Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 18th 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.
David Desharnais, Center, Montreal Canadiens
David Desharnais is quietly putting together a great season for the Habs. While talk of their disappointing season along with a controversial new coach have captured most of the headlines in Montreal, Desharnais is one of the brighter spots in the Canadiens lineup. Desharnais currently sits third in team scoring with 36 points and trails only Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole. The undrafted 25-year-old is enjoying his first full season in the NHL after splitting the last two seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. He’s centering the Canadiens top line and averages just under 18 minutes of ice time each game including over 3 minutes on the Habs top power-play unit. Desharnais is surprisingly owned in only 17 percent of all Yahoo! leagues.
Tyler Ennis, Left Wing, Buffalo Sabres
In most drafts this fall, Tyler Ennis was probably selected fairly high depending on the depth of your league. Ennis was entering this season coming off of a very impressive rookie campaign which saw him dress in all 82 games for the Sabres while scoring 49 points. Much like the rest of the Buffalo Sabres, this season really hasn’t gone according to plan. Ennis suffered an ankle injury early in the season and came back for a few games before going back on the IR again in early January. Ennis is now back and healthy and hoping to help the Sabres get through this nightmare of a season. Ennis has yet to score any points since coming back from this injury but it will be just a matter of time before he starts finding the back of the net again. Ennis is centering the Sabres second line and is playing with Nathan Gerbe and Zack Kassian. He averages just under 15 minutes of ice time each game and when he’s playing good is highly effective on the Sabres power-play. Ennis is definitely a player to keep an eye on, when he starts finding his scoring touch again he will get snapped up by other teams.
Devan Dubnyk, Starting Goaltender, Edmonton Oilers
For those of you who still have Nikolai Khabibulin on your team, it’s time to drop him. He had a nice run at the beginning of the season but it’s now time to go with 25-year-old Devan Dubnyk. Heading into Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Red-Wings. Dubnyk had started six games in a row for the Oilers and has allowed 14 goals against and a record of 4-1-1 in that span. So far this season he has a record of 10-11-1 with a GAA of 2.92 and a save percentage of .910. With the Oilers once again looking like they’re going to miss the playoffs, they’re going to be giving their future number one goalie as many starts as possible. Dubnyk is currently owned in 21% of all Yahoo! leagues. If you need a goaltender who will get some starts down the stretch of the season than Dubnyk is your man.
Derick Brassard, Center, Columbus Blue Jackets
It hasn’t been a great season so far for Derick Brassard. In addition to it being stuck in an all-around terrible season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, he saw his ice time slashed earlier in the season in the midst is constant trade rumors. With the trade deadline just a few weeks away, Brassard has been picking up his play as of late. In the last five games he has four points and an impressive plus-3 rating. Under interim coach Todd Richards, Brassard has been given a constant role on the Jackets top two lines including currently centering their top line with RJ Umberger and Rick Nash. Brassard currently has 19 points and should have a strong second half if he stays on the Jackets top line.
Jay Bouwmeester, Defence, Calgary Flames
Sometimes with your fantasy defenceman all you can hope for is that they get to play some decent minutes. If you’re looking for a defenceman who will play in all situations and I mean literally ALL situations than Jay Bouwmeester is your man. Not only does he lead the Flames in total minutes played but he’s ranked second overall in the league and only trails Erik Karlsson in that catrgory. The biggest knock about Bouwmeester is that he hasn’t exactly been lighting the lamp since joining the Flames in 2009-2010. When he was with the Florida Panthers he was averaging 40 points per season, since joining the Flames he hasn’t scored more than 29 points. That will change this season as Bouwmeester already has 22 points including 4 points in his last 5 games and he’s currently on pace for a 35 point season. What’s really surprising about Bouwmeester is that he’s only owned in roughly 12% of all Yahoo! leagues despite the fact that he averages 26 minutes of ice time every night.