Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 23rd 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.
Matt Stajan, Center, Calgary Flames
Most Flames fans have probably have a hard time being patient with Matt Stajan. Stajan was involved in the controversial trade for Dion Phaneuf back in 2010 and was signed to a four year deal which saw the center earn an average salary of $3.5million per year. After spending most of the season toiling away on the Flames fourth line, the 28 year-old center has a new lease on life with a promotion to the Flames top line. Since he’s started playing with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay on the Flames top line he’s scored 3 points in his last 2 games including 2 points against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. While Stajan only has 12 points on the season, the idea of him being paired up with Iginla should have you considering adding him to your lineup if you need help up the middle. Iginla is on a hot streak right now scoring 9 points in his 5 games so if Stajan can stay on that top line he could be a great pickup for you as you head into the playoffs.
Andrei Markov, Defenceman, Montreal Canadiens
A true test of your patience is drafting a player in October and leaving him on your IR until March. Andrei Markov played his first game since November 13, 2010 on Saturday night when the Canadiens played the Vancouver Canucks. Markov collected an assist and played over 17 minutes including playing over 2 minutes on the Habs power-play. While Markov has had severe problems with his knee over the last two seasons, that shouldn’t stop you from picking him up if he’s available in your league. He’s currently owned in 42% of all Yahoo! leagues so if he is available you will want to pick him up before someone else will. When Markov is healthy he’s an elite fantasy defenceman who will get you points. In his last full season he scored 64 points in 78 games during the 2008-2009 season.
Slava Voynov, Defenceman, Los Angeles Kings
With the departure of Jack Johnson somebody on the Kings blue line will get the opportunity to step up and take his place. One of the main reasons that the Kings traded Johnson to Columbus (besides needing the scoring) was the emergence of Slava Voynov. The 22 year-old Russian defenceman has 14 points in 40 games this season including 3 points in his last 5 games. During that five game stretch Voynov has been averaging just under 20 minutes of ice time per night including over 2 minutes on the Kings power-play. Voynov is currently owned in only 4% of all Yahoo! leagues. With the Kings fighting for one of the last playoff spots in the West, Voynov will play a big role in the Kings quest for the top 8.
Marty Turco, Goaltender, Boston Bruins
With Tuukka Rask being out for the rest of the regular season, the Bruins had no other options but to go out and sign veteran goaltender Marty Turco. Turco cleared waivers and joined the Boston Bruins this week. On Sunday afternoon Turco played in his first game since March 17, 2011. Turco didn’t start the game but he did come in to replace Tim Thomas during the second period. Turco was stellar in his return stopping 20 of 22 shots and finished the game with a .909 save percentage against a dangerous Penguins lineup. It’s clear that the Bruins are going to need to give Thomas some rest during the stretch to get him ready for the playoffs. If you’re in a deep league and you need goaltending then Turco could be a great addition to your team this late in the season.
Michael Stone, Defenceman, Phoenix Coyotes
This 21- year-old defenceman was called up by the Phoenix Coyotes on February 18. Since them, Stone has appeared in eight games, registering three points. Those 3 points have come in the last two games and Stone was able to score 2 points against the Sharks on Saturday night. Over the last 3 games Stone has averaged just under 17 minutes per game. Stone has put up some decent offensive numbers over the course of his playing career. During his last two seasons in the WHL, Stone scored over 60 points each of those seasons and this year in the AHL with the Portland Pirates he scored 22 points in 51 games. It’s hard to say whether Stone will put up decent numbers in the NHL but if you need help on the blue line you might want to keep your eye on him over the next week or so. If Dave Tippett continues to have faith in Stone he could become a great addition to your team.