Only three weeks left.
Three short, fantasy breaking weeks left.
At this point in the season it seems like things change by the second, or with the same frequency of an Islander goalie getting hurt. That being said, we hope by the time this article hits the press that all the suggested waiver wire picks are not already gone, injured or demoted. Without further ado, here are your picks for week 24.
G – Ray Emery, Anaheim Ducks
Emery almost started Sunday night against the Calgary Flames with his head coach Randy Carlyle actually considering putting him out there on back-to-back nights. With Dan Ellis as his other option, Carlyle has 99 problems but his offense ain’t one. Actually, the club doesn’t have too many problems with eight wins in their last 10 games and a current place in the playoff tree should the season end today. Either way, Emery has been a revelation in Anaheim, much like Ellis was just two short weeks ago. After missing over a calendar year of hockey, the 28-year-old looks right back on track with excellent peripherals –2-0-0 record, 0.87 GAA and .972 SV% — and will continue to backstop the Ducks until faltering. In which case, Ellis may be one of his problems.
C – Eric Belanger, Phoenix Coyotes
We told you a few days ago that the Coyotes needed their due. Well, by asking you to consider their top line center we attempt to do just that. Now that Kyle Turris seems to have found a home between Mikkel Boedker and Brett MacLean, Belanger is free to pivot Shane Doan and the surging Lauri Korpikoski. The results have been excellent as this 33-year-old potted four goals and nine points over their last seven games. Having a strong top line has even propelled the Coyotes higher in the Western Conference standings as it seems like they have separated themselves from the rest of the cluster. Regardless, do you see any other top-line centers just available on the waiver wire?
RW – Matt D’Agostini, St. Louis Blues
Depending on how you want to look at it, D’Agostini is either a first liner or a second liner. Either way, he is scoring and playing on a scoring line. With linemates like Andy McDonald and David Backes — the playmaker and the muscle — this former Hab just needs to work hard and wait for the puck as good things should happen. Over his last seven games, he registered four goals and nine points, giving the Blues a lift with Alexander Steen out and David Perron apparently shut down for the season. Either way, D’Agostini is probably the best right wing available as he will continue to get chances in the offensive zone.
LW – Vaclav Prospal, New York Rangers
He may be the slowest skater on the Rangers but he still can find the back of the net. At 36-years-old Prospal came back midway through the season to a changed identity but similar linemates in Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik. The trioka, which was the top line last season, continue to show their chemistry which is why the ageless Prospal has points in 10 of his last 12 games and 13 points over that span. Not a bad option if you need points filled across the board as he also gets top billing on the PP.
Others to Monitor
D – Jonathon Blum, Nashville Predators
This add might be a better looking next year, or the year after but Blum has talent. Taken 23rd overall back in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, this California native became a blue-chip prospect as a member of the Vancouver Giants. After four years with their organization he was signed to an entry-level contract and played almost two full seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, racking up a tidy 75 points over 134 games which averages to roughly 46 points over a full season. However, it was not his offensive prowess which made him a call up but his hockey sense which indicated his readiness. That same hockey IQ is the reason why Barry Trotz already plays him in the top four and why he has three goals and five points through his first 14 NHL games. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a keeper here.
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