I have to get right into it this week.
* Patrick Kane – 2 Goals (1 PPG), 5 Assists (3 PPA), 14 Shots
This is actually the first time in a few weeks that we’ve seen Kane on this list, but he was a just-miss several times over that span. Some would say he’s been the runaway best fantasy player so far this season, but they’d be wrong. The correct answer is the defending Art Ross winner, Jamie Benn.
** Sidney Crosby – 4 Goals (2 PPG, 2 GWG), 1 Assist (1 PPA), 13 Shots
I’d have to check my records, but I think this is actually the first time we’ve seen Sid on here. If what I just said is true (my "records" aren’t with me and I’m too lazy to go back through every post to figure out if it is), then that’s incredible and disappointing (to the Penguins fans and the fantasy people who own him, not to us Devils fans and the fantasy people who don’t).
*** Evgeni Malkin – 1 Goal, 6 Assists (5 PPA), 8 Shots, 4 PIM
It was a good week to own a Penguins skater considering half of the skater spots in this section are occupied by them. We haven’t seen Malkin on this list as often as you’d expect either, but he just made the cut this week.
* Kris Letang – 2 Goals (1 PPG), 4 Assists (3 PPA, 1 SHA), 12 Shots, 12 Hits, 8 PIM
He’s been quite good since his returns. I use the plural because he came back for one game, picked up 2 assists, and then missed the next game. He’s such a pain to own. His stat lines this week were ideal fantasy numbers, though – goals, assists, power play success, shots, hits, blocks, and penalties. He’s missed 9 games already this season – and the Pens only won one of those games. He’s pretty important.
** Duncan Keith – 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA, 1 SHA), 9 Shots, 8 Blocks
Keith is one of the poster boys for "great hockey player who isn’t a great fantasy option". He only has 52 shots, 54 blocks, and a mere 8 hits through 30 games. His talent obviously will break through from time to time, though, and that’s what we saw this week.
*** Anton Stralman – 1 Goal (1 PPG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 7 Shots, 6 Hits, 6 Blocks
The final star was a tough one because there were actually two other defensemen with one more point than Stralman (Nick Leddy – 1 G, 4 A, John Klingberg – 5 A) and two more with the same (Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 1 G, 3 A, Mattias Ekholm – 2 G, 2 A). In the end, Stralman had a little more power play success and a little more in the secondary categories.
* Jonathan Quick – 4 Starts, 4 Wins, 1 Shutout, 121 Saves, 1.00 GAA, .968 SV%
This was a good week for Quick and the Kings. It’s rare that your goalie gets rolled out for 4 starts in a single week. It’s markedly rarer for them to get 4 Ws in a week. To do it with such tremendous numbers is like discovering a T-Rex skeleton in your garden (I don’t know, it’s all I could think of).
** Roberto Luongo – 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 69 Saves, 0.50 GAA, .986 SV%
A small sampling for sure, but Lou made the most of it. I don’t take great joy in giving out a Star of the Week to a goalie who played just 2 games, but it was hard to deny him.
*** Devan Dubnyk – 4 Starts, 2 Wins, 116 Saves, 1.48 GAA, .951 SV%
There were a handful of good goalie performances this week. Cory Schneider actually had better GAA and SV% than Dubnyk, but Dubnyk took the 3 spot thanks to his 4 starts and 116 saves to Cory’s 2 Starts and 65 saves. Connor Hellebuyck and Braden Holtby were also considered, but they just didn’t quite have enough to make it this week.
Nino Neiderreiter (RW-MIN) – Last two weeks, 7 Games, 2 Goals, 5 Assists, 19 Shots, 8 Hits, +6
While his overall season numbers aren’t eye-popping, he’s been consistent since mid-December. Since the 15th, he’s gotten a point in 7 of the 10 games for a total of 2 goals and 7 assists, which is just one point less than he earned in the previous 28 games. One of the concerns I have is that only one of those points was on the power play. He’s a RW, so that may make him worth grabbing. Bonus: He has 4 games this week.
Marcus Johansson (LW-WAS) – Last 8 Games, 4 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 5 Assists (3 PPA), 20 Shots, 9 Hits
I almost put him in my write-up a couple weeks ago, but ended up chickening out. I actually wrote up a paragraph for him and everything, but I deleted it just before posting. He’s since remained relevant, so I’m feeling good about backing him… for now. This guy seems succeed in fits, which is frustrating in fantasy sports. He only had 2 assists in the 6 games previous to the above mentioned 8 games. But in the 5 before that he had 2 and 3. But the 8 before that, he had just 1 and 1. That may be confusing to follow, but the bottom line is that he does well for a while then he doesn’t. Bonus: He also has 4 games this week.
Brendan Smith (D-DET) – Last 8 Games, 2 Goals, 5 Assists, 14 Shots, 14 Hits
I don’t know much about this guy, but he’s been putting up points at a decent clip over the last couple weeks. I wouldn’t pick him up just yet, but if he puts up a point or two this week, you may want to grab him as a 5th defenseman option. He doesn’t do anything on the power play, though.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Travis Zajac – 3 Assists, 5 Shots
He was the only Devil with 3 points, but it’s not a very exciting 3 points. At one time earlier this season, he was owned in 100% of leagues on ESPN. He is down to 22.3% now. Granted, there was an injury in there, but the 22.3 is more in line with what he should be. I actually think it should be even less.
Mike Cammalleri – 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Shots, only 2 games played
Cammy had just a single goal (and only two assists) over a 10 game stretch. Then he notched two against the Senators in a shutout victory for the Devils. Then he got hurt. Very unfortunate. He missed Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars and will be out again tonight against the Red Wings. The Devils do have 4 games this week, so you could risk it and hope he returns for the remaining three, but I probably wouldn’t. It was bad timing for the injury (as if there is ever a good time for one), but what can you do?
Kyle Palmieri – 2 Goals, 9 Shots, 5 Hits
Not much to complain about here. I wish one of the goals was on the PP or PK, I guess. I like that he did a better job of putting pucks on net this week. He needs to keep that up for the real team and for my fantasy team.
The rest with 2 points –
Lee Stempniak – 1 Goal (1 SHG), 1 Assist, 3 Shots, 5 Hits
He’s consistent. Gotta love that.
Adam Henrique – 2 Assists (1 PPA), 3 Shots, 3 Hits, 3 Blocks
He’s still owned in 97.7% of leagues on ESPN despite 0 goals, 4 assists, and just 11 shots over the last 10 games.
David Schlemko – 1 Goal (1 GWG), 1 Assist, 7 Shots, 6 Blocks
Decent week, but nope.
Bobby Farnham – 2 Goals, 4 Shots, 7 Hits, 7 PIM
So what’s good? What’s bad? Now that we’re into the new year, has anyone considered a massive overhaul of their fantasy team? Express yourself in the comment section below.