Connor McDavid returned, and he did so with a flourish. Not only did he score an awesome goal in his first game back, he also had a terrific fantasy stat line with 2 Goals (1 GWG), 4 Assists (3 PPA), and 8 Shots. However, there were a handful of great offensive performances this week, so he unfortunately didn't make the stars of the week list. I'm sure he will soon, though.
While we're on the subject of the Oilers - that team is a humiliation. They've had plenty of opportunities to improve and they're still downright abysmal. They're going to get the #1 pick again, and that is a travesty. Can't we just get rid of them and disperse their roster throughout the league?
Here's your two and four game teams for the week. Plan accordingly.
Four Game Teams: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, our beloved New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning
* Sidney Crosby - 5 Goals (2 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (1 PPA), 17 Shots, 5 Hits, +6
Sid and the Penguins are scoring again. He has points in 10 straight, which consists of 10 goals and 8 assists, including 4 PPG and 2 PPA. He's the hottest player in the league - I mean in terms of hockey production. He's not THAT attractive.
** John Tavares - 3 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 18 Shots
Much like Sid, Tavares has had his struggles this season. And also much like Sid, he seems to have corrected it. He has 4 goals and 7 assists in the last 9 games. He also has 38 shots during that stretch. He's not quite at a point per game right now, but I predict he will be by early March, if not sooner.
*** Kyle Okposo - 3 Goals (2 PPG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 12 Shots
He netted a hat trick plus a helper in the 8-1 walloping of the disgraceful Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The Oilers are going to get the #1 pick again, which is a travesty. Did I already say that? Sorry. It just irritates me. Anyway, back to Okposo - he's been decent, with points in 5 of the last 8 games, including 3 multipoint games. He's definitely top 10 at a thin RW position. Ugh. The Oilers are the worst.
Rankings: 11 Points - Patrick Kane, 6 Points - Matt Duchene, 5 Points - Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Joe Pavelski, & Taylor Hall
* Kris Letang - 3 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 16 Shots
This fact is pulled straight from his "Spin" section on ESPN, which is a risky move on my part considering their propensity to err is high, but since X-mas, he has 8 goals and 16 assists in 16 games. You could argue that he's been the best fantasy defenseman since the new year. You'd be correct in arguing that.
** PK Subban - 1 Goal, 4 Assists (2 PPA), 13 Shots, 4 Hits, 6 Blocks
Even though the Canadiens are struggling, PK's fantasy game has been pretty good. I'll stick with the "since X-mas" here, which has PK's numbers at 5 goals and 14 assists in 19 games. That includes 1 PPG and 7 PPA. I'm not excited about his secondary stats, though. Over the last month, he's averaging 1.5 blocks/game and barely over 1 hit/game. This is the first time Subban made the list since Week 3.
*** Erik Karlsson - 7 Assists (1 PPA), 8 Shots, +4
He's still far ahead of every other defensemen in points, but he now leads all players with 48 assists. Let's do since X-mas one more time: he has only 3 goals, but 19 assists. He has 4 games next week, so, sorry if you play against him. This is his 2nd week in a row being on this list and his 7th time overall - the most of anyone at any position.
Rankings: 14 Points - Erik Karlsson, 8 Points - Kris Letang & Brent Burns, 6 Points - PK Subban & Roman Josi
* Brian Elliot - 3 Starts, 2 Wins, 83 Saves, 1 Shutout, 1.35 GAA, .954 SV%
He made this list at the 3 star last week with even better numbers in some categories. Last time, I had mentioned that the Blues don't score as much as you'd think, so the wins may not come as much as you'd think either. I was sort of right on that so far. He did win 2 of 3 since, but one win was a 1-0 final, while the other was a nice 4-1 win where he still had to make 38 saves. The loss was a 1-3 final. Point being, the Blues have some offense trouble.
** Corey Crawford - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 82 Saves, 1.96 GAA, .932 SV%
He's the Carey Price of 2015-16. He leads the league in Starts, Saves, and Shutouts, and is 2nd in Wins, 2nd in SV% (goalies with 30+ starts), and 5th in GAA (goalies with 30+ starts). Price's numbers last year respectively were 5th, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 1st. Craw Daddy has earned a star from me in 4 straight weeks and now has 6 total.
*** Braden Holtby - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 79 Saves, 1.95 GAA, .929 SV%
This is just his 2nd time on the list (Week 8 was his previous), which surprised even me, and I'm the one who picks them. He's been very good this year, just not standout great. ESPN says he's "as good as it gets right now between the pipes", but as you can see from Crawford's numbers above (and Price's last year), that is not true. He is 33-5-3, though. The Capitals are your Stanley Cup champions.
Rankings: 14 Points - Corey Crawford, 8 Points - Jonathan Quick & Craig Anderson, 7 Points - Martin Jones
Vincent Trocheck (C/RW-FLA) - Last 5 games, 5 Goals (1 PPG, 2 GWG), 4 Assists (2 PPA), 18 Shots, 10 Hits
He was owned in 11.1% of leagues - one week later he's up to 56.9%. Before his recent tear, he went 6 straight without a point. He seems to do that from time to time, but since he's not a superstar, I guess that's normal. There are three things I like about picking up this guy: 1) He's shooting a lot more than he did in the first half of the season, 2) he's tied for the team lead in PPP, and 3) he's RW eligible. NOTE: He has 4 games this week.
Jiri Hudler (RW-CGY) - Last two weeks, 6 Games, 2 Goals, 4 Assists, 10 Shots, +5
I knew he was having a tough season, but I was surprised to see that a guy who scored 31 goals and 76 points last season had fallen this far out of favor with owners (owned in just 53% of leagues). That should probably increase now that he's skating with Johnny Hockey and Sean Monahan, though. Hudler is not known for his shooting, which bothers me. He had just 158 shots last season, which was just barely over 2 per game. This season it's under 1.5... and he has just 7 goals to show for it.
Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW-WAS) - Last two weeks, 5 Games, 5 Goals, 1 Assist, 18 Shots
He's skating with Evgeny Kuznetsov. That's good. He missed a couple games in mid-late January, but he has points in the last 7 games he played, which accounts for 6 goals and 3 assists of his 23 total points. That total isn't great, but he wasn't skating with Kuz all season. As long as he is, he's probably worth a spot if you need a little help at RW. It should be noted that 10 of the 18 shots mentioned above came in one game.
Ben Scrivens (G-MTL) - This week, 2 Wins, 57 Saves, 0.96 GAA, .966 SV%
I'm not quite suggesting anyone should pick up Scrivens UNLESS you have Mike Condon. Scrivens hasn't proven anything in the past other than he's a not so good backup goaltender. HOWEVER, he's been okay lately for the Habs, while Condon has been pretty bad (1 Win in his last 8 starts and a SV% of better than .900 in just half of them). If your goalie situation is depressing, think of Scrivens as the Taco Bell order that will fill that void for a short time... before your depression returns.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Joseph Blandisi - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 2 Assists, 6 Shots, 6 Hits
I like this guy! I don't think he's quite worth picking up yet, but I think this week will be the decider.
Lee Stempniak - 1 Goal (1 PPG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 4 Shots, 6 Hits
He continues to "Stemp up his game." Anyone? No? Fine, whatever.
David Schlemko - 2 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 1 Assist (1 PPA), 6 Shots, 5 Blocks
He has two goals and 4 assists in the last 6 games. That's a nice surprise. His fantasy ownership went from 1.9% to 15.1% in a week. Sadly I think it will be back to 1.9% by mid-late February.
Kyle Palmieri - 0 points in the last 5 games
Unfortunately, Palms is evening out after a torrid pace in the first half of the season. He'll get it going again soon, but don't expect him to be as terrific. I think he'll end the season with 29 goals and 24 assists.
What's good? What's bad? How awesome was the John Scott show at the All-Star game? How awesome was 60 full minutes of 3v3?