Let's all pretend that the reason I didn't write an article last week was because of the trade deadline and not because life is a constantly evolving madness. Cool? Cool.
Two Game Teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, our beloved New Jersey Devils
Four Game Teams: Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs
Here's a quick list of the Stars of the Week for last week.
Filip Forsberg - 6 Goals (2 PPG, 1 GWG), 1 Assist, 19 Shots
Alex Ovechkin - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 3 Assists (1 PPA), 20 Shots, 12 Hits, 6 PIM
Mark Stone - 2 Goals (1 SHG), 4 Assists (2 PPA), 9 Shots
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - 1 Goal, 4 Assists (1 PPA), 9 Shots, +4
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 1 Assist, 14 Shots, 9 Hits, 4 Blocks, 6 PIM
John Klingberg - 4 Assists (2 PPA), 6 Shots, 5 Blocks
Pekka Rinne - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 1 Shutout, 94 Saves, 0.65 GAA, .979 SV%
Ben Bishop - 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 53 Saves, 0.50 GAA, .981 SV%
Jaroslav Halak - 3 Starts, 2 Wins, 84 Saves, 1.65 GAA, .944 SV%
Here are this week's standout performances.
* Sidney Crosby - 3 Goals, 6 Assists (1 PPA), 13 Shots, 5 Hits, +7
I'm not 100% sure, but I think this is the most points any player scored in a single week this season*. The asterisk is because the Penguins had 5 games this week. Regardless, Sid had at least a point in all 5 of these games. He's clicking well with his line mates, especially the guy mentioned just below here. This week's 1st start boosts Sid to 2nd in the Forward Rankings.
** Patric Hornqvist - 5 Goals (2 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists, 17 Shots, 9 Hits, 5 Blocks, +6
This guy is on a tear with 6 goals and 6 assists in the last 10. Playing alongside a reinvigorated Crosby goes a long way.
*** Evgeni Malkin - 4 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists (2 PPA), 13 Shots
We've never before had all 3 stars in a single position come from the same team, but the Penguins took full advantage of a 5 game fantasy week. Malkin has been good since his return from injury, putting up 4 goals and 3 assists in 6 games. This is Malkin's 4th time making the list, but they have all been the #3 star.
Rankings: 12 Points - Patrick Kane, 8 Points - Sidney Crosby, 6 Points - Matt Duchene and Brad Marchand
* Brent Burns - 3 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 3 Assists, 18 Shots, +6
He is often close to making this list, but quite often just misses out. There was no doubt about it this week, though. This is a forward's stat line, which is what makes Burnsy so special in fake hockey. He's special in other ways, too. Did you know that he has a tattoo of Harry Potter? Well, he does. A full grown man has a tattoo of Harry Potter. Did you also know that he got his first tattoo at 11-years old? Well, he did. An 11-year-old boy got a tattoo.
** Shea Weber - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 3 Assists (1 PPA), 9 Shots, 5 Hits, 8 Blocks
He had just 3 goals and 2 assists in the entire month of February, which included a 3 game absence because of injury. He's already matched that point total in only the first week of March. More than half of Weber's 41 total points have come on the powerplay. Coming in to the season, many questioned whether he was on the decline, but that doesn't appear to be so. He's now 3rd in goals by a defenseman and sitting just outside of the top 10 in points by a defenseman.
*** Kris Letang - 1 Goal, 3 Assists (1 PPA), 13 Shots, 7 Hits, 8 Blocks, +6
This stat line isn't remarkable considering he had 5 turns, but it's still a nice contribution. He has points in 7 of the last 10 games for a total of 2 goals and 8 assists. He also has 31 shots, 16 hits, and 13 blocks over that span. None of that is really that surprising. What is surprising is that he's played every game so far in the 2016 half of the season.
Rankings: 14 Points - Erik Karlsson, 12 Points - Kris Letang, 11 Points - Brent Burns
* Cam Talbot - 3 Starts, 3 Wins, 1 Shutout, 0.65 GAA, .981 SV%
He is a pretty talented goaltender on a insultingly awful Oilers team, but this week they seemed to have put it all together... for now. Talbot has won 4 straight starts, but before that he'd lost 6 straight and was 4-9 in the entire month of February. Talbot is a solid 3rd goalie and just an okay 2nd goalie. Your in bad shape if he's your #1.
** Marc-Andre Fleury - 3 Starts, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 83 Saves, 1.70 GAA, .943 SV%
This means the Penguins had a player at every position on this week's list. The Triple Crown. While this was an overall good week for the Flower, he did give up 4 against the Flames. His random meltdown games make him a frustrating goalie to own.
*** Corey Crawford - 2 Starts, 2 Wins, 64 Saves, 1.50 GAA, .955 SV%
After taking a 3 week reprieve from this list, Craw Daddy returns with a nice week. Two games is a small sampling, but he was really good. It was a toss-up for the final two spots between him, Frederik Andersen, and Tuukka Rask (3 Starts, 2 Wins, 77 Saves, 1.64 GAA, .939 SV%). The better GAA and SV% gave Crawford the edge. For those who own him, hopefully this is a return to his previous greatness. I am one of those people. He had a difficult February, giving up 3 or more goals in 5 of 10 starts, two of which he received the hook.
Rankings: 15 Points - Corey Crawford, 11 Points - Craig Anderson, 10 Points - Jonathan Quick
Craig Smith (RW-NSH) - Last month, 14 games, 5 Goals (1 PPG, 2 GWG), 8 Assists (2 PPA), 31 Shots
He's skating with Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro (ugh), and they're doing quite well (see above for Forsberg's week 20 statistics). Smith is currently on a 4 game point streak, which includes 3 goals and 5 assists. He's a RW, too.
Zack Smith (C-OTT) - Last 10 games, 6 Goals (2 PPG), 3 Assists (1 PPA), 22 Shots, 22 Hits
He's got a hot stick right now, currently riding a 5 game point streak of 3 and 2. As you can see, he plays a physical game, so if your league considers the Hits category, then he's even more valuable.
Calvin Pickard (G-COL) - This week, 3 Games/2 Starts, 1 Win, 88 Saves, 2.30 GAA, .936 SV%
He has been way better than Semyon Varlamov over the last month. Pickard has a 2.15 GAA to Varlamov's 3.68, a .930 SV% to Varlamov's .889, and they are equal with 3 Wins despite Varlamov starting more games. Definitely pick him up if you have Varlamov. Consider him as well if you need a little fill in assistance between the pipes.
DEVILS FANTASY VALUE
Adam Henrique - 4 Goals (1 PPG, 1 GWG), 13 Shots
He was a hero this week against Nashville. 13 shots in 4 games is more than his average, which was a nice fantasy bonus.
Kyle Palmieri - 2 Goals (1 PPG), 2 Assists (1 PPA), 15 Shots, 4 Hits, 4 Blocks
This was a nice across the board week for Palms. He seems to be warming up again after a few weeks of dead fish cold.
Devante Smith-Pelly - 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Shots
It was a pretty decent welcome to New Jersey for Devante Two Names. Unfortunately, it was back to reality on Sunday against the Pens where he ended up negative 4. Related topic - did you know that David Schlemko is minus 13 in the last 10 games? He is. That's not good. The Devils have just two defensemen in the positives for the season - Andy Greene at +3 and Adam Larsson at a dang impressive +15. The rest, in order of least inept to most - Damon Severson -7, John Moore -12, Jon Merrill -14, David Schlemko -21.
So, what's good, everybody? What's bad? Is anyone mathematically eliminated from playoff contention? Has anyone already sealed up their division? Let's hear it in the comment section below.