Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 17th 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.
Alex Tanguay, Left Wing, Calgary Flames
Alex Tanguay is one of those players that was probably taken in your draft after his 69 point performance last year but was probably dropped in most leagues after missing the last 15 games with an upper body injury. Tanguay is currently owned in only 40% of Yahoo! leagues so now that he’s back you might want to look at adding him to your team. Since returning on January 24th he’s appeared in 1 game and skated on the Flames third line with Blair Jones and Tom Kostopoulos. While the third line role might not sound that promising, it’s important to remember that once with finds his game legs he’ll probably take Blake Comeau’s role on the second line. Before going down with his injury Tanguay was putting up some decent numbers on an offensively challenged Flames lineup by scoring 22 points in 33 games. Look for Tanguay to see most of his scoring chances on the Flames second power-play unit.
Gilbert Brule, Center, Phoenix Coyotes
Gilbert Brule entered training camp this fall as a member of the Edmonton Oilers but soon found himself down in the AHL after losing a spot on the Oilers depth chart thanks to the emergence of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Brule was a pro and did his time in Oklahoma City scoring 18 points in 27 games for the Barons. With the Oilers once again losing most of their players to injury they placed him on re-entry waivers on January 9 only to find himself claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes. Landing in Phoenix was the best thing to happen to the 25 year-old forward. Since arriving in Phoenix Brule has been thriving in a fourth line role alongside veterans Raffi Torres and Daymond Langkow. Brule has 4 points in the last 5 games and seems to trying to take advantage of his new opportunity in the desert. Unfortunately Brule has been labelled as a draft bust but remember that Brule had an impressive season with the Oilers in 2009/10 which saw him score 37 points in 65 games.
Andrew Shaw, Center, Chicago Blackhawks
It’s scary to think that with the Blackhawks strong lineup that they also have solid group of young players coming up to the NHL. In addition to Jimmy Hayes, rookie Andrew Shaw is showing the Hawks why he has a bright future in the Windy City. One of the interesting things about Andrew Shaw is that he was a fifth round pick this past summer. Typically you don’t see fifth round pick playing in the NHL until at least 3 years after being drafted. Besides defying the odds by the playing in the NHL this season, Shaw has been turning heads with his strong play by scoring 7 points in his first 11 games. Joel Quenville has been giving Shaw just over 16 minutes of ice time every night including giving him some time on the Hawks second power-play unit. He’s not afraid to put the puck on net as he’s been averaging about 3 shots per game. Shaw is listed as a Center but has been seeing plenty of time on the Left Wing. Keep your eye on him in the next few weeks as he could be an option for you at both Center and Left Wing.
Mathieu Perreault, Center, Washington Capitals
Twenty-four year old Mathieu Perreault is making quite a name for himself as the new first line centerman for the Washington Capitals. Over the last the last 4 games, Perreault has 6 points and doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down anytime soon. When Alex Ovechkin is finished serving his suspension later this week Perreault will be playing with him and Alex Semin on the Caps top line. Perreault is a 6th round pick of the Caps in the 2006 draft and has split his time with Washington and Hershey of the AHL over the past 3 seasons. He’s never played more than 35 games in a season for the Capitals and hasn’t scored over 14 points. He’ll be passing those numbers after the All-Star break and could finish with over 30 points this season. He’s definitely a player to keep your eye on over the next few weeks especially if he stays on that top line with Ovechkin and Semin.
Teddy Purcell, Right Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
Before the start of the season a lot of fantasy hockey experts had said that Teddy Purcell was a player to keep your eye on this season. Of course this had to do with his strong play in last year’s playoffs where he outscored Steven Stamkos and finished third in Bolts scoring behind Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St.Louis. After a strong start to the season where he scored 9 points in 10 games he then put up only 12 points over the next 2 months. So far 2012 has been better to Teddy Purcell, the 27 year-old has 6 points in the last 7 games and has been playing on the Bolts first line along with Steve Downie and Steven Stamkos. Purcell saved his best hockey for the playoffs last year so hopefully he will continue his strong play as the Lightning try to overcome their 9 point deficit and try to make the playoffs.