Fantasy Stars of the Week

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest and brightest from the past week in fantasy hockey.

3rd Star, from the Minnesota Wild, numero 37, Josh Harding. Two games, two wins and a shutout for Harding as he stopped 36 of 37 shots for a 0.60 GAA and .973 SV%. Harding's looked really good this year in relief of an injured Niklas Backstrom. Backstrom is healthy now, but look for Harding to grab a few more starts than expected based on his performance so far.

2nd Star, from the Columbus Blue Jackets, numero 17, Brandon Dubinsky. He's averaging 19:10 TOI with 2:41 on the PP, his highest totals since 2010-11 when he had 54 points, 100 PIM, 202 shots and 141 hits for the Rangers. If he can stay healthy, look for similar numbers this year. This week: two goals, three assists, plus-5, 17 PIM, eight shots, six hits, one PPG, one GWG, one SHG and a 73.7 FO%.

1st Star, from the Tampa Bay Lightning, numero 91, Steven Stamkos. Stammer was one of only two players to hit seven points this week. The other was Frans Nielsen - seriously. Stamkos had three goals, four assists, plus-3, four PIM, 11 shots, and six hits to take home top honours this week, and he's off to a flying start this year with 17 points in 11 games, second only to some bum named Crosby.

***

Rookie Star of the Week: Radko Gudas. What a week for The Gudas. Points in all three games and an outburst that gave him 15 more PIM than the next-best player this week. All in all, Mr. Gudas (careful to be polite here) netted one PPG, two assists, 24 PIM, seven shots, six hits and eight blocks, for one of the best weeks by any D-man, period.

Breakout Star of the Week: Frans Nielsen. What the hell has Nielsen been drinking, and may I have some please? The dependable two-way forward has two 40+ point seasons to his name, but apparently he now thinks he's Henrik Zetterberg or something. In three games this week, Nielsen had three goals, four assists, two PIM and a shorty.

Breakdown of the Week: Johan Franzen. Three games for Detroit this week, and Franzen couldn't even muster a shot on goal in the first two. No goals, no assists, two hits, and now he's injured again too. There was a silver lining here if your pool counts faceoff percentage, as Franzen was moved to center this week and won 26 of 41 faceoffs (63.4%). Other than that, bubkis.

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