Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 19th week of the season we’re going to take a look at the top five players that you might want to add to your roster this week. 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.
Jason Blake, LW, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks are easily one of the hottest teams in hockey with Blake flanking their two most important players in Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. So far, the results have been decent with the winger registering a goal and an assist in his last four games. However, as he gets more acclimated to his linemates, that production should only increase. Earlier in the season, Blake scored four goals and six points in a three-game span which shows he can put up points in bunches. We certainly aren’t expecting Blake to score 40 goals — like he did in 2006-2007– but approaching 20 goals this season is certainly not that big of a stretch should he catch fire.
Adam Henrique, C, New Jersey Devils
After missing a few games with a groin strain, Henrique is officially back. Eased into the lineup following his return, the rookie played mostly on the third line as he got his legs back under him. However, now, he is firmly entrenched on the top line alongside dynamic weapons Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. The former Windsor Spitfire standout scored two goals and four points in his last four games as he looks to continue where he left off. Aside from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Henrique may be the most dynamic rookie forward this season which likely makes him good enough for all fantasy hockey formats.
Bobby Butler, RW, Ottawa Senators
After a rough start to the season, Butler is finally producing. The undrafted forward has a goal and six points over his last four games, playing primarily with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. Last season, Butler put himself on the map by scoring 22 goals in 33 AHL games but had yet to translate that scoring touch to the big leagues. Well, wait no further as the Marlborough, Massachusetts seems to finally be clicking. Those of you in need of a boost at right wing should consider Butler as the Sens continue their unlikely ascent into the playoffs.
Sami Salo, D, Vancouver Canucks
For some reason, Salo is only owned in about 31 percent of Yahoo! fantasy hockey leagues. The oft-injured defenseman may have burned some bridges with other owners due to his bill of healthy but the 37-year-old is finally healthy. More importantly, he’s back on the top power play unit, where he will get every opportunity to produce with The Sedin Twins and Ryan Kesler. On Saturday night, Salo showed his big shot from the point by converting a power play tally, expect him to add a few more points with the surging, and apparently overrated, Canucks.
Semyon Varlamov, G, Colorado Avalanche
Like several players on this list, it has been a trying season for the young Varlamov. Before watching his veteran counterpart Jean-Sebastien Giguere get hurt, Varlamov had one start in 11 days. However, a little chance has gone a long way as Varly has allowed only two goals over his last 103 minutes. More importantly, he recently tied his career high in wins with 15, indicating that this season is not in fact a lost one. The Avalanche are getting healthier with Matt Duchene getting back in the lineup so expect then to give him more goal support. Until Giguere comes back, Varlamov looks like the guy so keep him in mind as a spot start.
All statistics through 2/18/12