Welcome to yet another edition of Crashing the Net. Last week we focused on grabbing guys like Al Montoya, Michael Grabner and Wayne Simmonds. Keep in mind this article will be the final edition prior to Monday’s trade deadline, making next week’s version likely themed after some roster moves. *Insert obligatory there will be nobody left to trade joke here.*
Now onto this week’s picks:
C – Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues
Currently enjoying a seven-game point streak, Berglund finds himself the hottest member of the Blues, stepping up when the games matter. Although the Blues look more and more like a non-playoff team they recently rediscovered their offensive flair, scoring three goals or more in six of their last seven games. In addition, the acquisition of Chris Stewart helps better spread the offense with the talented TJ Oshie now flanking Berglund. Grab him now if you need help down the middle and watch the young Swede continue his tear down the stretch.
RW – Jiri Hudler, Detroit Red Wings
It should be noted that Pavel Datsyuk usually finds his linemates at some point in the year and sticks with them. Johan Franzen often filled that role, heck Tomas Holmstrom enjoyed those accommodations for years. Recently, it seems like Hudler and Datsyuk are attached at the hip, finding chemistry together and sticking at both even strength and on the PP. The results have been excellent with Hudler posting a point in seven of his last eight games– scoring two goals and 11 points over that span. Red-hot Red Wings should be at the top of your pickup list with this former 23-34-57 guy coming as no exception.
C – Matt Cullen, Minnesota Wild
Cullen centered the third line for the majority of the season behind Mikko Koivu and Kyle Brodziak. Through an unfortunate turn of events, Koivu will miss at least a month while Brodziak fell ill and will not play the next two games. Somebody needs to center the Wild’s scoring lines with Cullen likely the leading candidate to land on either the Martin Havlat or Andrew Brunette line. Playing with the former should reap immediate benefits for this former 20-goal scorer.
RW – Devin Setoguchi, San Jose Sharks
Setoguchi represents yet another streaky, former dynamic goal scorer currently worth a look. Actually, a look would be an understatement as the 24-year-old is a must add. Reunited with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau– the same line he enjoyed a 31-goal campaign on just two seasons ago– Setoguchi potted seven goals over his last five games. The Sharks are surging with this former 8th overall pick right in the middle; grab him while you still can.
G – Al Montoya, New York Islanders
We told you last week to grab Montoya if desperate for a starting goalie. He responded to our recommendation by going 2-1-1 over his last four appearances, allowing only four goals over 97 shots. There may not be a hotter goaltender and while the Islanders continue to streak he should be just fine.
Others to Monitor
G – Ray Emery, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks called up Emery yesterday, putting added pressure on current starting goalie Curtis McElhinney. With the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, this 28-year-old showed signs of life with a 2-1-0 record, 2.62 GAA and .925 SV%. More importantly he gives the Ducks a NHL caliber goaltender– something they did not have with Timo Pielmeier on their bench. Current updates state Jonas Hiller could return within a week which makes Emery a bit less attractive however these head injuries could change fast with Emery backstopping a playoff team down the stretch. Not a bad option to take a gamble on or at least monitor.
LW – Marco Sturm, Los Angeles Kings
Sturm returns from his stint on the IR to once again flank Anze Kopitar on the Kings’ top line. Of course, Kopitar’s wing rotates more than Don Cherry’s wardrobe selection and we recommended both Wayne Simmonds and Michal Handzus last week for this same reason. Sturm put up 20 or more goals in seven of his last eight seasons, so if he sticks with Kopy he should knock in a few goals. If you are weak down the left side, grabbing him makes sense.
We hope you enjoyed our analysis 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