Welcome back for another edition of Crashing the Net. As the season continues to wind down, we find the number of available players dwindle as we too make a playoff push. In most head-to-head formats we enter the fantasy hockey playoffs, so we will be sure to try to give you some advice for your final push. Expect to see some repeat offenders on this list since there really aren’t that many available options this late in the season.
G – Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
All season you could say the Caps almost had too much goaltending with their two talented starting goalies, Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov, constantly fighting for the inside track. As soon as one seemed to pick up steam they would get hurt, paving the way for the other to step up. Last week, both netminders were hurt giving way to Holtby, and his excellent, dominating play. The NHL honored the rookie by awarding him the First Star of the Week after shutting down Tampa Bay, shutting out the Oilers and then defeating both the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks. We are uncertain whether he lasts in this position but grab him while you can as he likely gets at least one more start.
RW – Martin Erat, Nashville Predators
Erat will play tonight riding a 5-game point streak. Playing on the newly-formed top line, Erat has blended well with David Legwand and Joel Ward and seems poised for another one of his unstoppable hot streaks. Last season Erat went on two separate 5-game streaks and two 4-game streaks. This season he only has one other 4-game streak which either means he is done for the year or just picking his game up when it matters. My money is on the latter.
C – Jason Arnott, Washington Capitals
The Caps did not need a blast from the point when the season first started as they were used to Mike Green and Alexander Ovechkin firmly holding those roles. However, the Caps recently moved Ovechkin to the front of the net while keeping the veteran Arnott on the point with Dennis Wideman. The change resulted on the PP scoring in two of the past three games. Head coach Bruce Boudreau changes lines on a day-to-day basis but adding Arnott gives his lineup options, which not only helps the aforementioned player but also the club as a whole.
C, LW – Tyler Kennedy, Pittsburgh Penguins
If you are looking for a player who completely buys into Dan Blysma’s system then look no further than Kennedy. The 24-year-old has already tied his career highs in goals while topping his assists and points totals. More importantly, he is getting used as a scorer, playing on the PP, and with Jordan Staal and Chris Kunitz during even strength. Fresh off a three-assist night against the Oilers, Kennedy would make a nice grab in deeper leagues, especially those who honor his dual-position eligibility.
D – Andrej Sekera, Buffalo Sabres
Back in December, you were advised to grab Sekera mainly because of his pairing with reigning Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers. Now in March, Sekera is finally showing the hockey world why he got the honor of sharing the blue line with Myers with two goals and 13 points over his last nine games. While we have seen spurts of production from the Sabres defense — remember they do play run-and-gun — Sekera could be showing signs of a full-blown breakout. If you need a d-man (Chris Pronger owners) this is our recommendation for this week.
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