Guess what, everybody! Kris Letang is hurt again! *Heavy and long sigh.*
Next week's matchup will/should cover two weeks of real hockey because of the break for the All-Star game. The very All-Star game that I am boycotting because of how the NHL has disgracefully handled the John Scott situation. Check out the article that fellow SB Nation writer Pat Iversen wrote about it. It's a good read, and he's absolutely right. The poor guy even made T-shirts for his teammates for crying out loud! Shame on you NHL. All you had to do was play EA Sports' NHL 16 online with us idiot fans for an hour and you'd have immediately said, "Yeah, we can't trust these ding dongs with a fan vote." But they didn't play video games online with us idiots, but they did open it up to us ding dongs. So they made their bed, now they should sleep in it.
And shame on you Don Maloney. Don't give me that "Why I never!" nonsense after people questioned you about the motives behind the trade. Saying you traded Scott when you did because you "didn't want to miss out on Jarred Tinordi" is the equivalent of firing an employee because you didn't want to miss out on getting his desk chair. You know why you traded him. And now I know why Arizona doesn't want you there. A pox on all of their mansions!
Anyway, here's the upcoming matchup schedule. It was only after I typed this list out that I realized there are more 4 game teams than 5. I'm not retyping it, though, so 5 games is the median and I've only mentioned the teams with less or more than that.
Three Game Teams: New York Islanders
Four Game Teams: Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
Six Game Teams: Colorado Avalanche
* Patrick Kane - 4 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 14 Shots
We may actually see a 100 point player this year. Kane is on pace for 117, which would be the most since Sidney Crosby's 120 in the 2006-07.
** Sam Bennett - 6 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 12 Shots, +4, 5 PIM
I guess he's making up for not scoring in the previous 18 games. Of the 6 goals, 4 were in one game, with 3 of those coming in one period. This kid isn't quite ready for the fantasy hockey show, but you're going to desperately want him in a season or two.
*** Anze Kopitar - 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 5 Assists (1 PPA), 9 Shots, 4 Blocks
The LA Kings alternate captain celebrated his big contract extension in style. As much as I don't like the Kings, I've always liked Anze. He plays every part of the game well and he isn't afraid to get in the fray. It also makes me laugh that a guy from Jesenice, Slovenia do English better than I does. I can barely say his name, let alone do an interview in Slavish. That's the language they speak, right? I'm not really sure. I don't think anyone knows.
Rankings: 11 Points - Patrick Kane, 6 Points - Matt Duchene, 4 Points - Claude Giroux
* Oliver Ekman-Larsson - 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 13 Shots, 8 Hits
When you shoot, you score. Especially when you shoot like Ollie. These were the types of numbers that I expected when I put him on the top 15 defensemen list.
** Mark-Edouard Vlasic - 3 Goals (1 PPG), 1 Assist, 10 Shots, 12 Blocks, 5 PIM
He's not a fantasy hockey must have, but this season has been a coming out party for him. He had his first ever multi-goal game on Saturday, which is fun for him and his fantasy owners. He now has 3 goals and 6 assists in the last 10 games. Unrelated to anything useful to all of you reading this - While everyone obviously finds his last name humorous, they're overlooking the madness that occurs in the first one(s). It's like the name equivalent of an abstract painting.
*** Brent Burns - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 13 Shots, 5 Hits, 10 Blocks
Two Sharks blue liners in one week. It wasn't an overall great week for defenseman, so Burns sneaks on. I think most owners would take the shot and blocks totals alone. Add in the few points and it's at least low-five worthy. He's also done a fine job of righting (or at least not worsening) his awful +/-. Just a month ago he was 2nd to last in the league, but he has since gone +3 and isn't even in the bottom 25 now.
Rankings: 10 Points - Erik Karlsson, 8 Points - Brent Burns, 6 Points - Roman Josi, 5 Points - Kris Letang and Duncan Keith
* Corey Crawford - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 107 Saves, 1.67 GAA, .955 SV%
Praise all of the Gods on, above, and below this planet that I have this guy on my fantasy team. He is simply dominating right now. I drafted him because he was a pretty good goalie on a great team, but this season he has been a great goalie making the Blackhawks an even greater team. He has now won 8 straight starts, and is 15-3 since December 6th. This is his second week in a row on the list (2nd Star last week), which I'm certain is the thing that makes him the most happy.
** Ben Bishop - 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 47 Saves, 0.50 GAA, .979 SV%
There were only a handful of good goalie performances to choose from this week, so his two starts were good enough to get on the list. I'm not a huge fan of Bishop for fantasy, but you could do worse (Jonathan Bernier). Without really crunching the numbers, I think he sits at the 15 spot for best fantasy goaltenders. I don't know why I felt the need to bring up my negativity about him, but I did and there's no taking it back. My friend would insist it's because no one respects Florida or Floridian hockey. While that's true, considering Florida has no business hosting two ice hockey teams and should also be dismissed from our United States until it proves it can behave, I on the other hand just go by the numbers, ma'am.
*** Henrik Lundqvist - 3 Starts, 2 Wins, 95 Saves, 1.63 GAA, .950 SV%
This is the first time we've seen him on here in a while. In fact, it's the first time since he earned a 2 star in Week 6. He has been much better lately after a long rough patch. He hasn't strung together two wins in a row since November 21 & 23 (Florida Panthers 5-4 (OT) and Nashville Predators 3-0) and he's just 8-12 since then. That is immensely surprising.
Rankings: 10 Points - Corey Crawford, 8 Points - Jonathan Quick and Craig Anderson, 7 Points - Martin Jones
John Scott (D-All-Star Team) -
It's a call to arms! At least one owner in every league should pick up John Scott to show solidarity against how he's being treated. You could dismiss those of us who are upset about this by saying, "It's just a stupid game," but my response would be, "No, it is not just a stupid game. It's even stupider than a stupid game. It's a stupid ALL-STAR game. So let the man play!" Our beloved game is better than this, so let's hit the league right where it hurts - the fantasy %OWN statistic!
Ryan Spooner (C/LW-BOS) -
I mentioned him a few weeks ago, but you have to jump on him for sure now. He's scored just twice in the last 10 games, but he has 9 assists. Plus he's shooting much more than he did in the first half of the season. He's averaging 3.5/game over this same 10 game sample, which is more than double his 1.6/game in the first 34 games. Pick him up, yo.
Bo Horvat (C-VAN) - This week, 4 Games, 2 Goals (1 GWG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 11 Shots
His 6 game point streak (6 Goals, 3 Assists, including 2 GWG and 4 PPP) came to an end on Sunday night. It was a great run, but before you run out and grab him up, make note that before then he hadn't scored a goal since November 2nd, which ended up being a 27 game drought. He'd only added 7 helpers during that stretch, too. He's only Center eligible, so definitely don't drop any pieces you could use down the road to get him. Not yet anyway.
Vladislav Namestnikov (C/RW-TB) -
Here you go again, friend of mine. Here's another mention of a Florida hockey player. Are you happy now?! Positives - he's skating on a line with Steven Stamkos and put up 3 goals and 5 assists in the four games previous to Sunday. Negatives - he had 0 points and just 1 shot on Sunday and only skated 13 minutes. He may not be with Stammer for much longer. Don't jump on him yet, but keep an eye on him.
Robin Lehner (G-BUF) -
This week he played his first game since being injured in the season opener. He's assuredly the man between the pipes for the Buffalo Sabres, so you're going to get starts out of him. However, they are the Buffalo Sabres, so they may not be the starts you actually want to get.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Adam Larsson - 3 Assists, 7 Hits, 11 Blocks
This was a welcomed offensive outburst from Lars. These 3 assists account for more than a quarter of his season total points, which isn't good in fake hockey. I'm proud of him regardless.
Lee Stempniak - 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 10 Shots
Another week, and another couple points. All About the Jersey's CJ Turturo wrote an excellent article about our Mr. Consistency. Check it out if you haven't already.
Joe Blandisi - 2 Assists, 5 Shots
Blandisi has finally arrived to the Devils and he's
erupted roared appeared onto the fantasy scene. He's not going to help your fantasy team, but so far I like watching him play.
One Goal Scorers -
Kyle Palmieri, Bobby Farnham, and Reid Boucher all netted a puck each. Palms, obviously, was the only one with an even mildly significant fantasy week with 8 shots and a few hits and blocks. However, he's now dampened by an injury of some unknown source. As covered in this article by Alex Potts, we really could do without that. Farnham did have 15 PIM, so that could've helped your team if your league considers that category. Of course he was then immediately (rightfully, although harshly) suspended for that effort. Boucher only played one game, but he scored, which puts him on pace to finish the season with 36 goals.
One Assist Skaters -
Travis Zajac and Stephen Gionta both helped their friends one time. Whatever.
What's good? What's bad? What are your thoughts on this John Scott situation? Did you heed my call and pick him up? If you didn't, then you should be riddled with so much guilt that you can't sleep or eat or look any fellow human in the eyes. If you feel no remorse, then you should be given the Voight-Kampff test, will be deemed a Replicant, and will be dispatched by a blade runner.