The nine day span of Jan. 19 - 27 is considered a "week" in most head-to-head leagues. Here are your stars...
Stars of the Week
3rd Star, from the Winnipeg Jets, numero 33, Dustin Byfuglien... we like to keep a D-man in the mix, but this choice wasn't easy with Dan Boyle, Erik Karlsson, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo and Justin Schultz all posting great stats. But the Buff One takes it home with the best multi-cat performance, posting 3+3=6, six PIM, 22 shots, 10 hits and five blocks over five games. I think we can overlook the minus-1.
2nd Star, from the Chicago Blackhawks, numero 50, Corey Crawford... written off by some as a one-season wonder, Crawford answered his critics by rattling off five straight wins to start the year, while sporting a tidy 1.78 GAA and .927 SV%. A far cry from last year's 2.72 and .903 peripherals, but the season is still young. Craig Anderson (0,74 SV%, .974 SV%) was penciled in for 2nd Star until yesterday, but Craig, come on, only three wins?
1st Star, from the San Jose Sharks, numero 12, Patrick Marleau... he joins World War 1 era fantasy powerhouse Cy Denneny (1917-18 season) as the only other NHL player to open a season with four straight multi-goal games. Marleau almost made it five games straight but fell one goal short last night vs. the Canucks. But check out this bottom line: nine goals (including four PPG and three GWG), four assists, plus-6, 24 shots, and eight PPP. In FIVE games. Unreal.
Rookie Star of the Week: Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues: It's a small sample size, sure, but the electrifying Tarasenko really looks like the real deal. A lot will depend on how much leash he is given by Hitchcock, but over the first six games of his NHL career, Tarasenko managed four goals, four assists, a plus-5, 21 shots, six PIM, nine hits and two PPP. Currently sits tied for ninth in overall league scoring at eight points. All that while averaging only 14:46 TOI/G.
Breakout Star of the Week: Cory Conacher - Tampa Bay Lightning. Honey Badger don't give a shit, it just takes what it wants. And what it wants is a top-six role in Tampa, and two goals, five assists, four PIM, and two PPP over five games. Are we looking at the new Martin St, Louis? 5' 8" and 180 pounds sounds about right, but don't expect Conacher's 28.6 shooting % to continue.
Breakdown of the Week: Cam Ward - Carolina Hurricanes. Sure, Shea Weber went pointless, but at least he was helping in peripheral categories. Cam Ward laid a couple of serious eggs to start the year, allowing four goals on eight shots before getting yanked in game one, and allowing another four goals on 22 shots vs. Tampa. He finished his week up with a 6-3 win over the Sabres, and things will get better, but one win and 4.75 GAA / .845 SV% peripherals make a pretty crappy welcome back gift.