The biggest and brightest from the past week in Fantasy Land, as voted by FHS writers.
Because of the all-star break, we skipped SOTW last week and instead followed Yahoo's format of counting Jan. 23 - Feb. 5 as "week" 16. Amazing that Star #1 only needed the final weekend to seal the deal...
Three Stars of the Week:
3rd Star, from the New York Rangers, numero 30, Henrik Lundqvist... there were quite a few goalie standouts to consider this time around (see honorable mentions), but King Henrik's 3-0-0 record with two shutouts, 975 SV% and 0.65 GAA takes the cake. Dude had a streak of over 180 minutes of shutout hockey. With Jimmy Howard going down for a bit, there's little doubt about who is getting the Vezina. We already knew about Lundqvist's consistency - in six seasons to date, his GAA has fallen somewhere between 2.24 and 2.43 every year. But his current 1.82 takes things to a whole new level, and his .939 SV% leads the league. FHS Votes: 1 second, 2 thirds.
2nd Star, from the New Jersey Devils, numero 17, Ilya Kovalchuk... over a five game stretch here, Ilya simply laid waste: 3+7=10, 20 SOG, plus-4, 4 PPP, 2 SHP, and he even had time for 7 PIM. Kovalchuk also takes home the best rag doll-toss and best wild right hook awards for this one-sided scrap against poor Brayden Schenn. Kovalchuk is averaging an astonishing 24:42 TOI/G this year and has fired 69 shots over his last 15 games. And don't look now, but his +/- has crept up to a relatively digestible minus-6. FHS Votes: 2 seconds, 1 third.
1st Star, from the Edmonton Oilers, numero 89, Sam Gagner... what can we say that hasn't already been said? The kid made history. Normally I enjoy a bit of suspense as the star votes hit my inbox on Sundays, but Gagner was the obvious and unanimous choice here. Not sure what was more enjoyable - the incredible eight point game itself, or the fact that, three goals into his NEXT game, Gagner's miraculous streak of points on consecutive goals was still alive. In five games total, he finished with 7+6=13, plus-5, 19 SOG, 3 PPP, and 2 SHG. FHS Votes: 5 firsts.
Rookie Star of the Week: Jake Gardiner, TOR - in five games, Gardiner had 1+4=5, plus-6 and 9 SOGs while helping the Leafs to a 4-1 record. Screw rookies - Gardiner's five points tied Ryan Suter and Ryan Whitney for top d-men points overall. Six of Gardiner's 16 points this year have come in his last seven games, and he saw a season-high 25:26 TOI last week against the Penguins. Ride the curve...
HM: Brayden Schenn (5 GP, 3+1=4, 9 PIM)
Breakout Star of the Week: Devan Dubnyk, EDM - Sam Gagner actually had the most votes here, but for god's sake, let's all leave the man alone for a while. Instead, I'm gonna go with Diomedes7's Dubnyk nomination. Over 5 games, Dubie faced 199(!) shots and stopped 186 of them for four wins and 2.48 GAA /.935 SV% peripherals. He is taking over in Edmonton.
HM: Fine - Sam Gagner!
Breakdown of the Week: Craig Anderson, OTT - youch. 0-4-1, .883 SV% and 3.84 GAA, and stay indoors because Ottawa is plummeting back to earth. Spezza has reportedly been somewhat injured, which would explain his pointless streak over the same five games. Erik Karlsson has deservedly been getting the major hype this year, but it's Spezza who drives the bus...when he's healthy. Where were we again? Oh yeah - Anderson sucked. Again.
DHM: Marian Hossa (4 GP, 1 assist, minus-3)
Free Agent Star of the Week (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues): I've said it before but it bears repeating: if you haven't tuned in already, check out Diomedes7's Free Agents And Trade Targets column for the best FA/trade advice out there. Dio's pick this week is a player he recommended back in his Jan. 22 column: Mike Fisher (23% owned) with 6 goals, 4 PIMs, 16 SOGs, and a whopping 4 GWGs over 5 games.