It’s the last day before the NHL goes on its All-Star break, so we’re about to have a few days off for the games that count, and also DFS hockey. There are only two games Wednesday, but let’s make the most out of it. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Jeremy Swayman, BOS at TOR ($34): If the Bruins are swapping starts, it would be Swayman’s turn. He has a .914 save percentage, but a 2.34 GAA thanks to his team’s stout defense and penalty kill. The Maple Leafs are a top offense, but they don’t have Auston Matthews, and there is no Sabres goalie I am willing to use, even at home against a Hurricanes team on the second leg of a back-to-back.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ilya Samsonov, TOR vs. BOS ($29): Samsonov has a 2.31 GAA, which is strong, but his .917 save percentage is more in the “good, not great” range. The Bruins have averaged 33.5 shots on net per contest, which is quite a lot, but they have also scored 3.70 goals per game, third most in the NHL.
David Krejci, BOS at TOR ($19): Krejci has 10 points over his last eight games. He also has 10 points with the extra man, and he’s been moved back up to the top power-play unit, so I am less concerned about his power-play drought. The Maple Leafs have been quite good defensively…save for the penalty kill, which ranks 16th.
CENTER TO AVOID
John Tavares, TOR vs. BOS ($28): The Bruins have a 2.12 GAA, and the next-best team has a 2.57 GAA. Yeah, the Bruins are lapping the league defensively. They also have the top penalty kill, and 24 of Tavares’ 51 points have come with the extra man.
Alex Tuch, BUF vs. CAR ($27): Tuch just had a seven-game point streak end, but he has 54 points in 49 games. The Hurricanes, as I noted, are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Antti Raanta will likely be in net, and he has a .905 save percentage over the last three seasons.
Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at BUF ($21): Svechnikov has no goals in his last 14 games, but he has nine assists in that time. Plus, he’s put 55 shots on net over those outings, so eventually he will score again. Maybe it will come against Buffalo, who has a 3.35 GAA and has allowed 32.6 shots on goal per game.
WINGS TO AVOID
William Nylander, TOR vs. BOS ($30): There is a significant drop in going from having John Tavares as your center to Alex Kerfoot. Sure, Nylander does a lot of damage on the power play, but the Bruins have the league’s best penalty kill. He’s still in trouble there.
Pavel Zacha, BOS at TOR ($14): Even with the 16th-ranked penalty kill, the Maple Leafs have a 2.65 GAA, in part because they’ve only allowed 28.7 shots on net per contest. Zacha only has three points with the extra man, so he is not primed to take advantage of Toronto’s mediocre penalty kill.
Charlie McAvoy, BOS at TOR ($23): Time to flip the script on the power-play situation once more! McAvoy has 12 points over his last 13 games, six of which have come with the extra man. That means the defenseman is a good pick to pick on the NHL’s 16th-ranked penalty kill.
Owen Power, BUF vs. CAR ($17): Look who is in the groove! Power has four points in his last five games, but that includes his first three goals of the season. Now he faces the Hurricanes, and presumably Raanta, who has an .897 save percentage this year.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Hampus Lindholm, BOS at TOR ($19): Lindholm has 32 points in 50 games, including nine power-play points. However, he doesn’t have any power-play points in his last 18 outings, because McAvoy returned and took over the role on the point for the Bruins. Samsonov has a 2.31 GAA and .917 save percentage, the Maple Leafs get Lindholm at home.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. BOS ($17): Rielly finally scored his first goal of the season, and his 1.4 shooting percentage should improve. I just don’t see that happening against the Bruins, what with their 2.12 GAA and league-best penalty kill.