Well, the Devils were bad this week (regarding both fake and real hockey), but I guess that's to be expected. That doesn't mean this week in hockey was a total loss.
It's a pretty straight forward schedule this week with just two teams on shortened schedule and only 6 with a bonus game. One weird thing is that the Blackhawks and the Hurricanes have their second week in a row with the 4 game schedule.
* Matt Duchene - 4 Goals (1 PPG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 15 Shots
This has been a breakout year for Duchene. He's already just two goals short of matching his entire 2015 season and he's on pace for 67 points, which is 12 more than last season.
** Alex Ovechkin - 5 Goals (2 PPG, 2 GWG), 21 Shots, 10 Hits, +5
While Ove is having an "off" year, he's still awesome. This stat line is the premiere example of why. Shots, hits, and goals of all kinds - goals at even, goal with the man advantage, and goals that win games. Just like Sidney Crosby last week, this is the first time he's made this list all season.
*** Jonathan Toews - 3 Goals, 3 Assists, 15 Shots, 6 PIM, +6
I considered two of his teammates for this spot (Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin), but the +6 and the PIMs gave him the edge. Six points and not a single one on the power play is hard to do, but he did it. This is actually his first time earning a star, too, but it's a little less surprising than Ove.
Rankings: 8 Points - Patrick Kane, 6 Points - Matt Duchene, 4 Points - Claude Giroux, 3 Points - 12 players tied
* Tyson Barrie - 3 Goals (2 PPG, 2 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 12 Shots
He didn't do much in the extra categories, but this is as good of an offensive stat line you could ever ask for. The fact that it came from a blue liner makes it even more of a coup.
** Kris Letang - 1 Goal, 2 Assists (1 PPA), 10 Shots, 8 Hits, 7 Blocks, 8 PIM
This is the second week in a row he's made the list. He is absolutely ablaze right now with 3 goals and 8 assists in his last 7 games (including 6 PPP), as well as 25 shots, 20 hits, 12 blocks, and 16 PIM. That kind of category coverage is why I had him ranked so high on my top defensemen list.
*** Erik Karlsson - 4 Assists (1 PPA), 16 Shots, 5 Hits, 9 Blocks
Four assists isn't noteworthy on its own, but accompanied by the high shot total and the hits and blocks, made it substantial enough for the three star. Karlsson is the first player to reach double digits in my Stars of the Week scoring system. He may be on the brink of running away with the defenseman title.
Rankings: 10 Points - Erik Karlsson, 7 Points - Brent Burns, 6 Points - Roman Josi, 5 Points - Kris Letang and Duncan Keith
* Petr Mzarek - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 1 Shutout, 87 Saves, 0.67 GAA, .978 SV%
After giving up 4 in a loss to the Penguins on New Year's Eve, he's rattled off 4 straight wins in 2016. If you took the chance on him in your draft this year, you are given the go-ahead for self congratulations. This guy has turned out to be pretty good.
** Corey Crawford - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 96 Saves, 1.96 GAA, .941 SV%
Being on a good team helps, but regardless, Craw Daddy has been the best fantasy goalie over the last month. He's 11-3 since December 6th with 4 of the 11 Ws being shutouts.
*** Connor Hellebuyck - 3 Starts, 1 Win, 91 Saves, 1.63 GAA, .948 SV%
This kid has to be the starter going forward, right? When Pavelec or Hutchinson start, you can't tell if the second coming of Marty will be in net or if you'd be better off just putting a trash barrel in there. At least there's consistency with Hellebuyck. And by consistency, I mean .937 SV% and 1.85 GAA. He's been so good that I actually know how to spell his name!
Rankings: 8 Points - Jonathan Quick and Craig Anderson, 7 Points - Corey Crawford and Martin Jones, 5 Points - Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price
Sean Couturier (C-PHI) - Last month, 10 games, 6 Goals (1 GWG), 6 Assists (1 PPA), 28 Shots, 9 Hits, +12
He's been quite consistent lately with points in 8 of the last 10 games, including 4 multipoint efforts. His +12 rating insinuates that Coach Hakstol will trust him to be on the rink in most situations (18:05 TOI/Game), which means more looks for your fantasy team. He's only eligible at Center, though, so he may be only of use if he has 4 games or if one of your regulars has just 2.
Brandon Dubinsky (C-CLS) - Last two weeks, 6 games, 1 Goal (1 PPG), 5 Assists (1 PPA), 14 Shots, 17 Hits
I bring him up mostly because his role is going to grow now that Ryan Johansen was sent to the Predators. While Dubi isn't a big scorer, he is still capable. More importantly, he is a player who gets involved in all hockey situations and all fantasy categories (22 points, 5 PPP, almost 3 hits/game). I was surprised to see that he is only Center eligible on ESPN. Usually he has the LW locked down, too.
Louis Domingue - Last two weeks, 5 Starts, 4 Wins, 178 Saves, 1.92 GAA, .942 SV%
I almost mentioned him last week, but I decided to wait another week to see if he could sustain. He did. He went 3 for 3 this week, including a shutout, and ended up with a 1.00 GAA and a .966 SV%. After typing that out, I realized he should have been my 2nd star this week. Alas, such is the downfall of playing hockey in the desert.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Not a great week for Devils hockey. Well, that has been every week recently, but this was a particularly unremarkable one considering they got shutout, twice one-outted, and luckily eked out a 2-1 win against a visibly tired Minnesota Wild.
Adam Henrique - 2 Goals, 7 Shots, 5 Blocks
That was the best Devils fantasy performance of the week. In fact, he was the only player with more than a single point. Yikes.
Other goal scorers - Jon Merrill and Bobby Farnham
That was only Merrill's 3rd point of the season and his first goal in over 80 games. Farnham has actually scored 3 goals in the last 7 games, but whatever. Six other players had an assist, only one of which had a noteworthy stat beyond the helper - Sergei Kalinin's 14 hits. He doesn't shy from contact, but this week he was a machine.
What's good? What's bad? What non-rookie player on your team has surprised you the most this year? What player has disappointed you the most? Let's hear it in the comment section below.