Monday evening, the pickings are truly slim for the NHL. While the Winter Classic gets a nice showcase in the afternoon, at night there are only two games. That means only two games for my DFS selections (I wouldn't have wanted to recommend anybody in the Winter Classic anyway, so I don't mind it not being included). With that said, here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your lineups.
Logan Thompson, VGK at COL ($32): The fact Carter Hart has been in concussion protocol kept me from going with him as my goalie. Thompson has been better than Hart, as he has a 2.64 GAA and .915 save percentage. Plus, even though Nathan MacKinnon is back, the Avalanche surprisingly rank 25th in goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Alexandar Georgiev, COL vs. VGK ($34): Well, I mean, I don't need to tell you not to roster Lukas Dostal, right? That just leaves Georgiev. While he also has a .915 save percentage this season, he has allowed at least four goals in each of his last three starts.
Morgan Frost, PHI at ANA ($14): Frost has recently been given the chance to center Philly's top line, and over his last nine games he's also averaged 3:00 per contest with the extra man. Oh, and in those same nine games he has eight points, though four of them did come in one outing against the Coyotes. That being said, the Ducks are last in GAA and shots on goal allowed per game, and 30th on the penalty kill. This is an even better matchup than the Coyotes.
CENTER TO AVOID
William Karlsson, VGK at COL ($17): Georgiev's .915 save percentage all in all is not too shabby, and the only center you usually consider for the Avalanche is MacKinnon, who I don't think is somebody you should avoid. Thus, I am recommending avoiding Karlsson. He is picking up assists, but he only has seven goals on 72 shots on net this season. Also, while the Avalanche have a below-average penalty kill, Karlsson has only averaged 1:49 per game with the extra man.
Owen Tippett, PHI at ANA ($17): Tippett has back-to-back games with a goal and an assist on this road trip, and he could easily make it three in this matchup. After all, the Ducks have a 4.11 GAA and have given up 38.5 shots on net per contest. There isn't an easy opponent you are going to find in the NHL this year.
Frank Vatrano, ANA vs. PHI ($14): Vatrano is going to be hoping for better luck in 2023. He's put 109 shots on net in 37 games, second most on the Ducks, but he only has six goals thanks to a 5.5 shooting percentage that is bound to improve. He does have two goals in his last seven games to go with three assists. The Flyers have allowed 32.1 shots on net per game, and if Carter Hart can't play, rookie Samuel Ersson with a 3.57 GAA in three career starts will likely be in net.
WINGS TO AVOID
Artturi Lehkonen, COL vs. VGK ($18): Lehkonen has picked up 13 of his 23 points on the power play. However, only one of those points have come in his last 11 games, so he may not be primed to take advantage of the Golden Knights' slightly-below-average penalty kill. Additionally, Thompson's 2.64 GAA is the lowest of any goalie that could start Monday.
Phil Kessel, VGK at COL ($11): With Jonathan Marchessault injured, Kessel is up on the second line, but don't expect a late-career renaissance from the iron man. He only has one goal in his last 13 games, and an 8.2 shooting percentage doesn't stand out as unusually low for a guy with a career 10.7 number. Also, his move to the second line hasn't included an uptick in power-play time.
Alex Pietrangelo, VGK at COL ($24): Here is one guy who is primed to take advantage of Colorado's iffy penalty kill. Pietrangelo has been stellar since his absence, tallying six points and 20 shots on net in seven games. Four of those points have come with the extra man, giving him 11 on the season.
Cam York, PHI at ANA ($13): York was called up at the start of December and he's been chipping in every since. He has six points in 10 games, and recently he's been playing on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov. The 21-year-old now gets to face the Ducks with their 4.11 GAA, so January could pick up where December left off.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Devon Toews, COL vs. VGK ($19): I'm not going to eschew Cale Makar, but Toews is not quite on that level. Plus, Makar eats up all the power play time. While Toews is talented and has 20 points in 33 games, only two of them have come with the extra man. Thompson's 2.64 GAA and .915 save percentage make him stand out among these four teams as well.
Brayden McNabb, VGK at COL ($17): With Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez out, you might look to McNabb, who has 12 points this season. However, he only has one goal, and he's never had more than five goals in campaign. There is no power-play time to speak of for McNabb either, as his season high in a game is a whopping 39 seconds.