Blizzard Jonas did a number on the NHL schedule this week, especially for those fantasy owners with Washington Capitals players who had 2 of their 3 games cancelled. The Ducks and Penguins (the Capitals scheduled opponents) obviously each lost a game, too, as did the Flyers and Islanders (who already only had 3 games in this double week) whose Saturday matchup was also postponed. This actually cost me my game in the AAtJ league. I mean, Evgeny Kuznetsov had 4 assists in one game! Between him, Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist, Claude Giroux, and John Gibson, I would've easily made up the 15 fantasy points I needed, but such is the world of fake hockey. We are still in the second half of a combine week, so we'll be skipping the Schedule section to get right to the Stars of the Week.
* Joe Pavelski - 2 Goals (1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 12 Shots, 12 Hits, 6 Blocks, +4
A great spread. He's trading off streaks right now - 3 game point streak, then 3 game pointless streak, and now back to a 3 game point streak. Regardless, I've said this before, but he's one of the best overall fantasy hockey players in the league because his name regularly fills the scoresheet and he has a tendency to participate healthy numbers in the secondary stats.
** Taylor Hall - 2 Goals (1 GWG), 4 Assists (1 PPA), 9 Shots
He was suffering quite the slump there, but he seems to be back on track. Before picking up an assist last Saturday, he had just 1 goal and 0 assists in the previous 8. He now has points in 5 straight (2 Goals, 5 Assists). However, he was a shame-worthy minus 5 this week, but that's one of the last stats you worry about in fancy hockey.
*** Evgeni Malkin - 4 Goals (1 PPG), 11 Shots
After a slow start, it's now safe to say that Malkin's game is just fine. He has 6 goals and 11 assists in the last 12 games, including 2 PPG and 8 PPA. His numbers would've been even better this week, but the Penguins got snowed out in Washington.
Rankings: 11 Points - Patrick Kane, 6 Points - Matt Duchene, 5 Points - Joe Pavelski and Taylor Hall
* Erik Karlsson - 1 Goal, 4 Assists (2 PPA), 15 Shots, 6 Hits, 5 Blocks
This stat line was heads above the rest of the defensemen. Karlsson already had 41 assists and is on pace for over 80 points. His goal on Friday against the Islanders was his first goal in 13 games, though. However, he did have 13 assists in that time. A fact mildly relevant to fantasy: he leads the league in Average Time On Ice at almost 29 minutes/game.
** Mattias Ekholm - 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 2 Assists, 8 Shots, 4 Blocks
I don't watch a lot of... hold on, let me see what team this guy's on... Nashville Predators games, so I won't pretend to know who he is. This little guy? I wouldn't worry about this little guy. This is a nice statistical effort, but it was also a weak week for defense offense, so don't run out to pick him up.
*** Oliver Ekman-Larsson - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 14 Shots, 10 Hits, 12 PIM
As I just said, this was a weak week for defense offense, so it opened up the door for an odd three star pick like this. His secondary stats were great, and even though he only had 1 point, that 1 point was a goal, and that 1 goal was on the power play. Ek has 4 goals and 4 assists in the last 10 games, which includes his 1 goal and 3 assist game against the Oilers a couple weeks ago. He edged out Mark Giordano and Kris Letang, who each had 4 assists but not a whole lot else. In fact, Gio had just 3 shots.
Rankings: 13 Points - Erik Karlsson, 8 Points - Brent Burns, 6 Points - Roman Josi
* Semyon Varlamov - 4 Starts, 4 Wins, 138 Saves, 0.99 GAA, .972 SV%
This is the best single goalie week we've seen this season. But let's go back to Varlamov's first 8 games in December - he went 7-1 and gave up just 9 goals. He then lost his next 4 games, allowing 16 pieces of rubber to get past him during stretch. Then he won 3 straight with 7 against, then quickly turned around and lost 2 with 8 against. That's a lot of numbers I just threw out, but my point is this guy is all over the place, and those are the worst fantasy players to have.
** Corey Crawford - 3 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 94 Saves, 1.01 GAA, .969 SV%
He continues to roll. This is the third week in a row that he's made the list. There's not much more to say about this guy. I guess I could compliment his cool black pads and helmet.
*** Brian Elliot - 4 Starts, 2 Wins, 128 Saves, 1.48 GAA, .955 SV%
He has subbed in nicely for the injured Jake Allen, but I don't think it's really reflective of Elliot's (or Allen's) abilities, as much as it is the team he plays for. The Blues are good, but they are in the bottom third of the league (22nd) in goals per game, so wins may not be as common as you'd think.
Rankings: 12 Points - Corey Crawford, 8 Points - Jonathan Quick and Craig Anderson, 7 Points - Martin Jones
Tomas Hertl (C/LW-SJ) - Last two weeks, 8 Games, 5 Goals (1 GWG), 3 Assists, 28 Shots, +10
It feels like a century has passed since this guy bum-rushed the league with an apparent mastery of the sport. Remember when he scored that obnoxious goal in that blowout against the Rangers? What a jerk/That was awesome. Anyway, after his injury, he seemed to have vanished into the Silicon Valley ether. He's now getting his legs back and is cranking up the offense. He's also seeing more ice time - in 7 of the last 10 games he's played more than his ATOI. He's also shooting a lot, which you should all know by now is something that I love when analyzing a fantasy hockey asset.
Jakob Silfverberg (RW-ANA) - Last two weeks, 6 Games, 3 Goals, 4 Assists (1 PPA), 25 Shots
Yes, he has solid 7 points in the last 6 games, but he had just 8 in the previous 40. Point being, let's not go crazy and drop a tested player who happens to be slumping just to get Silfverberg. He is a RW, though, so we should all be keeping an eye on him.
Robin Lehner (G-BUF) -
I mentioned him last week. He's since started two more games. He didn't win either of them, but he made 75 saves and gave up just 4 goals for a .946 SV%. If you need a 3rd or even 2nd goalie, he may be your man. Don't expect the wins to follow, though.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Lee Stempniak - 4 Goals, 1 Assist, 6 Shots, 5 Hits, +5
He's riding a 4 game point streak, a 3 game goal scoring streak, and has 4 goals and 2 assists in the last 6.
Travis Zajac - 1 Goal (1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 7 Shots
All of the points came in that one explosive period against the Senators.
Joseph Blandisi - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 3 Assists (1 PPA), 3 Shots, 7 Hits
He now has 1 goal and 5 assists in the last two fantasy weeks. Not bad.
Kyle Palmieri - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 1 Assist, 7 Shots
All of these points also came in that one period against the Senators. He now has 20 goals on the year.
Mike Cammalleri - 3 Assists, 3 Shots, 3 Hits, +5
Man, I know AAtJ's CJ Turturo said Stemp was the most important Devil, but it's clearly Cammy. We're 3-0 with 13 goals for since his return.
David Schlemko - 3 Assists (3 PPA), 4 Shots
He increased his season point total by 25% in one week. His 7 PPAs is tied for the team lead. That's not saying much for our powerplay.
2 Point players -
Andy Greene(1 G, 1 A) is the Devils prime example of how real hockey doesn't always translate to fake hockey. Adam Larsson (1 G, 1 A) is back with another decent fantasy week. If he can contribute offensively like this on a fairly consistent basis, he'll truly be a special player for us. Reid Boucher (1 G, 1 A) scored in his first two games of the season and was on pace to score 36 goals this season. He had zero
goals points in the next two. I think he'll finish the year with 7. Maybe.
What's good? What's bad? I know John Scott is now approved to play in the All-Star game, but man, is anyone actually going to watch this thing? I guess it's still superior to the Pro Bowl, but getting hit in the groin by a slapshot is better than that.