Friday, October 7 2022

We’re in the final quarter of the NHL regular season, but thanks to the trade deadline we have to reevaluate some of these teams. There are questions to be answered by the action on the ice. Also, there are four NHL games Wednesday. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineup.

GOALIE

Darcy Kuemper, COL vs. VAN ($38): If Anthony Stolarz is in net for the Ducks, I would go with him to save some salary. I can’t comfortably predict that, though, and otherwise there is no other goalie I think you can justify going for other than Kuemper. Colorado’s goalie has a 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage, and he’s allowed a total of three goals over his last four games.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Casey DeSmith, PIT at BUF ($29): The Sabres rank 25th in goals per game, so you might want to try and get cute and select DeSmith for your lineup. However, I don’t want to go with a backup goalie on the road behind a team on the second leg of a back-to-back. Maybe if DeSmith had played better this year you could roll the dice, but he has a 2.99 GAA and.904 save percentage.

CENTER

John Tavares, TOR vs. NJD ($23): Only due to the presence of Auston Matthews in Toronto has Tavares’ 58 points in 61 games been overlooked. His goal scoring has slowed a bit, as he only has three in his last 15 games, but he has 10 assists in that time so it’s all good. The Devils have a bottom-five GAA, and they are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back.

Toronto Maple Leafs Center John Tavares is a solid DFS play on Wednesday's four-game NHL slate. (Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Toronto Maple Leafs Center John Tavares is a solid DFS play on Wednesday's four-game NHL slate. (Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs Center John Tavares is a solid DFS play on Wednesday’s four-game NHL slate. (Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CENTER TO AVOID

Nico Hischier, NJD at TOR ($18): Hischier is on the negative end of the back-to-back situation in this matchup. The Maple Leafs seem to believe in rookie goalie Erik Kallgren. They were willing to waive Petr Mrazek to keep him around and to pair him with Jack Campbell when Campbell returns. Kallgren has only played in four games, so his .930 save percentage is definitely the product of a small sample size. That being said, Toronto trusts him, so I will at least as far as not wanting Hischier in my lineup.

WING

Troy Terry, ANA vs. CHI ($18): Terry notched a goal in his last game, giving him 30 this season. Due to injuries and trades, I could see Terry having an even-bigger role going forward, and he has averaged 20:16 in ice time over his last eight games. The Blackhawks traded Marc-Andre Fleury, leaving Kevin Lankinen (3.51 GAA .889 save percentage) as their top goalie.

Taylor Raddysh, CHI at ANA ($10): In his two games with the Blackhawks, Raddysh has played over 15 minutes. He’s already getting time on the second line, and clearly there is more opportunity for him in Chicago than in Tampa. The last 13 games for John Gibson have been quite unlucky. In that time he has a 4.88 GAA and .854 save percentage.

WINGS TO AVOID

Brock Boeser, VAN at COL ($17): Boeser didn’t end up getting traded, which means he’s walking into a tough matchup Wednesday. As I noted, Kuemper has a 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage. The Canucks have the one definitively-tough matchup Wednesday.

Kasperi Kapanen, PIT at BUF ($11): Kapanen ends his scoring drought and gets two points in two games and what happens? The Penguins acquire Rickard Rakell and likely push Kapanen down to the third line. Craig Anderson has had a Jekyll-and-Hyde type season in terms of home/road splits. At home, he has a 2.46 GAA and .923 save percentage. On the road? A 3.55 GAA and .890 save percentage. Throw in the fact the Penguins are on a back-to-back and it doesn’t look good for Kapanen.

[Play in one of Yahoo’s NHL DFS contests]

DEFENSE

Cale Makar, COL vs. VAN ($32): Yes, this is a hefty salary, but you are paying for a great opportunity. Makar has averaged 3:56 per game with the extra man and has 26 power-play points in 59 contests. The Canucks have the league’s worst penalty kill. The math adds up on this one.

Jamie Drysdale, ANA vs. CHI ($10): Here’s a defenseman that won’t break the bank like Makar to balance things out. Anaheim dealt a couple of its defenseman, meaning there are minutes and opportunities to be had. The 19-year-old Drysdale is clearly considered part of the future for the Ducks, so I think they will see what he can do. So far, what he’s done is tally 26 points and 100 shots on net. As I noted, Lankinen has a 3.51 GAA and .889 save percentage for Chicago.

DEFENSE TO AVOID

Dougie Hamilton, NJD at TOR ($17): Hamilton has been solid since returning from injury, with six points in 13 games, though he hasn’t necessarily been playing at his usual peak. Now he’s on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Even with the goaltending issues the Maple Leafs were having, they still have a top-five penalty kill. Now they also have the promising play of rookie netminder Kallgren too.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, VAN at COL ($10): The Avalanche actually have a middling penalty kill, so I am not going to go as far as to recommend avoiding Quinn Hughes. Ekman-Larsson is not Hughes on the power play, though. He has less opportunity heading into this matchup with Colorado and its 2.76 GAA, which is top 10 in the NHL.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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