these four teams, so clearly it provides the toughest matchup.

DEFENSE

Thomas Chabot, OTT at PIT ($19): Chabot has the same primary positive as Tkachuk, which is to say he shoots a ton. The defenseman has tallied 97 shots on net through 39 outings, a lot from the blue line. As I noted, the Penguins have given up 33.5 shots on net per contest.

Devon Toews, COL at VAN ($19): Toews has five points over his last three games, but that's not all. Cale Makar is day-to-day, and if he doesn't play, Toews should be on the top power-play unit. That would mean added time with the extra man against Vancouver's 32nd-ranked penalty kill.

DEFENSE TO AVOID

Ty Smith, PIT vs. OTT ($14): The Penguins basically called Smith up to be a power-play specialist with Kris Letang out. He's averaged 5:25 per game with the extra man, and three of his four points have come on the power play. However, the Senators have that top-10 penalty kill I mentioned.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, VAN vs. COL ($10): The Avalanche have been spotty at killing penalties, so I can't necessarily say to avoid Quinn Hughes. Ekman-Larsson, though, you can safely avoid Friday. He has 19 points in 43 games, but Georgiev has a .916 save percentage, and the Swedish defenseman sees infrequent minutes with the extra man.