NHL Friday: Brock Nelson leads daily fantasy hockey picks
There were nine NHL games Thursday, and now we get eight games Friday. Sure, that's probably in part because the schedule slows down heading into the break, but I'm not complaining about getting plenty of hockey to enjoy. These are my players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. DET ($35): Sorokin's last few starts have gone poorly, but he got a game off and still boasts a 2.44 GAA and .922 save percentage. The Red Wings are just below average in goals per game, but they are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, so that should help Sorokin on Friday.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jake Oettinger, DAL vs. NJD ($38): Oettinger is having a great year, and he is catching the Devils on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. That being said, the Devils are sixth in goals per game and fourth on shots on net per contest. The matchup is still quite tricky, and there aren't a lot of scenarios like that Friday.
Brock Nelson, NYI vs. DET ($17): Nelson has a four-game point streak, which includes three goals. He still has a 12.7 shooting percentage, which would be his lowest since the 2016-17 season, so for much of the year he's actually had bad puck luck. The Red Wings, as I noted, are on the second leg of a back-to-back, and right now their backup is the 31-year-old journey goalie Magnus Hellberg.
CENTER TO AVOID
Jack Eichel, VGK at NYR ($28): Things look different when your wings are Michael Amadio and Paul Cotter, which has been the case for Eichel recently. The former Sabre is stepping into a tough matchup as well, especially with how Igor Shesterkin has been playing. The reigning Vezina winner has a 2.22 GAA and .926 save percentage over his last 17 starts.
Andrei Kuzmenko, VAN vs. CLM ($18): Kuzmenko isn't just fresh off an extension with the Canucks, he's fresh off of seven points over his last six games. The Blue Jackets are 30th in GAA and 31st in shots on net per contest, making this an excellent opportunity for the Russian rookie to pay off that extension already.
Kirill Marchenko, CLM at VAN ($14): The Jackets may be 30th in GAA, but the Canucks are 31st, not to mention last on the penalty kill. Marchenko has purely been a finisher, as he has zero assists, but he's potted 11 goals in 25 games. The rookie has tallied four of those goals with the extra man, and has been earning time on the first power-play unit as well.
WINGS TO AVOID
Drake Batherson, OTT at TOR ($17): Batherson has been an under-the-radar gem for a few seasons, though he only has one goal in his last nine games. This all-Ontario matchup is quite tricky, though. Toronto has a 2.61 GAA and has allowed only 28.7 shots on net per contest.
Lucas Raymond, DET at NYI ($17): It's been a tale of two seasons for Raymond. He started the year struggling to score, but now is up to 15 goals on 84 shots on net through 47 contests. The Swede is on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, though, and Sorokin has a 2.44 GAA and .922 save percentage.
Drew Doughty, LOS at FLA ($17): Doughty may only have three goals on 91 shots on net this season, but he has 27 assists this year, including one in each of his last three games. The Panthers have dipped down into the bottom 10 in GAA, as they have allowed 3.50 goals per contest.
Adam Boqvist, CLM at VAN ($12): Boqvist has tallied six assists over his last nine games. In that time he's also averaged 2:11 per contest with the extra man. As I noted, the Canucks have the league's worst penalty kill.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Alex Pietrangelo, VGK at NYR ($24): Pietrangelo has a tricky matchup on the road against the Rangers, who have allowed only 29.4 shots on net per contest. Throw on top of that Shesterkin posting a 2.22 GAA and .917 save percentage over his last 17 outings and it doesn't bode well for the defenseman.
Thomas Chabot, OTT at TOR ($17): Chabot is shooting a lot, but the Maple Leafs have only allowed 28.7 shots on net per game. On top of that, Chabot has been held without a point in seven of his last eight contests. The Leafs have also been turning to Ilya Samsonov more, and he has a 2.20 GAA and .921 save percentage.