The NHL is taking Thanksgiving off, but fret not. Wednesday is packed to the brim with action. There are 15 games on the slate. Only two teams are taking the day off. Your DFS options are extensive, but to help you clear through the clutter, here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your lineups. Have a good Wednesday, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Jake Oettinger, DAL vs. CHI ($41): After returning from injury, Oettinger had a couple off starts. However, his last two outings have been strong, and all in all he has a 2.18 GAA and .929 save percentage. I expect him to continue to stay on track, as the Blackhawks rank last in goals per game and have only put 25.8 shots on net per contest.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. EDM ($36): Sorokin has had to shoulder more of a load than in the past, as the Islanders have allowed 32.8 shots on net per contest. Thanks to a .926 save percentage, Sorokin has been up to the task, but the Oilers are a daunting opponent. Connor McDavid and crew have averaged 3.47 goals per contest.
Boone Jenner, CLM vs. MON ($19): Jenner is locked in. He has 10 points in his last eight games, and he's also put 30 shots on net in that time. The Canadiens are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. While Samuel Montembeault has a 2.83 GAA and .915 save percentage this season, in his career he has an .894 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Aleksander Barkov, FLA vs. BOS ($30): Barkov has 15 points in 18 games, but he's struggled to score himself, posting a 5.8 shooting percentage. While his luck should turn around, don't count on it in this matchup. The Bruins have the lowest GAA in the NHL and the second-best penalty kill.
Jordan Kyrou, STL at BUF ($21): Kyrou is on a five-game point streak and now has 13 points in 18 games. That's with a 10.2 shooting percentage that is below his usual level. The Sabres are on the second night of a back-to-back, and third-string goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will likely be in net behind a reeling squad.
Martin Necas, CAR vs. ARI ($20): Necas has been rewarded with a major increase in his role this season. He's averaged 19:32 in ice time, including 3:48 per game with the extra man. This has paid off for Necas and the Canes, as he has 23 points in 19 contests. The Coyotes have a 3.59 GAA and have given up 35.4 shots on net per game, and there is no reason to have any faith in their goaltending.
WINGS TO AVOID
Patrick Kane, CHI at DAL ($22): Kane recently snapped a goal drought, but he still only has three goals this season. His 5.7 shooting percentage will improve, but perhaps not against the Stars. As I noted earlier, Oettinger has a 2.18 GAA and .928 save percentage.
Michael Bunting, TOR at NJD ($17): You can look at Bunting's numbers and note he has four points in his last four games. On the other hand, you can look at his numbers and see that he's been held without a point in 11 of his last 14 outings. The Devils surprisingly have a 2.32 GAA, largely because they've allowed a mere 25.0 shots on net per contest.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. CHI ($19): Heiskanen kicked it into gear after missing a few games early. Over his last 10 outings he had nine points, including five on the power play. All those points are assists, even though he's put 23 shots on goal in that time. The Blackhawks are in the bottom 10 in GAA, shots on net allowed per game, and penalty-kill percentage, so this matchup is favorable all over the map.
Nick Jensen, WAS vs. PHI ($14): Jensen has slowed down after coming out of the gate hot, but he has three points in his last six games. He's also averaged 20:44 per game in ice time, a new career high, so far. Carter Hart has faded under the weight of a defense that has allowed 33.8 shots on net per contest. Over his last six starts Hart has a 3.63 GAA and .876 save percentage.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF vs. STL ($27): The Sabres are, as I noted, on the second leg of a back-to-back. With so many options, I don't want to shell out for Dahlin's salary in such a scenario. Additionally, Jordan Binnington has turned it back on. Over his last seven starts he has a 2.16 GAA and .937 save percentage.
Aaron Ekblad, FLA vs. BOS ($22): Ekblad has hit the ground running with three points in five games since returning from injury. However, two of them have come with the extra man. The Bruins have the second-ranked penalty kill, and they also have Linus Ullmark. The Swedish goalie has an 1.96 GAA and .935 save percentage.