NHL Wednesday: Stuart Skinner leads daily fantasy hockey plays
Wednesday is a sparse day for the NHL. There are only two games taking place, both airing on TNT if you want to watch hockey. From the limited options, here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Stuart Skinner, EDM vs. ARI ($29): Skinner is getting the easiest matchup Wednesday to be sure. The Coyotes are 26th in goals per game, but last in shots on net per contest. They were sellers at the deadline as well, lowering the talent level on the team. Plus, Arizona is on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Skinner is no Vezina candidate, but he is capable of handling a matchup like this.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Alexandar Georgiev, COL vs. PIT ($38): Only one goalie in line to start Wednesday has been actively good this year, and that's Georgiev. He has a 2.53 GAA and .919 save percentage on the year. The Penguins are only 16th in goals per game, but fifth in shots on net per contest. Look, Georgiev is the second-best option among goalies for Wednesday, but everybody besides Skinner is an obvious "no," so Georgiev lands here.
J.T. Compher, COL vs. PIT ($19): On the one hand, Compher has only put two shots on net through his last four games. On the other hand, he has an assist in each of his last two outings, and 45 points on the season. I'll buy into the latter with this matchup on tap, as Tristan Jarry has a 3.96 GAA and .866 save percentage in 12 games since returning from injury.
CENTER TO AVOID
Barrett Hayton, ARI at EDM ($19): Yes, Hayton has been hot, and in fact has a eight-game point streak. However, the young center is not a proven commodity, and last year had 24 points in 60 games. The Coyotes are on the second leg of a back-to-back, which is another reason I am down on Hayton. Also, Skinner has a 2.34 GAA and .917 save percentage over his last six starts.
Valeri Nichushkin, COL vs. PIT ($23): Injuries are impacting Colorado's wings, but for once Nichushkin isn't one of the banged-up players. In fact, he's on a three-game point streak and has 19 points over his last 15 outings. With Jarry's struggles since returning from injury, and Casey DeSmith having a .907 save percentage on the season, the fact the Penguins have allowed 33.2 shots on net per contest is causing more problems for the team.
Kailer Yamamoto, EDM vs. ARI ($15): Yamamoto has a goal in each of his last two games. In fact, over his last 13 outings he has eight points and 33 shots on net. The Coyotes are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, and while they surprisingly only have the ninth-highest GAA, they have allowed the second-most shots on net per contest.
WINGS TO AVOID
Jason Zucker, PIT at COL ($18): Zucker was on a great goal-scoring run, but it has ended. He's now gone four games without a point, much less a goal. Georgiev does have a 2.53 GAA and .919 save percentage, so that doesn't make it likely Zucker gets back in the goal column.
Lawson Crouse, ARI at EDM ($16): Crouse does have 22 goals in 66 games, though with only 16 assists. Also, those goals have come on only 130 shots on net, so he doesn't shoot a ton. The Oilers made moves at the deadline to improve defensively, and on top of that Skinner has a 2.34 GAA and .917 save percentage over his last six home starts.
Mattias Ekholm, EDM vs. ARI ($19): I mentioned the Oilers making defensive moves, but Ekholm has also exploded offensively since joining the team. In 10 games he has nine points and 19 shots on net. The Coyotes have a 3.44 GAA and have allowed 35.9 shots on net per contest, but they are also on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
Bowen Byram, COL vs. PIT ($18): Well, Cale Makar is banged up again, and if he can't play, that would likely lead to more minutes for Byram, including on the power play. Byram already has a point in four of his last five games. As I mentioned earlier, over his last 12 appearances Jarry has a 3.96 GAA and .866 save percentage.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Kris Letang, PIT at COL ($21): Letang is actually one of the healthy key defensemen for the Penguins, which is atypical, but that doesn't make this matchup any easier. He's on the road and primed to face a goalie with a 2.53 GAA and .919 save percentage.
Juuso Valimaki, ARI at EDM ($19): Valimaki has exploded after becoming a larger part of the plan for the Coyotes. Although, that's mostly assists, as he only has three goals on 78 shots on net in 67 games. Plus, while he has 11 power-play points, he doesn't have a point with the extra man in his last nine outings. The Finn is on the second leg of a back-to-back, and Skinner's play at home has been impressive recently.