NHL Monday: Dylan Larkin leads daily fantasy hockey plays
March Madness takes a step back on Monday, but the NHL is doing no such thing. Five games taking place, and while the playoff implications are a little lacking, the DFS implications are as robust as ever. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your lineups.
Stuart Skinner, EDM vs. SAN ($32): It seems that, with the playoffs on the line, the Oilers are all-in on Skinner being their netminder. He's started 11 of their last 13 games, and played over 30 minutes in one of the two games he didn't start replacing an ineffective Jack Campbell. In that time his overall numbers are middling, but in six home starts he has a 2.34 GAA and .917 save percentage. The Sharks have averaged only 2.84 goals per game, and without Timo Meier are a less-imposing offense.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Pheonix Copley, LOS vs. CGY ($31): When this season began, I never thought I would be saying, "Pheonix Copley has played a key role in the Kings making the playoffs," but here we are. However, in truth, Copley has mostly succeeded at being adequate, as opposed to Jonathan Quick or Cal Petersen, who were both incapable. The veteran does have a 2.63 GAA, but with a .904 save percentage. Los Angeles is good at preventing shots on net, but the Flames have averaged 35.6 shots on goal per contest, second most in the NHL. Copley should be busier than usual.
Sam Bennett, FLA at DET ($18): Since returning from injury, Bennett has three points in six games. However, he also has 23 shots on net in those six outings. Ville Husso has ultimately not proven capable of doing what he did last season, and he has a 2.97 GAA and .901 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Dylan Larkin, DET vs. FLA ($25): The one goalie who has been consistently good all season that is expected to start Monday is Alexandar Georgiev, and he is playing the Blackhawks, a team bereft of talent. As such, there isn't a ton of value in making recommendations on the "avoid" side of things there. Sergei Bobrovsky has not excelled all season, but since missing a few games he has a 2.57 GAA and .916 save percentage in 16 outings. That makes things trickier for Larkin than they may seem on paper.
Claude Giroux, OTT at PIT ($20): Giroux may no longer be a Flyer, but that doesn't mean he can't bring frustration to the Penguins and their fans. He recently had a streak of 17 points in 12 games, and after a three-game pointless jag, he just picked up an assist to go with eight shots on net. The Penguins may miss the playoffs, and it would be on account of defense and goaltending. In particular, since returning from injury Tristan Jarry has a 4.17 GAA and .863 save percentage in 11 appearances.
Evan Rodrigues, COL vs. CHI ($16): Rodrigues hasn't really gotten onto the power play, but he has gotten a spot on the top line next to Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. He hasn't produced like Gabriel Landeskog, but he does have six points over his last nine games. Alex Stalock may have a .919 save percentage, but he still has a 2.72 GAA because the Blackhawks have a porous defense. Also, Stalock is 35 and has a career .910 save percentage. This is not the kind of goalie you should expect him to be going forward.
WINGS TO AVOID
Viktor Arvidsson, LOS vs. CGY ($18): There are a couple things going against Arvidsson here. One, he is more of a quantity over quality producer, and the Flames have only allowed 27.1 shots on net per contest. Two, 17 of Arvidsson's 46 points have come with the extra man, and Calgary has a top-eight penalty kill.
Alexander Barabanov, SAN at EDM ($16): Barabanov has 45 points in 65 games, which is solid. However, he doesn't shoot a ton, as he's only put 118 shots on net. As I noted, over his last six home starts Skinner has a 2.34 GAA and .917 save percentage. Also, while the Oilers have a below-average penalty kill, Barabanov only has two power-play points in his last 16 games.
Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. SAN ($19): Nurse has nine points in his last 14 contests, giving him 36 points on the season. He's also put 167 shots on net. All that, and the defenseman only has one point on the power play, which is good in this matchup. The Sharks have a top-eight penalty kill, but also have a 3.76 GAA on the season regardless.
Bowen Byram, COL vs. CHI ($17): Byram has a point in three of his four games, giving him 17 points on 30 contests. His 15.2 shooting percentage is not sustainable, but he had 17 points in 30 games last season as well. The Blackhawks have allowed 34.0 shots on net per game. If Stalock plays more like the guy with a career .910 save percentage, it could be a good day for Byram.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Drew Doughty, LOS vs. CGY ($19): I mentioned previously the Flames have a top-eight penalty kill. Well, Doughty has been quite reliant on the power play this year. Specifically, 23 of Doughty's 43 points have come with the extra man.
Seth Jones, CHI at COL ($18): Jones has done his best to prop up the Blackhawks offensively, but even he has struggled recently. The defenseman has zero points over his last six games. Georgiev, who I mentioned previously, has a 2.58 GAA and .918 save percentage on the season.