It was a short week with many NHL players heading over to Sochi on Sunday to represent their respective countries at the Winter Olympics. The Olympics are a historic and an extremely important global event that only come around once every four years, but even still, it seems puzzling that the NHL would stop in the middle of their season to participate. We saw instances this week where Teemu Selanne was rested for the Olympics and Zdeno Chara missed a pair of games to fulfill his flag bearer obligations for Slovakia. Could you imagine any other league’s teams accepting that? There is also the logistical nightmare that it plays on the NHL schedule and there is a good chance they won’t be participating next time around in 2018. We should enjoy it while it lasts.
Let’s look at this week’s MVPs and LVPs.
Claude Giroux – C – 99% Owned
Giroux may not be going to Sochi, but he sent a message last week that maybe he should be. Giroux had two goals and three assists, while going plus-3 in three contests. He also tacked on 10 shots for good measure and helped the Flyers to a four-game winning streak heading into the break. It seemed almost inconceivable that Giroux wouldn’t make Team Canada when the campaign started, but anytime Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith has more goals than you a month into the season, it’s probably an ominous sign things won’t be going as planned this year.
The Runners Up
Carey Price – G – 99% Owned
Price gave his best audition to be named the starter for Canada last week, posting three wins. In all he stopped 100 of the 103 shots he faced and he has been the biggest reason Montreal has gotten back on track. Price also helped out his fantasy owners with a shutout and as long as there’s a decent supply of conditioner in Russia, he should survive the trip.
Jarome Iginla – RW – 82% Owned
Iginla’s first season in Boston started off somewhat slowly, but all of a sudden he’s up to 43 points on the year. Helping his cause was a five-point week that also saw him post 14 shots in three games. Not only that, but Iginla added seven hits as well, which is great value from a guy you likely drafted to simply produce points.
Gabriel Landeskog – LW – 87% Owned
Landeskog had two goals and three assists last week and now has at least one point in nine straight games. He’s also pretty sharp in his own end of the rink as Landeskog hasn’t finished a contest with a minus rating in nearly a month. The Avs young core of talent up front is firing on all cylinders these days and as long as Patrick Roy keeps his cool behind the bench, and if history is any guide that won’t be easy to do, then Colorado should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Honorable Mentions: Nathan MacKinnon, James Neal, Steve Mason, Mike Smith, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Johansen, Phil Kessel, Keith Yandle, Kari Lehtonen, Anze Kopitar, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Marc-Andre Fleury.
The LVP (Least Valuable Player)
Daniel Sedin – LW – 99% Owned
Things have been a nightmare as of late in Vancouver and the play of Daniel Sedin is a big part of the problem. Sedin is now nine games without a point and 19 without a goal. Perhaps he is missing playing with brother Henrik, who has been sidelined with a rib injury. Or maybe the suspension of John Tortorella threw him off his game because everyone knows the mild-mannered Sedin responds best to an in-your-face coach like Tortorella. Right?
Not Last But Certainly Least
Roberto Luongo – G – 92% Owned
As bad as the supporting cast has been for the Canucks in recent weeks, their goaltending hasn't been much better. Luongo went winless last week and is now on a stretch of five starts in his last six where he hasn't posted a save percentage of .900. The Canadian Olympian has actually only turned aside 154 pucks in his last 175 shots, while Carey Price on the other hand has stooped 203-of-210. Advantage Price. On the plus side though, Luongo’s Twitter account is still on point.
Dan Boyle – D – 82% Owned
Boyle went pointless last week and now has just one point in his last 14 games. To make matters worse he's now a minus-8 on the year and he has never been a minus player since arriving in San Jose. Boyle is 37 years old and it appears he is not headed for the same aging process as one Jaromir Jagr.
Joe Pavelski – C –94% Owned
Pavelski has had an incredible season thus far, but his pointless week did nothing for fantasy owners. In two of his three games he also didn't post more than a shot. It will be interesting to see if he plays in-between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk in Sochi. The pair of Leaf forwards will just have to deal without Tyler Bozak for a couple of weeks, and make do with Pavelski.
Dishonorable Mentions: Joe Thornton, Mike Ribeiro, Dustin Brown, Shea Weber, Kyle Okposo, Cody Hodgson, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Tomas Tatar.