During this week’s Crashing the Net, we’ll review players that have had a reputation of scoring in the past that have been quiet to start the season, but are starting to play to their ability. We’ll also review some young players who are having an immediate impact that should be looked at for keeper leagues. In last week’s waiver wire article, we discussed players such as Ondrej Pavelec, Brett Clark, and David Jones.
Antoine Vermette – C, Columbus Blue Jackets (20% Yahoo! / 60% CBS)
Vermette has collected six points over his last eight games, but more importantly; he has four goals during that same time frame. After a slow start this season combined with the slow start from the rest of the Columbus players, it appeared that Vermette wouldn’t come close to duplicating his numbers from last season. While he doesn’t center the first line with Rick Nash any longer, Vermette should still find ways to collect points. He doesn’t appear to have another 27-goal season up his sleeve, he’s still on pace for close to 40 points this season.
Andres Nodl – RW, Philadelphia Flyers (2% Yahoo! / 7% CBS)
Ten points through his first 15 games this season with a plus-minus rating of plus-7 tells the season story for Nodl thus far. The 23-year old has found himself not only on a line with center Mike Richards, but has found playing time on the power play for the Flyers. The Flyers have a high-scoring team that finds success from every line, so you might as well take a chance by riding the hot hand of Nodl.
James van Riemsdyk – LW, Philadelphia Flyers (8% Yahoo! / 38% CBS)
JVR has the upside and talent to produce points, but failed to do so early in the season by collecting just a few assists here and there. Now that the 21-year old has been a healthy scratch a few games, he seems to be finding his game. He’s collected goals in three straight games and currently has five-game points streak. Again, placing JVR and Nodl on the top line will help these young players develop and give them multiple opportunities to collect points.
Kevin Shattenkirk – D, Colorado Avaanche (9% Yahoo! / 40% CBS)
Act fast before this offensive-minded defenseman is gone. Fellow writer Alexander Monaghan wrote about Shattenkirk in-depth here, so I won’t go into too much detail due to repetition. This young defenseman finds himself on a team that is plagued with injuries to their defenseman, but more importantly, finds himself on a power play unit that is very good this season.
Wayne Simmonds – RW, Los Angeles Kings (26% Yahoo! / 34% CBS)
I’ve personally always liked Simmonds as a hockey player and would usually take a late-round pick on him. He skates hard and always seems to be in the middle of things for the Kings while collecting penalty minutes. Simmonds collected 40 points last season, but has just seven through 21 games this season. Big news broke for Simmonds late last night, as the Kings announced that he would play on the top line with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar. I like Simmonds’ odds of making something happening and sticking with this top line in Los Angeles.
Others to Monitor
Corey Crawford – G, Chicago Blackhawks
Yes I know Marty Turco is listed as the number one goalie in Chicago, but Crawford could easily see over 20 starts this season. Over his eight games this season, Crawford is 4-4-0 with a terrific 2.21 GAA and a .922 SV%. He’s also starting to see an increase of starts given Turco’s recent struggles. Over his last five games, Crawford is 3-2 and has allowed more than two goals during that same time span. On an interesting side note, Crawford seems to play better on the road, as he’s posting a 1-4-0 record with a 2.56 GAA at home, while posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 GAA on the road this season. If you play in a deeper league and like to stream your goalies, give a look at Crawford.
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