With the head-to-head playoffs upon us it is paramount that any roster moves that we make help us immediately. There is very little room for forward thinking. Win and you move on. Lose and it’s better luck next year.
The simplest way to ensure a waiver pickup makes an impact for you is to make sure you take a player who will give you the most games played between now and Sunday. There are 16 teams who play three games over the next five days, which gives you a large swath of players to chose from.
The best schedule your player can have is the Wednesday-Friday-Sunday slate because it avoids having any back-to-backs and also means you get players into action on nights with fewer games. The teams with that schedule are:
Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
Here is a waiver wire option from each of those teams:
Tyler Myers, D, WPG – 29 per cent owned
With Dustin Byfuglien day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, Myers becomes the Jets’ no. 1 defenceman. He stepped up with a goal and an assist in Byfuglien’s absence Monday night and is a nice option if you need an injury replacement.
Andrej Sekera, D, EDM – 33 per cent owned
Not as snazzy an option as Myers, but Sekera is nonetheless the Oilers’ top defenceman at the moment. That opens him up to big minutes with some of the league’s most exciting forwards. He also gets top power-play minutes, though the Oilers’ power-play has struggled mightily. Don’t sleep on the fact that all of the Oilers’ games this week are at home.
Mikkel Boedker, LW/RW, COL – 25 per cent owned
Boedker hasn’t been a smash hit since coming over from the Arizona Coyotes, registering just three points in six games. He has been skating on the top line and top power-play unit with Nathan MacKinnon, however, so the situation is prime for production. The suspension of Gabriel Landeskog means Blake Comeau moves up to Boedker’s opposite wing, which isn’t ideal.
Teuvo Teravainen, LW, CHI – 12 per cent owned
Teravainen is currently under the weather, which may render him a bad selection. He has been on fire since the Blackhawks spruced up their depth to give him some help. In particular, Teravainen has meshed well with Tomas Fleischmann on the third line.
Bonus Blackhawks Option: Artem Anisimov, C/LW, 26 per cent owned
As you well know, the centreman has been flanked by Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin all season. They haven’t done too well lately but such potent linemates will always make Anisimov and intriguing option.
Joe Colborne, C/LW/RW, CGY – two per cent owned
The Flames winger has played up and down the lineup but has mostly found a home on the third line. That isn’t all that exciting. More exciting is that he has grabbed a spot on the top power-play unit as a net-front presence. He has three goals and four points in his last five games.
. . .
If you weren’t quick to the draw or in need of a waiver pickup for Wednesday night, here are the teams who can give you three games in four nights from Thursday until Sunday: San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Arizona Coyotes.
Here are some waiver options from each of those teams, as well:
Justin Schultz, D, PIT – five per cent owned
The reclamation project has largely been used as a third pairing defenceman since coming over from Edmonton. However, with Evgeni Malkin sidelined for the rest of the season, Schultz has been bumped up to the top power-play unit. He has two points in four games since joining the Penguins and is a highly intriguing option.
Devante Smith-Pelly, RW, NJ – eight per cent owned
This is likely a small-sample anomaly, but Smith-Pelly has four goals and six points in six games since joining the Devils. He is seeing more minutes than he has at any point in his career. We've seen the Devils make studs out of relative unknowns all season – why doubt them now?
Matt Dumba, D, MIN – 29 per cent owned
Dumba has gained top unit power-play time since the arrival of John Torchetti as interim head coach, providing him with ample opportunity to use his big shot and puck-moving skills. Dumba has four points in the last six games.
Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ – 39 per cent owned
The streaky winger has been hot of late with five goals in his last six games to set new career highs for goals and points.
Alex Tanguay, LW/RW, ARI – seven per cent owned
Since coming over from Colorado, the veteran winger has amazed with three goals and six points in just five games. This may be a small sample aberration but if you are facing desperate times don’t be afraid to resort to desperate measures.
Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of Dobber Hockey. Follow him @SteveLaidlaw.