Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 14th 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.
Jiri Hudler, Left Wing, Detroit Red-Wings
Last year was a bit of a disaster for Jiri Hudler. After spending the entire 2009-2010 season playing in the KHL, he rejoined the Red-Wings last season and had a disappointing season registering 37 points in 73 games. He’s now seemed to move past last year’s forgettable results and is once again playing at the level that he was known for before heading to the KHL. Hudler is currently fifth in Red-Wings scoring with 26 points and is on pace for a 53 point season which would be just shy of his career point high during the 2008-2009 season. He’s currently on a 3 game points streak in which he has 4 points (all goals). Hudler mostly sees time on the Wings second power-play unit with just over 2 minutes per night spent on the power-play and just over 14 minutes of ice time per night. Hudler is currently owned in only 19% of all Yahoo leagues.
Sam Gagner, Center, Edmonton Oilers
With the injury bug hitting the Oilers one of their not as talked about young forwards has really stepped up his play. During the 2007-2008 season as an 18 year-old rookie, Sam Gagner was the toast of Edmonton getting accolades with his shootout moves and an impressive 49 point season. During the past few season’s he’s been overlooked by a new crop of forwards like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle. Over the last 4 seasons Gagner has shown consistency averaging just over 40 points per season. With the shoulder injury to Calder favorite Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner has stepped up his play leading the Oilers top line. He’s scored 6 points in his last 5 games and is on pace for at least another 40 point season. You might want to take a look at picking up Gagner at least until Nugent-Hopkins comes back.
Jordin Tootoo, Right Wing, Nashville Predators
The Predators are now at the half-way mark of their season and one player has surprised everyone with a career high in points already. Hard hitting Jordin Tootoo already has 19 points this season and his previous career high was 18 points in 54 games last season. He’s on pace for a 38 point season and has 3 points in his last 3 games. While the points total might not be that great, those that are in leagues that count for penalty minutes might want to pick him up. Tootoo currently has 62 penalty minutes on the season and is also on pace to break his career high penalty minutes mark of 124 minutes. Tootoo is currently owned in only 5% of all Yahoo! leagues.
Dennis Seidenberg, Defenceman, Boston Bruins
With the amount of goals that the Bruins are putting up every night you could pretty much justify putting almost any Bruins player into your team’s lineup. 30 year old defenceman Dennis Seidenberg is no exception. Looking at Seidenberg’s career stats he’ll average around 25 points per season. For most of this season he’s been paired with Zdeno Chara on the Bruins top defensive pairing and not only leads the Bruins in ice time but averages just under 3 minutes of power-play time each night. After a slow start to the season, Seidenberg is now on pace for 30 points and has 7 points in his last 6 games. Even more impressive is that he as a plus/minus rating of +20 which puts him in 6th place among all defenceman this season. Seidenberg is a reliable option in deep leagues where you get points for plus/minus ratings. He’s currently owned in 44% of all Yahoo! leagues. Expect that number to go up if he can keep showing up on the score sheet every night.
Jonas Gustavsson, Starting Goalie, Toronto Maple Leafs
It looks like there’s a bit of a goaltending controversy happening in Toronto. After starting the season as the Leafs number one goaltender, James Reimer has been forced to watch from the bench as “The Monster” Jonas Gustavsson has started the Leafs last three games. During that span the Leafs have won 3 games in a row and Gustavsson has allowed 6 goals against and recorded a shutout against the surging Winnipeg Jets. Gustavsson has put together impressive stretches this season including a 4 game winning streak back in November that saw him give up only 7 goals during those 4 games. The Leafs are going to be in a dog fight to stay in the playoff picture in the East so look for Leafs coach Ron Wilson to pit the two goalies against each other as they fight to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Look for Gustavsson to keep getting starts if the Leafs can keep winning.