Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

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Neil Parker
·4 min read
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It's an exciting Saturday in the NHL with six of the seven evening games that make up the featured contests at Yahoo projected to be close contests according to the odds. Toronto is the lone sizable favorite, and the Maple Leafs-Oilers game also has the highest over/under total. It's also worth noting that Winnipeg beat Calgary 3-2, and Arizona topped San Jose 5-2 on Friday, so all four clubs are playing the second leg of a back-to-back start.

All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.

GOALIE

Laurent Brossoit, WPG at CGY ($30): The Flames have been held to just four goals through their past four games and lost all four. The drought has them down to a pedestrian 2.59 goals per game for the year. Brossoit boasts a rock-solid .920 save percentage and 2.43 GAA for the campaign, and the Jets handled Calgary 3-2 on Friday.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Jack Campbell, TOR vs. EDM ($37): The long-time backup projects to handle starting duty for the foreseeable future for Toronto, and Campbell has been automatic through five appearances this year with a .958 save percentage and 1.18 GAA. However, those numbers are facing negative regression, and the Oilers enter with the third-most goals per game in the league and the fourth-ranked power play. Campbell's salary is steep, too. 

CENTER

Roope Hintz, DAL vs. FLA ($18): When healthy, Hintz has produced this season, and he's collected an impressive six tallies and five helpers through his past eight games. The stretch his him at a point-per-game pace for the campaign, and Hintz's 3.34 points per 60 minutes rank 17th in the league among forwards with at least 350 minutes this season. 

CENTER TO AVOID

Sidney Crosby, PIT vs. NYI ($34): Currently on a tear with two goals and eight points through the past four games, No. 87 capitalized up on the inferior Devils and Sabres. This is an entirely different matchup, though. The Islanders allow the fewest goals and second-fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five in the league, after all. The salary consume a lot of cap space, too. 

WING

Viktor Arvidsson, NSH at CHI ($17): Considering Arvidsson has attempted a team-high 197 shots with an unsustainably low 3.6 percent shooting, positive regression is coming in the goals column. The shot volume also provides a decent floor, and Chicago isn't an intimidating matchup with the sixth-most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes allowed and the 27th-ranked penalty-kill percentage in the league. 

Alex Galchenyuk, TOR vs. EDM ($10): The 27-year-old winger is expected to continue skating with John Tavares and William Nylander on the second line, and he's had a respectable three-game audition in the role with an assist and eight shot attempts. Galchenyuk, Tavares and Nylander have also attempted 27 shots and generated six high-danger scoring chances without scoring, so statistical correction should be in their favor. 

WINGS TO AVOID

Steven Stamkos, TB at CAR ($29): There have only been 18 total goals through the first five meetings between Tampa Bay and Carolina this season, so spending up for Stamkos in a potentially tough matchup might not be the best allocation of your salary cap. Additionally, the Hurricanes have the best team percentage at five-on-five in the league. 

Jason Spezza, TOR vs. EDM ($14): The veteran has been garnering a lot of attention with his recent production spike of four goals and four assists through the past 12 games. However, Spezza has logged just 10:59 of ice time during the stretch, and his 22.2 percent shooting is unsustainably high. 

DEFENSE

Adam Boqvist, CHI vs. NSH ($13): The Predators have a 71.9 penalty-kill percentage, 29th in the league, so this is a good matchup for Boqvist to break out of his current lull. While he's missed the scoresheet entirely in each of the past five games, the 20-year-old defenseman is quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit, begins 59.5 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone and ranks 11th in points per 60 minutes among regular defensemen. Plus, his salary doesn't crush your cap.

Logan Stanley, WPG at CGY ($10): Another low-salary target, Stanley has quietly padded the shots (35) and blocked shots (20) columns this season and isn't a notable plus-minus risk. However, he's playing limited minutes (13:00 through the past eight games). The 2016 first-round selection doesn't offer much upside with just a single point through 22 games, but there is a decent floor to accompany the cap relief. 

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Victor Hedman, TB at CAR ($29) and Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. TB ($26): As note, these two teams have played low-scoring games in each of their first five meetings, so tying up significant cap space with either blueliner could prove detrimental. Of course, past results don't perfectly predict future outcomes, but it's a deep enough blue line pool to find multiple options across various salary ranges. Hedman and Hamilton are the two most expensive defensemen.