Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this ninth week of the season we’re going to take a look at each position and some of the players that you might want to add to your roster. We hope you will be able to utilize this article in order to gain a competitive advantage over your opponents throughout the season. Feel free to add omissions and critique our current choices in comments section as we welcome an open discussion at DailyFaceoff.com.
David Perron, Left Wing, St. Louis Blues
Despite losing to conference rival Chicago, the Blues and their fans were happy to see Perron back in the teams lineup on Saturday night. It was the 23 year-old’s first game back since missing the Blues last 97 games with a concussion after being on the receiving end of a Joe Thornton hit last fall. Perron had a great first game back by scoring a goal on his first shot on net. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has confidence in the young winger as Perron played over 19 minutes last night which also included 5 minutes on the Blues power play. For those not sure if you should add Perron to your team yet you should look back to his stats last season before he got hurt. Perron looked like he was on his way to having a career year last season while scoring 7 points in the Blues first 10 games, he was a 50 point player the two seasons before. The Blues are a team that desperately needs some scoring so look for Hitchcock to play Perron in all key offensive situations.
Ryan O’Reilly, Center, Colorado Avalanche
Quick question; which player leads the Avs in scoring? Most people would guess either Milan Hejduk or Matt Duchene but as you can already tell, it’s actually center Ryan O’Reilly. The 20 year-old is quietly putting together a career year. In the previous two seasons, O’Reilly has scored 26 points; however, this season O’Reilly already has 19 points in the Avs first 26 games which puts him on pace f0r a 60 point season. O’Reilly has 7 points in the last 4 games while averaging 18 minutes per game and over 2 minutes on the Avs power play. It seems like a lot of fantasy GM’s haven’t bought into the O’Reilly hype yet as he’s only owned in 13% of all Yahoo! leagues. If you’re in need of a center you might want to look at adding O’Reilly before he gets picked up.
Pascal Dupuis, Right Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins
If you’re not one of the lucky GM’s to own Sidney Crosby why not look for those players that Sid plays with on a regular basis. One of the player’s that’s greatly benefited from the return of Sidney Crosby is veteran winger Pascal Dupuis. Since Crosby’s return, the 10 year veteran has scored 7 points in that span, including a 3 point night on Crosby’s first game back on November 21 against the New York Islanders. Dupuis’ best season points wise was during the 2002-2003 campaign when he was a member of the Minnesota Wild, he finished with 48 points that season. Dupuis is currently on pace to eclipse his total from that season with 63 points.
Michael Del Zotto, Defence, New York Rangers
It’s hard not to get caught up in the New York Rangers hype. The team has won 5 in a row and they’ve lost a league low 5 games in regulation. One of the player’s that’s been a pleasant surprise for the surging team is 21 year-old Michael Del Zotto. Last year it looked like Del Zotto was going to be another one year wonder after putting up 37 points as a rookie then following that up with an 11 point season and spending most of last season playing in Hartford of the AHL. With Marc Staal still suffering from post-concussion syndrome, Del Zotto has taken advantage of the extra ice time he’s been receiving. So far he’s scored 9 points in 23 games and even more impressive is that he’s got a +9 rating. Compare that to his rookie season when he finished with a -20 rating and it’s clear to see that his year in the AHL has helped him to become a better player. His 9 points might not excite you that much but it’s important to note that he averages over 4 minutes per game on the Rangers power-play. With minutes like that the points will start finding him.
Andrew Raycroft, Goaltender, Dallas Stars
If you’re looking for a quick goaltending fix then Andrew Raycroft might be your man. With Kari Lehtonen still on the shelf for at least 3 more weeks Raycroft will continue to get the majority of the starts for the surprising Dallas Stars. Since Lehtonen has been sidelined, Raycroft has gone 2-2 and has allowed two or fewer goals in two of those games. So far this season Raycroft has a decent save percentage of .909. At this time Raycroft seems to be a decent option if you’re team is in need for a starting goaltender. You probably won’t keep him after Lehtonen returns but Raycorft will get your team some valuable goaltending wins.