All-Star Game rosters are out, so we know we're really into the thick of the NHL season. Friday features six games, with several All-Stars in the mix, of course. Here are some players to target, and some to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Kaapo Kahkonen, SAN at ANA ($23): Kahkonen has struggled this year, but he has a career .902 save percentage so I expect him to improve. He won't necessarily be great, but he's a better goalie than his current numbers (including an arguably-unsustainable .872 save percentage) indicate. The Ducks, though, are seemingly as bad as their numbers indicate. They rank 31st in goals per game at 2.23.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. TAM ($37): Hellebuyck has been stellar for the Jets, posting a .928 save percentage through 29 appearances. That being said, this matchup is quite tricky. The Lightning have averaged 3.51 goals per game, so I'm looking elsewhere in net rather than paying Hellebuyck's salary.
Max Domi, CHI vs. ARI ($13): Playing for a rebuilding team, Domi is playing the biggest role of his career, averaging 18:35 in ice time and 3:33 on the power play. He'll be facing his former team Friday, and the Coyotes are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Connor Ingram is going to be in goal, and he has a 4.24 GAA and .878 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brock Nelson, NYI at CGY ($20): The Islanders are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back against a rested Flames team at home. Jacob Markstrom only has a .905 save percentage over his last 10 starts, but he has a 2.49 GAA in that time. Why? Because the Flames have allowed a mere 27.9 shots on net per contest.
Lucas Raymond, DET vs. FLA ($16): Maybe this season won't end up a sophomore slump for the Swedish rookie sensation. Raymond has seven points over his last seven games, including a goal in back-to-back games. He's also tallied 12 points with the extra man this year. The Panthers, somewhat surprisingly, have a 3.41 GAA, in part because they have the 22nd-ranked penalty kill.
Alexander Barabanov, SAN at ANA ($15): Barabanov has picked up a goal in back-to-back games. He only has six this season, but he has 17 assists as well through 34 games. Playing the Ducks, he could easily extend his goal streak to three contests, as the Ducks have a 4.00 GAA and have allowed 38.3 shots on net per game, both league-worst numbers.
WINGS TO AVOID
Nikita Kucherov, TAM at WPG ($31): Concern about Hellebuyck living up to his salary aside, I have the same concern about Kucherov. Hellebuyck does have a .928 save percentage, after all. Additionally, the Jets have a top-five penalty kill. The Russian winger doesn't need to be on the power play to find success, but 23 of his 54 points have come with the extra man.
Matt Duchene, NAS at WAS ($17): Both of these teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back, but the Predators are the ones on the road. Also, the Capitals have themselves a solid backup goalie. Charlie Lindgren has a 2.57 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Seth Jones, CHI vs. ARI ($15): Jones has put 73 shots on net through 27 games. That's notable, as the Coyotes have allowed the third-most shots on goal per contest in the NHL. Now the 'Yotes are on the road to finish off a back-to-back, and will also have Ingram and his .878 save percentage in goal.
Matt Benning, SAN at ANA ($12): Benning has averaged 19:23 per game in ice time, over three minutes more than he averaged last year with Nashville. He also has 16 points, including three in his last four games. Anaheim has a 4.00 GAA and has allowed 38.3 shots on goal per contest, which is certainly enticing.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Josh Morrissey, WPG vs. TAM ($21): Morrissey is having an incredible breakthrough season at 27, but I see an 11.5 shooting percentage and imagine that regression toward the mean is going to arrive eventually. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 2.42 GAA and .921 save percentage, but over his last 12 starts he's up to a 1.75 GAA and .942 save percentage.
Noah Dobson, NYI at CGY ($19): Dobson puts a lot of pucks on net, which is his number-one strength from a fantasy perspective. However, as I noted, the Flames have only allowed 27.9 shots on goal per game. Plus, Dobson and company are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back as well.