So much for a break. The NHL just returned Monday, but of the four teams in action Tuesday, two of them played Money night as well. Now that’s getting back into the swing of things. Here are players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy lineup.
Linus Ullmark, BUF vs. OTT ($34): Ullmark was playing well heading into the break, as over his last seven starts he has a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage. Maybe he can’t keep that up, as he has a 2.70 GAA on the year, but this matchup doesn’t pose too much of a threat. That’s especially true given that the Senators are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
GOALIE TO AVOID
David Rittich, CGY vs. STL ($28): Rittich was an All-Star, but his 2.77 GAA and .913 save percentage don’t exactly wow you. He’s also the only goalie it really makes sense to recommend avoiding. Obviously you are going to avoid Ottawa’s goalie on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Blues are also on the road for the second game in as many nights, even if their goaltending situation is better. That leaves Rittich, since I’m all for targeting Linus Ullmark.
Sean Monahan, CGY vs. STL ($19): Monahan is on Calgary’s second line these days at full strength, but when the team hits the power play he’s at the center of things. The 24-year-old has averaged 3:01 per game with the extra man, notching 11 power-play points in 50 games. While the Blues have a decent penalty kill, they are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brayden Schenn, STL at CGY ($20): Schenn has 17 goals, but that’s with him having only notched 103 shots on net in 50 games. He’s been getting a little lucky on the shooting percentage front. Schenn has also done a good chunk of his damage on the power play, which is where 15 of his 41 points have come from. However, the Flames have the seventh-ranked penalty kill, and that doesn’t bode well for Schenn.
Sam Reinhart, BUF vs. OTT ($18): Reinhart will try to keep up the form he was showing before the All-Star break, as he’s notched 10 points in his last eight games. Meanwhile, the Senators, who are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, have a 3.79 GAA in away contests. Yeah, I think there’s a good chance he’ll pick up where he left off.
Tyler Ennis, OTT at BUF ($14): It’s time for that Tyler Ennis revenge game we’ve been waiting for. In all seriousness, the reason I’m intrigued by the former Sabre is that he’s on Ottawa’s top power-play unit. He’s average 2:33 per game with the extra man and tallied seven of his 27 points with the extra man. Yes, Ullmark has played well recently, but the Sabres have the 26th-ranked penalty kill.
WINGS TO AVOID
David Perron, STL at CGY ($23): Perron made it to the All-Star Game in St. Louis largely on the strength of his power-play numbers. The 31-year-old has tallied a whopping 25 of his 50 points with the extra man. As I noted earlier, though, the Flames have the seventh-ranked penalty kill, and the Blues are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY vs. STL ($20): Tkachuk was an All-Star, but he headed into the break in a bit of a funk. He only has two points, both assists, in his last eight games, and he has no goals in his last 10 contests. Tkachuk also doesn’t have a power-play point in his last 12 contests. While the Blues are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back, Jordan Binnington, who has a 2.58 GAA, will likely be getting the start. That’s enough to concern me about Tkachuk.
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF vs. OTT ($17): Dahlin has started 57.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest on the Sabres. He’s also averaged 3:34 per game with the extra man, helping him tally 13 power-play points. The Senators will likely be starting Craig Anderson, who has a 3.32 GAA and .897 save percentage, his third season with a GAA over 3.00.
Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF vs. OTT ($17): I’m doubling down on Buffalo defensemen named Rasmus. While Ristolainen’s numbers aren’t as good as Dahlin’s, he has 23 points in 49 games, including four in his last five contests. There aren’t many matchups better than facing the Senators when they are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back, so I’d be happy to have both these guys in my lineup.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Justin Faulk, STL at CGY ($14): Faulk was a big trade grab for the Blues, but his numbers haven’t quite lived up to what he did with the Hurricanes. He only has 13 points, and only three on the power play. Rittich’s 2.77 GAA isn’t elite, but it’s perfectly solid, especially since the Blues are on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Mark Borowiecki, OTT at BUF ($13): I’ve been a bit surprised by Borowiecki’s price in the past. Sure, he has 16 points, including five goals, and he’s playing the most minutes of his career. However, what he doesn’t do is see time on the power play. While the Sabres have the 26th-ranked penalty kill, Borowiecki isn’t in place to take advantage of that.