This late in the season, almost every acquisition is a short-term one. In a way, that makes things much easier because you don’t have to worry as much about the possibility of a hot player falling down to Earth. It also means we can’t afford to roll the dice on a player we think should be performing better, but hasn’t lived up to expectations. This week we’ll be focusing on players who not only should perform over the final weeks of the season, but have already produced results.
– LW/RW – Nashville Predators
I was skeptical when the Predators acquired Sergei Kostitsyn
’s older brother, but I have to admit it seems to be working out. Andrei doesn’t always play on a line with his brother, but the Predators seem to have helped Andrei, just as they did Sergei last season. Andrei has three goals and six points in seven games with Nashville and he could average about 0.8 points per game for the remainder of the season. It’s worth noting Sergei is also available in the vast majority of leagues and isn’t a bad pickup either.
– C/RW – Winnipeg Jets
The problem with Little this season is his production has come in spurts. It took him until November 8th to score his first goal, but from November 19th through December 13th, he had nine goals in just 11 games. He’s had other hot streaks and slumps throughout this season, but right now he’s hot with six points in six games. Even though this might be the tail end of his recent hot streak, at this point, he’s still worth rolling the dice on if he’s a free agent. It helps that the Jets are in a tight race for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, so every game has an added sense of urgency.
– C – Colorado Avalanche
Mueller seems to have finally put his concussion troubles behind him and shaken off the rust. He has a goal and five assists in his last seven games. Mueller has an opportunity to finish this season on a high note while also helping the Avalanche battle for one of the final playoff seeds in the Western Conference. Although he’s an obvious gamble, given that he has plenty of potential and has been hot lately, we’re willing to take the risk.
– RW – Buffalo Sabres
Stafford is another guy who’s more of a short-term solution – or at least he would be if the season wasn’t almost over. He has a goal and five points in his last two games, which is partially due to the fact that he’s been gelling with the equally hot Marcus Foligno
and Tyler Ennis
. Foligno is a 20-year-old who is making the most of his first big opportunity to show what he can do in the NHL, while Ennis has been making up for lost time ever since he returned from an ankle injury in early February. Ennis is actually the most desirable of the trio, but I already highlighted him in my Waiver Wired column two weeks ago. However, if Ennis is now unavailable, or you could use a RW more, Stafford should be a solid late season addition.
– LW – New York Rangers
Speaking of players on great lines, can you do much better than playing alongside Marian Gaborik
and Brad Richards
? That’s the position Hagelin is in right now, so it’s not much of a surprise that he has two goals and five points in his last two games. Obviously, that’s a pace he won’t be able to maintain, but he should continue to put up fantasy worth numbers, including a superb plus/minus rating, as long as he stays on that line.
– G – Edmonton Oilers
There’s not a whole lot in the way of regularly playing goaltenders who haven’t already been scooped up, so if you need some last minute goaltending help, Dubnyk might be your best bet. Nikolai Khabibulin
has struggled in the second half of the season and Dubnyk should split the starting duties with him for the remainder of the season. That should be especially true next week when the Oilers play four road games in just six days. Dubnyk probably won’t wow you, but he should put up decent numbers.