When you come home from work Friday and start to relax, there won’t be much relaxing for the NHL teams in action. Of the six teams playing, four also played Thursday night. Here are my recommendations for players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy hockey lineup.
Matt Murray, PIT at DET ($26): Sure, Murray has an .896 save percentage and the Penguins are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. I’m not worried. The Red Wings have only managed 2.15 goals per game. That’s by far the lowest average in the NHL.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. TAM ($29): Hellebuyck’s last two starts have been great, but he has posted a 3.20 GAA and .905 save percentage over the last 15 games. The Jets also maintain a bottom-five penalty kill, while the Lightning have a top-three power play. If Tampa gets the man advantage, look out.
Erik Haula, CAR vs. ANA ($17): Haula started the season hot, but then got hurt. Since returning to action, he’s notched eight points in 11 games. Both Carolina and Anaheim are on the second leg of a back-to-back, but Anaheim is the one stuck on the road far from home. This could mean a rare appearance for Ryan Miller, who has produced a 3.20 GAA and .899 save percentage. It’s hard being a 39-year-old goalie.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Getzlaf, ANA at CAR ($15): Getzlaf has tallied 32 points, though only six of them have come on the power play. He’s also not the most-prolific shooter, with only 104 shots on goal through 45 games. The Hurricanes have only allowed 27.3 shots on net per contest at home, so they can potentially shut down Getzlaf and company.
Dominik Kahun, PIT at DET ($16): The Red Wings have by far the worst GAA in the NHL, not to mention the league’s worst penalty kill. Why wouldn’t you want a Penguin or two? The return of Sidney Crosby gives the Penguins some needed depth at center, so now Kahun can skate on Pittsburgh’s second line and still be alongside Evgeni Malkin.
Dominik Simon, PIT at DET ($11): Let’s double down on the guys named Dominik in Pittsburgh. Simon has registered three points over his last two games. It’s probably not a coincidence those are the games where Sidney Crosby has been back and Simon has been on his wing. That tends to change things. I mentioned the Wings have the league’s worst GAA, and that number is a woeful 3.87.
WINGS TO AVOID
Ondrej Palat, TAM at WPG ($18): The Lightning are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, whereas the Jets are at home and rested. But Winnipeg’s penalty kill is a concern, hence my hesitancy about Connor Hellebuyck. Palat gets less time on the power play – and has managed fewer power-play points – than any of Tampa’s top forwards. Hence, he’s worth avoiding here.
Rickard Rakell, ANA at CAR ($16): It’s hard finding players I feel strong about avoiding for Friday. Four teams played Thursday night, and one of the teams that didn’t is the Red Wings. Not exactly a lot of concerning goaltending situations out there. The Hurricanes come in with a 2.61 GAA and have only allowed 27.3 shots on net per game at home, so the Ducks perhaps face the worst matchup of anybody in action Friday. Rakell is the only name you’d probably consider at wing for Anaheim, so there we have it.
John Marino, PIT at DET ($17): Marino has surprised as a rookie to give the Penguins some much-needed depth on defense. Over his last 11 games, he has eight points while averaging more than 20 minutes a night. If you see the ice against the Red Wings and their 3.87 GAA, it often bodes well.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR vs. ANA ($17): There are benefits of playing on a pairing with Dougie Hamilton, which is where Slavin lines up. He’s racked up 22 points in 46 games and has directed 96 shots on net. In addition to being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Ducks maintain a 3.57 road GAA.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Neal Pionk, WPG vs. TAM ($18): Pionk is enjoying a breakout campaign, mostly due to his success on the power play with a whopping 17 of his 30 points coming there. However, the Lightning boast a top-10 penalty kill, so this may not be the matchup for him.
Kevin Shattenkirk, TAM at WPG ($17): Shattenkirk is a recommendation of avoidance along the lines of Ondrej Palat. He used to be a power-play maven, but this year – his first in Tampa – he’s barely averaged over 90 seconds per game with the extra man. Shattenkirk’s also notched zero power-play points over his last 25 games.