This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Monday boasts an interesting three-game slate in the National Hockey League.
The reeling Predators meet the red-hot Bruins in Boston, and the quietly cruising Sabres visit Vancouver, which has lost five consecutive and is 2-7-3 in its last 12.
Colorado plays host to the Wild in the third game of the night, and neither team has favorable home-road splits for the bout. Colorado has won just three of 10 home games, and Minnesota enters 4-4-3 on the road.
Ryan Miller, VAN vs. BUF ($31) - While going against the numbers is always risky, and backing the "due" factor is equally square, teams snap out of funks. Host Vancouver plays the 2014-15-Lottery Sabres who also enter on the wrong end of consecutive road games. So, while Vancouver and Miller (2-7-2 record with a .894 save percentage in his last 11 outings) haven't been sharp, the investment isn't steep and the spot is ripe.
Goalie to avoid:
Darcy Kuemper, MIN at COL ($21) - While the low salary is attractive, spending for an apple and expecting an orchard often turns rotten in a hurry. Minnesota has allowed 3.18 goals per game on the road this season, and Kuemper owns a .907 save percentage and a 3.41 goals-against average through just four games.
Mikael Granlund, MIN at COL ($17) - The pivot has contributed at a high level lately, and with a healthy Zach Parise back in the fold, Granlund's hot stretch projects to continue. Granlund has two goals, nine assists and 25 shots in his last 12 games with 19:31 minutes of ice time per game. Mikko Koivu typically matches up against the opposition's top line, which opens the Granlund-Parise-Jason Pominville trio up to take advantage of inferior talents.
Center to avoid:
Carl Soderberg ($18) - While the former Bruin has played better lately (two goals and five helpers in his last eight outings), Minnesota boasts a deep attack – up front and along the blue line. Soderberg skates on an offensively limited line with John Mitchell and Blake Comeau at even strength, and Soderberg doesn't have a significant role with the man advantage. A minus-rating without a point is a strong possibility.
Jannik Hansen, VAN vs. BUF ($17) - Interestingly, Vancouver's 12-game skid follows the four-point outburst Hansen handed Columbus Nov. 10. Since, he has four goals, two helpers and 26 shots on goal. Playing with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin is cushy, and his salary can help navigate you below the cap.
James Neal, NSH at BOS ($20) - With a limited player pool, honing in on high-volume shooters is always recommended. In Neal's case, he is also a talented scorer who plays all the top offensive minutes and comes at a discount Monday. He has registered four shots in consecutive outings without finding the score sheet, and his career 12.2 shooting percentage would suggest a big night is ahead.
Wing to avoid:
Radim Vrbata, VAN vs. BUF ($18) - Without a point and a minus-6 rating over his last four games, Vrbata is a risky start Monday. He is being relegated down the depth chart at even strength, and Buffalo has limited its opponents to 2.43 goals per game over its last seven outings. Most concerning, though, is Vrbata only has eight shots during his four-game drought, which is well below his pace through the previous two seasons.
Ryan Suter, MIN at COL ($21) - While his offensive pace has already started to decline (just one goal over his last five outings), Suter's huge minutes – 28:16 per game – and production in the peripheral statistics are attractive. He is a high-floor defenseman in a plus-matchup, and the cap hit is reasonable.
Zach Trotman, BOS vs. NSH ($12) - Identifying an upside rearguard at minimum price is usually a worthy pursuit, and Trotman fits the bill Monday. He has been skating with Zdeno Chara in all situations, which includes the No. 1 power-play unit. It is a nice role with Nashville owning 75.0 penalty-kill percentage.
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