Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 22nd 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.
Mathieu Garon, Starting Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning
Looking at the Lightning’s goaltending is it really that big of a surprise seeing the former Oilers goaltending duo of Roloson & Garon from 2007/2008 struggle so much? It would have seemed crazy to recommend adding either Garon or Roloson a month ago. Lately Mathieu Garon has taken the reigns as the Lightning’s number one netminder and has gotten them back in the playoff hunt. The Lightning have won 4 straight and have gone 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. In the last four games Garon has an impressive .892 save percentage and a GAA of 2.45. Garon has been known to go on hot streaks and this is definitely one of them. The Lightning are fighting for their playoff lives right now so you might want to take advantage of a red-hot Mathieu Garon while you can.
Robin Lehner, Starting Goalie, Ottawa Senators
Robin Lehner is making the most of his opportunity in Ottawa. Since Craig Anderson went down with an injury on February 25, the Swedish born netminder has posted an impressive 2-1 record which includes a shutout against the Boston Bruins. During that stretch he has an incredible .960 save percentage and 1.34 GAA. Lehner probably has a bit more motivation to play better with the Senators acquiring former Blues goaltending prospect Ben Bishop just before the trade deadline. The Senators have some tough opponents coming up with the team playing the Lightning, Rangers, and Sabres this week but they’ve been red-hot lately going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Lehner is currently owned in 23% of all Yahoo! leagues so you might want to add him to your team while you can as it looks like Craig Anderson could be out a while.
Josh Harding, Starting Goalie, Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild are another team that are fighting for their playoff lives. After going 15-7-3 through the first two months of the season the Wild find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference top eight. They’ll be in a dog fight with the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, and the Los Angeles Kings for one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference. If the Wild hope to succeed they’ll need Josh Harding to play some of his best hockey of the season. Since Niklas Backstrom went down with a groin injury last week, Harding has had to step up to the plate and take over the Wild goaltending duties for the next 2-4 weeks while Backstrom recovers. Harding had a disastrous outing at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit but in his defense not a lot of teams have played great there this season. This week, the Wild play the Colorado Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes. Both teams have had problems putting the puck in the net this season so those could be some stronger starts for Harding. So far this season Harding has a 9-10-4 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.78 GAA.
Zack Kassian, Right Wing, Vancouver Canucks
Thank god for the Zack Kassian/Cody Hodgson deal last week or trade deadline day would’ve been a complete disaster. While Cody Hodgson has been playing consistently good hockey this season, it’s been Zack Kassian that’s been more of a fantasy question mark this year. That might start to change though as Kassian could look to join such fantasy agitators as Ryane Clowe and Steve Ott as guys who can get you the odd point but also help you out with some penalty minutes. Kassian picked up his first two points as a Canuck on Saturday against his former team. He recorded a goal and an assist while playing on the Canucks second line with Ryan Kesler and David Booth. It would be hard to imagine that Kassian will continue to get second line minutes with the Canucks but you never know. It’s worth it to keep your eye on him though as he does have 16 hits, 8 shots on goal, and two points in his first two games with the Canucks.
Matt Frattin, Right Wing, Toronto Maple Leafs
Sorry to bring up the coaching change in Toronto. I know that most of you have enjoyed hearing nothing but news on the Ron Wilsong firing/Randy Carlyle firing over the weekend but Matt Frattin might be one player who will actually benefit from the change. In Carlyle’s first game as the Leafs new bench boss Frattin played on the Leafs second line along with Mikael Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur. In the game against the Canadiens, the 24 year-old scored a goal and an assist and his line ended up with more ice-time than the Leafs top line of Lupul, Bozak, and Kessel. So far this season Frattin has 12 points in 41 games. While those numbers might not encourage you to go out and add him to your team right away you might want to keep an eye on him if he stays on the Leafs second line. Frattin is no stranger to scoring as he scored 16 points in 21 games for the Marlies of the AHL this season.
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