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Monday brings us four NHL games after a lonely single-game slate Sunday. Check out some of my recommendations below for building a winning Yahoo lineup.
Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. ANA ($30): Markstrom struggled to the tune of a .90 save percentage last year, but over the five previous seasons he put up a .914 save percentage on average. Besides, this is a favorable matchup. The Ducks ranked last in goals per game last year.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Igor Shesterkin, NYR at TOR ($36): I was surprised that Shesterkin had the highest salary of any goalie Monday. It's not because of his play, as he had a .916 save percentage last year. It's because of the matchup, as the Leafs scored 3.32 goals per game last year, and this game is in Toronto as well.
Elias Lindholm, CGY vs. ANA ($19): Lindholm gets a lot of benefit from centering Calgary's top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. He's also a power-play weapon, as he's had at least 16 points with the extra man in each of his last three seasons. John Gibson had a .904 save percentage over the last two seasons, and right now he's banged up so Anthony Stolarz might be in net anyway.
CENTER TO AVOID
Mika Zibanejad, NYR at TOR ($30): Like with his teammate Shesterkin, this is about the matchup more than the play of Zibanejad, plus his salary. He'll be on the road facing Jack Campbell, who is off to a great start following a campaign where he had a 2.15 GAA and .921 save percentage. Campbell has played in three games this year and has a 0.86 GAA and .968 save percentage.
Claude Giroux, PHI vs. SEA ($17): Giroux tallied 16 goals and 27 assists in 54 games last year, and he's long been a weapon on the power play. Prior to the shortened season last year the veteran had not had fewer than 20 points with the extra man in his last nine seasons. As an expansion team, it would not be surprising if the Kraken end up with a bad penalty kill this year.
Jordan Kyrou, STL at ARI ($16): Getting his first real playing time in the NHL last season Kyrou had 14 goals and 21 assists. Now playing on the second line for the Blues, the 23-year-old opened the season with two assists in the opener. The Coyotes may have the worst goaltending situation in the NHL. Carter Hutton had a sub-.900 save percentage in each of his last two seasons, and his backup is Karel Vajmalka, a 25-year-old who made his NHL debut this year.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mitch Marner, TOR vs. NYR ($34): Marner has the highest salary of any wing Monday, and I don't think this matchup is worth taking a shot on him. Like I said, Shesterkin had a .916 save percentage last season. The Rangers also had a top-10 penalty kill and were just outside the top 10 in shots on net allowed per contest. If Marner were off to a hot start I might consider him, but he only has one assist through three games.
Michael Bunting, TOR vs. NYR ($17): I didn't set out to knock the Maple Leafs in this second, but I was surprised when I saw Bunting at this salary. It's the same salary you'd pay for Giroux, an established veteran with a matchup against an expansion team. Sure, Bunting had 10 goals in 21 games last year, but he had a 26.3 shooting percentage. He's not going to be able to do that again.
Ivan Provorov, PHI vs. SEA ($17): Provorov is the workhorse for the Flyers on defense. Two seasons ago he had 36 points, 16 on the power play. Last year he had 26 points in 56 games, 10 with the extra man. The Russian plays a ton of minutes and contributes on both ends of the ice. Now he's facing an expansion squad that is on the road for the fourth time in as many games.
Colton Parayko, STL at ARI ($13): Last year was kind of a wash for Parayko. However, two seasons ago he had 28 points and put 162 shots on net in 64 games. What is interesting about Parayko's first game of the year is just how much he played. The 28-year-old played 27:32, and that's without him really being on the power play. St. Louis just relied on him to bolster the blue line.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Mark Giordano, SEA at PHI ($19): The Flyers were brutal defensively last season, and Carter Hart has been really struggling. However, this is more about Giordano and his salary. He's 38 now and not the player he used to be. Plus, he's no longer on the Flames, but instead is on an expansion team. That means less talent around him. If Giordano had a lower salary I might abide it, but this is too much for him at this point.
Shayne Gostisbehere, ARI vs. STL ($17): The Flyers finally jettisoned Gostisbehere, which seemed like it was coming for a couple seasons. While he was once key to the Philadelphia offense, last year he had 20 points, and the year prior he had 12. The Coyotes were willing to give him a shot, but they are also a rebuilding team with perhaps the worst roster in the NHL. Jordan Binnington may have had a .910 save percentage last year, but he had a 2.65 GAA, and those were the worst numbers of his career.