The Thanksgiving weekend is over. Now, it's Monday, and things are back to normal. However, there's some NHL hockey to help us ease into the usual routine. There are five games on the slate. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy lineup.
Jonathan Quick, LOS at ANA ($27): Quick got off to a bad start to the year, but over his last nine starts he has a 2.34 GAA and .910 save percentage. If he's playing better he's getting plenty of help, as the Kings have surprisingly only allowed 28.4 shots on net per game. Meanwhile, the Ducks have only managed 29.1 shots on goal per contest, so it could be an easy night for Quick.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Robin Lehner, CHI vs. STL ($35): Lehner has a .929 save percentage, but in his last start he got pulled against the Avalanche after allowing five goals on 14 shots. That's not my concern here, though. The issue is that the Blackhawks have given up 36.0 shots on goal per game. St. Louis has scored 3.07 goals per contest, so Lehner is going to bear a heavy burden, and that will make it hard for him to pay off.
Mathew Barzal, NYI at DET ($24): As a Wings fan, this has been a rough season. However, targeting the Wings certainly has helped out a lot of fantasy players (and if they end up with the first-overall pick it's all good in the end). Barzal, who has 22 points in 24 games, is the focal point of the latest offense facing Detroit's lowly defense. I'm talking about a team with a 3.93 GAA here. The Wings are truly woeful.
CENTER TO AVOID
Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. STL ($18): Some strange things have been going on with Toews this season. He only has four goals, and only two points on the power play. Now he has to play a Blues team with a 2.57 GAA, top five in the NHL.
Kyle Palmieri, NJD at BUF ($18): Palmieri's greatest strength is being a key cog on the power play. He's had at least 18 power-play points in all four of his seasons in Jersey, and he already has eight points with the extra man this year. The Sabres have a middling 3.00 GAA, but a lot of that is because of a penalty kill that ranks 29th.
Jimmy Vesey, BUF vs. NJD ($14): Vesey started the season off slow, despite beginning 57.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest among Buffalo forwards. Finally, that seems to be paying off, though, as he has five points in his last five games. Meanwhile, the Devils have a 3.48 GAA, bottom five in the league.
WINGS TO AVOID
Alex DeBrincat, CHI vs. STL ($22): Like his teammate Toews, DeBrincat has been snakebit as a goal scorer. He had 41 goals last year, but so far this season he only has five, and none in his last 11 games. Facing a Blues team with a 2.57 GAA definitely doesn't seem likely to be the day he turns it around.
Kaapo Kakko, NYR vs. VGK ($11): Kakko got off to a slow start, then started to play better, but now he only has one point in his last six games. Also, seven of his 11 points have come with the extra man. The Golden Knights have the sixth-ranked penalty kill, and even if Marc-Andre Fleury is still out I'm down on Kakko in this matchup.
Shea Theodore, VGK at NYR ($17): Theodore has five points in his last eight games, but it's his shooting that has me enticed. The 24-year-old has put 70 shots on net through 28 contests. New York has given up a whopping 35.8 shots on net per game, second most in the NHL, so Theodore should have plenty of opportunities here.
Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF vs. NJD ($17): With Rasmus Dahlin out, Ristolainen's role in the offense has increased a bit, especially on the power play. He's been up for it, as the Finn has a point in back-to-back games. The Devils have given up on Cory Schneider and turned to MacKenzie Blackwood, but Blackwood has a 3.12 GAA and .898 save percentage.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Anthony DeAngelo, NYR vs. VGK ($18): DeAngelo is off to a hot start to the season, but his 15.6 shooting percentage is bound to regress. Plus, six of his 19 points have come with the extra man, and the Golden Knights have the sixth-ranked penalty kill. Even if Fleury doesn't play, Malcolm Subban has a 2.61 GAA and .918 save percentage in three starts stepping in for Vegas' normal number-one goalie.
Erik Gustafsson, CHI vs. STL ($14): Was Gustafsson's campaign last year a fluke? So far, that has appeared to be true, as he only has three goals and six assists through 25 games. Maybe eventually he'll show some of that old form, but it likely won't be against Jordan Binnington and his 2.26 GAA and .926 save percentage.