This week was marred by a few impactful injuries. Jaden Schwartz, aka J Shwags, aka J Swish, is going to be out 3-4 months after colliding with the goal post in practice and breaking his ankle. He wasn't off to a great start, notching just 4 assists through 7 games, but he is one of the most overlooked fantasy players who had 28 goals and 63 points last season.
Unlike J Shwags, Aleksander Barkov WAS off to a nice start with 3 goals and 3 assists, but he's now shelved indefinitely with a broken hand after getting hit by a shot on Thursday against the Blackhawks.
Devils fans are likely already aware of the injury to Evander Kane, who went down writhing in pain after an awkward check by David Schlemko. It's still unclear of the severity of the injury, but it didn't look good. Get him out of your lineup immediately and find a replacement.
Let us now move on to the positives.
Remember, the players selected here are rewarded points based on what star they've received (1st Star gets 3 points, 2nd Star gets 2 points, 3rd Star gets 1 point). Next week I'll list the top two or three at each position.
The 3 Stars for the Forwards and Defensemen were fairly easy to choose this week, but the goalie were a little tougher. Henrik Lundqvist finished the week with 2 Starts, 1 Win, 80 Saves, 1.44 GAA, .964 SV%. If he'd have gone 2 for 2, he'd have gotten the 3rd star, but instead he's only an honorable mention, which means nothing here.
* Evgeny Kuznetsov - 3 Goals (1 PPG), 6 Assists, 12 Shots, +5
This is probably the best single offensive fantasy week I've ever seen. At least that I remember, anyway. He went absolutely berserk, and did it all in just 3 games (earning all of the goals and 2 of the assists in one of them). It really does help to skate with Alexander Ovechkin.
** Max Pacioretty - 3 Goals (1 SHG, 2 GWG), 2 Assists (2 PPA), 12 Shots, 8 Hits, +4
Max Pax started the season on a 4 game point streak (4 goals, 2 assists) before cooling off for two. He picked it back up with points in 3 straight games this week with the above listed stats. The top rated Montreal Canadiens bullied the lowly Sabres on Friday (7 goals) then the sad Maple Leafs the following night (5 goals). There are a few Habs earning stars this week because of this weekend's offensive onslaught.
*** James Neal - 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 14 Shots, +5
He is now on a 5 game point streak, which includes 6 goals, 3 assists, and 24 shots (almost 5 per game). That's pretty great, considering he didn't have a point in the first 3 games.
* P.K. Subban - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 5 Assists (1 PPA), 8 Shots, 6 Hits, +4
He netted a point in every game this week, with the goal and 1 of the assists coming against the Leafs and 3 assists coming against the Sabres. Oddly, the PPG and PPA were his first PPP of the season. There's more to come, though. NOTE: Subbi is the first defenseman to earn another Star of the Week nod (3rd Star in week 1). There hasn't been a forward to make the Stars of the Week list more than once yet.
** Andrei Markov - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 5 Assists (2 PPA), 8 Blocks
He's a solid fantasy defenseman, but don't expect this type of effort every week. The goal and 4 of his 5 assists came in the game against Buffalo (my tired brain typoed Flubbalo, but it actually makes sense - they're pretty bad).
*** Mark Giordano - 3 Goals, 1 Assist, 11 Shots, 6 PIM
3 goals in one week from a defenseman is fantastic and rare, so Gio's efforts trumped Victor Hedman's 5 assist effort for the 3 star.
* Jonathan Quick - 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 1.00 GAA, .971 SV%
The Kings are getting it together and Quick is not only a benefactor, but also a beneficiary. Quick just missed out on a 3rd Star nod last week, but is taking the 1st Star in this one.
** Carey Price - 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 87 Saves, 1.50 GAA, .967 SV%
Man, it is really nice to have this guy on your team (see my AAtJ team here). He's good, he's consistent, and he's on a great team. He allowed a season high 3 pucks to get past him against the Leafs, but he prevented 49 of them to not. It took 52 shots to score 3 times against him. That's how good he is.
*** Devan Dubnyk - 3 Games, 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 1.14 GAA, and .949 SV%.
His numbers here are pretty good, but he didn't need to be particularly great to get them. He only had to make 56 saves, including just 15 in his shutout against a struggling Anaheim Ducks team. Dubnyk also had to step in to Sunday's game against the Winnipeg Jets after Darcy Kuemper got lit up for 4 goals in just 21 minutes.
Tyler Ennis - (C, RW-BUF) - 8 Games, 2 Goals (2 PPG), 2 Assists, 29 Shots, 11 Hits
I love that he shoots a lot. I've said it before, but shots is a great way to meter whether a player is going to increase his value or not. He is currently 17th in the NHL in shots and just 1 shot behind Patrick Kane, Nick Foligno, and Phil Kessel. Eventually, more of Ennis's will go in the net. Plus he has dual eligibility, including RW.
Joel Ward (RW-SJ) - 8 Games, 5 Goals, 3 Assists, 14 Shots, 12 Hits
I don't love him, but he is on fire right now netting 5 goals in the last 4 games, including a hat trick against the Hurricanes. He is skating on the 2nd line, too, so it's not like he's getting lucky with minimal ice time. Don't count on this streak to continue for long, but maybe get him while he's hot and drop him when he's eventually not.
Cody Franson (D-BUF) - 8 Games, 3 Assists (2 PPA), 17 Shots, 13 Hits
He is starting to find his way in Buffalo, netting 3 Assists, including 2 on the PP, in the last two games. I loved fantasy Franson when he was in Toronto, but he dropped off the face of the fantasy planet when he got traded to the Preds. See how he does in the next couple games. If he gets another point or racks up 5 or 6 shots, I'd snag him up.
Colton Parayko (D-STL) - 8 Games, 3 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 19 Shots, 15 Blocks
While he has been fantasy good so far, I don't foresee the trend continuing. He has two 2-point games, so his numbers are a little bloated. I like his size, though, at 6'5", 215 lbs. If he gets another point in the next 2 or 3 games, you may want to snag him up before someone else does. Be prepared to drop him in a couple weeks, though, if things go south as I expect.
David Savard (D-CLS) - 9 Games, 4 Assists (2 PPA), 18 Shots, 18 Hits, 11 Blocks
He's getting almost 22 minutes of ice time per game and is skating on the top PP unit right now. If you are really struggling to find a 4th defenseman, he could be your answer. With the hiring of Tortorella, things could change for the better for Savard.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
What the deuce?! Where did this line come from?
Mike Cammalleri (LW) - This week - 3 Games, 2 Goals, 5 Assists (1 PPA), 17 Shots, +5
I've said it at least once, and I'll likely say it at least a hundred more times - Cammy is the only Devils skater worth owning.
Adam Henrique (C) - This week - 3 Games, 3 Goals (1 SHG, 1 GWG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 3 Shots, +4
He's scoring on 31.5% of his shots so far this season. That is odd. He scored on every shot he took this week. That is odder. Trust me, he didn't suddenly master the sport, so you should note the inflated shooting percentage when you consider picking him up. Also remember, there are a lot of Center eligible players out there. According to ESPN, he went from being owned in 16% of the leagues to 88.2% in just one week. He'll be back down to under 50% in 2 or 3 weeks.
Lee Stempniak (RW) - This week - 3 Games, 1 Goal (1 GWG), 3 Assists, 4 Shots, +3
He had a terrific game in Ottawa and seems to be fitting in nicely in Jersey. My opinion says he's more valuable than Henrique because he's a RW. Keep an eye on him to see if this line continues to produce on a regular basis. According to ESPN, he was owned by 1% of the leagues just 7 days ago. He's now jumped up to 24.6%. I predict that goes back down to 7% in another 7 days.
Am I wrong about Cammy being the only Devils skater worth owning? The answer is no, but whatever. Were there any free agents that you think I missed? Did I blow it on any Stars of the Week? Are you surprised that I am 2-0 in the AAtJ league and have earned the most points by any team in both matchups? You shouldn't be. Anyway, comment below and let me hear about it.