With just one week left in the regular season, any injury is a serious one and the temptation to drop even a star player who suffers a day-to-day injury will be significant. We’ve assembled a handful of worthwhile substitutes in case you need to make a move in the final days of the season.
– C – New York Islander
After four disappointing seasons, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Bailey is just 22 years old. He certainly still has enough time to break out and have a great NHL career, which, combined with his potential makes him a nice sleeper going into next season. However, in the short-term, we’re singling him out because he’s about as hot as you can get. He has three goals and 12 points in his last six contests and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. One of Bailey’s problems in the past has actually been his position on the depth charts, but he’s currently on the second line with Kyle Okposo
. We think he will finish the season on a high note and that might set up a big 2012-13 campaign for him.
– LW – Chicago Blackhawks
A lack of playing time has been a bit of an ongoing issue for Stalberg this season, but it hasn’t been something he’s had to deal with recently. Through Chicago’s game on Thursday, Stalberg logged over 15 minutes in seven of his last eight contests. In that span, Stalberg has scored three goals and seven points. Chicago has Monday April 2nd through Wednesday April 5th off, so Stalberg is someone you want to wait until mid-week to pick up and then use as part of your final push.
– RW – Winnipeg Jets
The Jets will not make the playoffs this season, which should be added incentive for them to give 23-year-old Machacek plenty of opportunities to show what he can do. Machacek excelled at the AHL level this season with 17 goals and 48 points in 58 contests. He’s done just as well with Winnipeg, scoring two goals and eight points in nine contests. Machacek is a bit of a gamble, but he should continue to fight hard to make an impression that will last until next season’s training camp.
– LW – Pittsburgh Penguins
Dupuis had two assists on Friday to extend his point streak to a staggering 13 games. He’s been getting playing time with Sidney Crosby
since he returned and as a team Pittsburgh has been explosive offensively. Their final three games are against Boston, the Rangers, and Philadelphia, which should translate into three tough goaltending matches. That might scare some people away from Dupuis, but we recommend you look past their opponents and pick him up.
– G – Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus is destined to be the worst team in the NHL in 2011-12, but they still have to put someone between the pipes for their three games next week. Curtis Sanford
and Steve Mason
can’t be counted on to play again this season, so that makes York their de facto starting goaltender. Fortunately, York has done a great job filling, in and has a solid 2.42 GAA and .915 save percentage in nine games this season. Two of the Blue Jackets last three games are against the Colorado Avalanche – who are a long shot at this point to make the playoffs – and the Islanders, who are also not expected to play past the first week of April. That should take a bit of the pressure off of York in his final matches of 2011-12.
– LW – Boston Bruins
Rolston seems to have gotten his second wind with the Boston Bruins. Since the defending Stanley Cup champions acquired him from the Islanders, Rolston has scored three goals and 13 points in 17 games. If this was December, we might shy away from recommending Rolston, as the idea of him maintaining this pace after years of having little to no fantasy value seem unlikely. He turned 39 in February and it seems safe to say that his best years are behind him. The only question at this point is if he can stay hot for just one more week. That’s something we can definitely see happening.