Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. With the trade deadline now firmly behind us, we can move forward in finding players who haven’t just received a new sweater. However, now that the dust has settled we are looking at a relatively barren waiver wire with very few top-line talents still available. Last week, we focused in on players like Alex Tanguay, Dustin Penner and Dan Ellis. Let’s take a look at what we have for this week.
C, LW – Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues
Fresh off a two-goal game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, McDonald looks like he rekindled his scoring touch. Since returning from a conscussion the 33-year-old forward registered eight goals and 18 points in 17 games. Both of the top two lines in St. Louis look to be clicking at the moment, spawning a 1 and 1a scenario. Either way, with dual position eligibility McDonald should be rostered.
LW – Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
Make no mistake, the Stars moved James Neal because of their confidence in Benn. Similar to McDonald, this 21-year-old returned to the lineup after missing a month of playing time and has not skipped a beat with four goals and six points through seven games. More importantly, Benn moved to center where he not only could qualify for a second position but he also centers the team’s most lethal weapon in Loui Eriksson. As a former 46-goal scorer in the WHL, this budding power forward has legitimate 30 goal potential.
D – Anton Babchuk, Calgary Flames
Babchuk has been an excellent source of goals from the blue line since 2008-2009, when he potted 17 markers. For some reason, owners somewhat soured on the towering Russian after he failed to produce on the third pairing in Carolina followed by his exile to the should-be awful Flames. Nevertheless, Babchuk continues to prove doubters wrong with his second season of double-digit tallies. As a nice bonus, he has three goals over his last 10 games and has shown no sign of slowing down.
LW – Matt Calvert, Columbus Blue Jackets
Seems like everybody in Columbus loves this kid after only 25 games. Calvert, 21, is a speedy left wing who earned his way into second-line playing time after starting out on the fourth. Currently he could come close to the rookie goal record as a Blue Jacket of 17, set back in 2002-2003 by captain Rick Nash. His 11 goals sit seventh on the team with Calvert effectively replacing streaky winger Kristian Huselius. While his promotion may be short lived with Huselius and Derrick Brassard close to returning, he essentially has a 50 percent chance of scoring if you add him to your team today.
Others to Monitor
G – Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
More of a preemptive move while we wait for the status of Michal Neuvirth. Holtby looked great when he closed the door on Steven Stamkos and company on Monday night and showed he could handle some starting goalie responsibilities if called upon. Check the starting goalies page to see if Holtby gets another shot; most coaches ride the hot hand.
RW – David Moss, Calgary Flames
Moss gets a shot at centering Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla, which has been one of the hotter combinations in the League. Moss brings a goal scoring edge to the line which would allow Tanguay to use more of his playmaking abilities. While time will tell if this troika works, it should be noted that these two veterans made Brendan Morrison look like an All-Star. Additionally, there are very few available first liners this late in the season making Moss a prudent add in deeper leagues.
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