This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Happy Presidents' Day, and Family Day in many places north of the border. Because of the holiday, we've got some afternoon games Monday, including one in Calgary. Here are some players to target and avoid from Monday's five NHL games...
David Rittich, CGY vs. ANA ($28): The Ducks are the only team on the second leg of a back-to-back Monday, and they are on the road to boot. On top of that, Anaheim has only scored 2.47 goals per game. Rittich's numbers haven't been great, but this is such a favorable matchup, I'm in on it anyway.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM at COL ($38): This is a battle of the two-highest scoring teams in the NHL. The Avalanche have averaged 3.71 goals and 35.6 shots on net per contest per game at home even though key offensive players have missed significant time this season. Vasilevskiy has been great, but he's pricey, and this feels like a game where there's going to be a lot of goals scored.
Joe Thornton, SAN vs. FLA ($11): Thornton is in the twilight of his career, so the Sharks wanted to give him a smaller role. However, because of injuries, the future Hall of Famer is skating on a line with Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc, and he's now on the top power-play unit, as well. Meanwhile, the Panthers have a 3.36 GAA, which is third highest in the league.
CENTER TO AVOID
Mathew Barzal, NYI at ARI ($23): Barzal has been hot recently – except on the power play. He's only got three points with the extra man in his last 27 games. That likely won't change here given that the Coyotes have the sixth-ranked penalty kill. Arizona also has a 2.66 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY vs. ANA ($20): Here's a Matthew who I expect to have a good Monday. Tkachuk has a six-game point streak, and he's notched a point in nine of his last 10 outings. The Ducks have a 3.12 GAA, and on top of that, they are on the road for the second day of a back-to-back, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Tkachuk extend that streak to seven.
Brett Connolly, FLA at SAN ($10): The Sharks have a 3.24 GAA, bottom five in the NHL, even though they strangely have the league's best penalty kill. As such, I wanted to find a Panther who doesn't rely on the power play for production. That fits the bill for Connolly, who doesn't play much with the extra man but still has 18 goals and 13 assists in 58 games.
WINGS TO AVOID
Taylor Hall, ARI vs. NYI ($23): Since joining the Coyotes, Hall has 21 points in 26 games. However, one place where he hasn't found his footing yet is the power play, as he only has one point with the extra man in his last 16 contests. While the Islanders haven't been quite as good defensively as the Coyotes, they still have a 2.72 GAA.
Jonathan Marchessault, VGK vs. WAS ($18): This is slightly contingent on the Capitals deciding to start Ilya Samsonov (2.38 GAA, .917 save percentage) over Braden Holtby. Although, Holtby has only allowed two goals in three of his last four starts. This could be a tricky matchup for Marchessault, especially since the Capitals have the fourth-ranked penalty kill.
Rasmus Andersson, CGY vs. ANA ($13): With Mark Giordano out, other defensemen have had to step up for Calgary. Andersson has done the best job of it, as he has four points in his last six games, and he's getting power-play time as well. As for the Ducks, they have a 3.29 road GAA, in addition to the whole "second day of a back-to-back" thing.
Tim Heed, SAN vs. FLA ($10): Erik Karlsson is the latest Shark to get injured, and that's a lot of minutes, and power-play time, to replace. Heed had been a healthy scratch before Karlsson's injury, but he was just placed back in the lineup, playing 14:08, including 1:04 on the power play. The Panthers have a 3.36 GAA and an .896 save percentage, so if you want a cheap defenseman with some upside, Heed could be a worthy gamble.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Ryan Pulock, NYI at ARI ($18): Pulock has six points in his last nine games. However, that has only given him 29 points in 57 contests, which is good, but not overly impressive. I'm more impressed by the Coyotes' 2.52 home GAA, so that's where my allegiances lie in this matchup.
Keith Yandle, FLA at SAN ($16): I mentioned earlier the Sharks have the league's best penalty kill. Few players in the NHL are more power-play dependent than Yandle. He's played 3:47 per game with the extra man and tallied 20 of his 41 points on the power play. This matchup does not line up well with the veteran's particular strengths.