Crashing the Net: Should You Give Backlund a Chance?

Updated: November 23, 2011 at 9:53 am by Bryce Crittenden

Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this seventh 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

Matt Moulson, Left Wing, New York Islanders

Just like the rest of the New York Islanders roster, there was a lot of high expectations going into this season. One of those players that had a rough start to the season was Matt Moulson. After scoring four points in the Islanders first four games, Moulson followed that up with a disappointing one point in the team’s next seven games. Moulson has appeared to have found his game though as he was on a five game scoring streak before heading into Saturday’s game. During that span the 28 year-old scored 6 points and is now third in Islanders scoring only behind PA Parenteau and John Tavares. Moulson is currently owned in just under 50% of all Yahoo! leagues. If you’re in need of a left winger now might be a time to pick up Moulson who is coming off of a career high 53 point season.

Mikael Backlund, Center, Calgary Flames

You might not want to look at Mikael Backlund’s current stats before deciding to add him to your team. You’ll be disappointed with his zero points and -5 rating in four games this season. After missing the first fourteen games due to a finger injury, Backlund has come back to center the Flames top line of Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla. Yes, Iginla and Tanguay aren’t exactly lighting up the league in scoring right now but you have to think that they’re going to find their game very shortly. When Backlund finds is groove with Iginla and Tanguay this could be a dangerous line combination for the Flames. Backlund finished his rookie season last year with 25 points. Regardless of his current stats, you owe it to yourself to at least keep an eye on Mikael Backlund.

Matt Read, Right Wing, Philadelphia Flyers

TSN’s hockey insider Bob McKenzie picked the 25-year-old to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie before the season started. While most people were either picking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Gabriel Landskog to win the award it’s now easy to see why McKenzie would pick the under the radar freshman. So far in 16 games, he has 13 points and is sixth in Flyers scoring. Read is currently on a four game scoring streak in which he has 5 goals and 1 assist. Of course it can be a gamble to pick up rookies but while Read is on a hot streak you might want to look at picking him up. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette clearly has faith in the rookie forward as he’s been awarding him with just over 16 minute of ice time every night. Read is currently owned in only 16% of all Yahoo! leagues.

Steve Montador, Defenceman, Chicago Blackhawks

While Brent Seabrook is out with an injury you might want to look at picking up 10 year veteran Steve Montador. Montador has been seeing time as Duncan Keith’s defensive partner. Since the pairing, he’s scored 7 points in the Hawks last 6 games. The 31 year-old is coming off a career high year with Buffalo Sabres which saw him score 26 points. So far this season, Montador has 9 points through the Hawks first 21 games. While Montador won’t put up Duncan Keith numbers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Montador finish the season around the 35  point mark. Montador’s owned in only 19% of all Yahoo! leagues and for those Brent Seabrook owners you might want to look at adding him to your lineup while Seabrook’s out with a leg injury.

Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Goaltender, Colorado Avalanche

Seymon Varlamov might want to look over his shoulder because it looks like the surprising Colorado Avalanche might have a new number one goalie. Varlamov has been struggling quite a bit lately going win-less in his last six starts and has an unimpressive .890 save percentage and a 3.30 GAA. Meanwhile, Giguere has started the Avs last two games and has only allowed 1 goal in that span. The former Conn Smythe winner has a 4-2 record this season with a .934 save percentage and a spectacular 1.68 GAA. Giguere will be making his third start in a row on Sunday night when the Avs play the san Jose Sharks. For those Varlamov owners who are getting impatient you might not have to look far for a replacement.

Calgary Flames, Center, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Defenceman, Goaltender, Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Left Wing, Matt Moulson, Matt Read, Mikael Backlund, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Right Wing, Steve Montador