Whether you are fighting to make it into the playoffs or are fighting to make it to the next round, this is going to be a very crucial day. Sunday’s matchups feature Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, NY Rangers, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh, so make sure to look at players only on those teams when searching for players to add. And remember, do not be afraid to drop a fringe player for a one that is playing if you are behind your opponent. I’ll try to find six players that should hopefully make next week count.
Radim Vrbata, RW, PHX – start
I could have put a number of Phoenix players on here, but I’ll go with the 22 percent owned (in Yahoo! leagues) Vrbata. Phoenix has been playing some great hockey lately and has collected at least a point in seven straight games, scoring a minimum of three goals in each game. Vrbata now currently has a four-game point streak and has collected 2g-4a-6pts, three PPP, and 12 SOG during that time. He isn’t the only hot Coyotes player worth looking at, though.
The 5 percent owned center Eric Belanger is worth a look, as he now has 3g-5a-8pts, +6, and 2 PPP in his last six games, while the much more widely owned Shane Doan has gone on quite the run as well. He is now amidst a seven-game point streak that has seen him collect 4g-6a-10pts, +7, 4 PPP, and 24 SOG.
Brian Gionta, RW, MON – start
If you are in need of goals are shots on goal, Gionta should be able to help. Minnesota has been spiraling quite a bit lately and has now lost five games in a row while letting in an average of four goals per game. In a four game span, Gionta now has 2g-2a-4pts, +3, a PPG, a SHG, and 11 shots on goal. Send Gionta out there on this crucial day.
Jason Blake, LW, ANA – start
Blake fits into the same mold as Gionta – goals and shots, and Blake should definitely be available on the waiver-wire. Over his past five games (not including Saturday night), Blake has put up 3g-2a-5pts, +4, a GWG, and 16 SOG, although there was an 11-day gap between games due to his lacerated hand. He has come back nicely though, and scored both Anaheim goals in a 2-1 win over St. Louis. Blake has also played pretty decently so far this year against Calgary, posting 2 assists, a +1, and 6 SOG in the two games he has played against them. The Blake – Saku Koivu – Teemu Selanne line has been playing some good hockey lately, so Blake may be able to help you out.
Erik Christensen, C, NYR – start
If you are need of help in a deep league, Christensen may be your go-to guy. Over his last eight games, he has collected 5g-6a-11pts, a +7, 6 PIM, three PPG, and 16 SOG while only failing to collect a point in two of those games. He should definitely still be available as well as he is only owned in two percent of Yahoo! Leagues. He has collected two goals in the four games he has played against the Pens, so his chances of getting a point now that he has stepped up his game are pretty good. There are a plenty of worse options out there, so he could definitely be worth a shot.
Ryan Callahan has been another hot Ranger that should be worth a look, although he is a lot more owned than Christensen is. He now has 6g-4a-10pts and 24 SOG over his past six games, but to be fair five of those points came in one crazy outburst against Philadelphia. He also has 4g-2a-6pts, 11 PIM, 4 PPP, 10 SOG, and two GWG in five games against the Pens. If he’s out there, snatch him up.
One more Ranger of note is left winger Vinny Prospal. He deserves to be owned in a lot more than 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues because he has collected 3g-10a-13pts, 8 PPP, and 22 SOG over his past 11 games while failing to collect a point only once during that span. If you are in need of assists or power play points, definitely look to Prospal.
Tyler Kennedy, C/LW, PIT – start
Kennedy has found a new home alongside Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal and he seems to really like playing with those two. He now has 2g-5a-7pts, a +6, and 17 SOG over his past six games. Speaking of Kunitz, he has found his game again since his return from injury and has 2g-3a-5pts, 2 PIM, and a PPG in his past two games. He has also had success against the Rangers this year, posting 2g-1a-3pts and 7 SOG in three games against them. Either of these two players could be worth an add.
Chad Johnson, G, NYR – possible start
This is completely speculative at this point, but apparently Henrik Lundqvist did not practice today because of a stiff neck and is questionable to play on Sunday versus the Penguins. If he’s out, that means Chad Johnson is the most likely one to get the start. If you are needing a spot start from the waiver wire, Johnson may be the only non-starter getting to play tomorrow so he could be worth the gamble. Be sure to monitor Lundy’s status tonight to see if there is any definitive word on the matter.
Well, I put a few more on here than only six but I think it’s warranted considering the impact tomorrow’s games could have on fantasy matchups. Be sure to check out the forums for Starting Goalie information for Sunday. Good luck tomorrow.
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