Welcome to yet another edition of Crashing the Net, where we find ourselves with a little over a week left in the season. If you are still here reading this, you likely find yourself in the championship of your head-to-head league or neck-and-neck in some sort of rotisserie format. We hope the adds below can help you make that final push.
Last week we took a flier on Ray Emery and Matt D’Agostini amongst others. Without further ado, here are our picks for this week:
LW – Simon Gagne, Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are slumpuing but that has very little to do with Gagne, who figures to stay on the top line alongside Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie. Over his last seven games, the first-year Bolt registered an impressive six goals and 12 points. While he has not gotten Stamkos going just yet, we feel it is just a matter of time until the three click and honestly, even if it doesn’t, Gagne likely finds himself on a line with very talented players. Grab Gagne now, while you can, since his recent surge could have him hitting 20 goals for the seventh time in his NHL career.
C – Michal Handzus, Los Angeles Kings
Who took over for Anze Kopitar on the top line? Well, Handzus of course. Although the 31-year-old has only 11 goals on the season, we are confident he can get going between Oscar Moller and Dustin Penner. We know Handzus will not hurt you defensively and with six seasons with 15+ goals, he likely knocks a few more into the net before the season ends. Without Kopitar, this team still has talent and a decent amount of depth with three other strong centers.
D – Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers
Carle continues to get extended time on the PP with Chris Pronger hurt. While he does not score much — only one goal this season — he has posted six assists in the last seven games. Considering the additional pressure put on Carle, Andrej Meszaros, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn, the work will be spread around with the former possessing the hot hand at the moment.
G – Emery, Anaheim Ducks
A repeat of last week but grab him now while you can. The Ducks hold two Hart Trophy candidates in Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry while their supposed starting goalie Jonas Hiller now has no timetable for his return. Randy Carlyle went so far as to call Emery a godsend today; perhaps he can do similar things for your fantasy team.
G – Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo Sabres
Ryan Miller suddenly could not start tonight due to an undisclosed (upper-body) injury. With the Sabres in the thick of things, they may need to rely on the rookie to backstop them into the playoffs. In limited playing time, the 22-year-old went 5-2-1 with a 2.77 GAA and .906 SV%, mostly holding down the fort with Miller hurt earlier in the season. If you need a goalie and Emery, Joey MacDonald or even Semyon Varlamov are not available, Enroth is your guy.
Others to Monitor
LW – Ryan Malone, Tampa Bay Lightning
Malone should get back in tomorrow night and will start on the third line. Earlier in the season he saw a good deal of success with Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, a line that looked like one of the best in the League. If he can get off the third line in the final week then he is definitely worth a look, especially since many owners already wrote him off for the rest of the regular season.
C – Trevor Lewis, Los Angeles Kings
As the team’s new second line center, Lewis could produce even more than Handzus when considering he plays between bruising power forwards Dustin Brown and Ryan Smyth. Since Lewis has only four career NHL goals, he may be a bit too unproven to rely on when it matters but he is a former first round pick who the Kings traded Pavol Demitra for back in 2006. If in a deep league or desperate, grab him now. Otherwise, keep an eye on him should that offensive talent start to show itself.
We hope you enjoyed our latest as much as we enjoyed writing it. If there are glaring omissions let your voice be heard in the comments. Regardless, make sure to take all of the advice in and continue to check our renowned starting goalies section, which is updated all day until game time and follow us on Twitter @DailyFaceoff