During the Holiday season it is always better to give than receive. Of course in fantasy hockey the type of gift that is being dished out is of the utmost importance. Sometimes a player can exceed your expectations and give you a week of pleasant surprises, while other times all you are given is a stress headache due to poor play.
Let’s look at who fell into each respective category from last week.
Martin Jones – G – 37% Owned
Jones has been on an incredible run since being thrust into the Los Angeles lineup. So much so that Ben Scrivens can’t seem to get back into the net after a solid stretch of his own last month when Jonathan Quick went down.
Last week he grabbed a shutout and stopped 106 of 109 total shots over three starts. Jones is now operating with a .967 save percentage and a goals against average so small you need a microscope to see it. Now part of the credit needs to go to the stingy Kings defense because as mentioned earlier they helped make Scrivens look like Jacques Plante for much of November. Nevertheless, as a fantasy owner you don’t care about the how, just as long as your players are putting up the numbers at the end of the day.
The Runners Up
Nicklas Backstrom – C – 99% Owned
Backstrom makes an appearance on the list this week after an impressive performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He notched five points in that game alone and followed up that contest with two-point performances on Friday against Florida and on Sunday versus Philadelphia. Backstrom’s big game against Tampa helped Alex Ovechkin owners as well, since the Russian benefited to the tune of four goals in that game.
Patrick Sharp – LW – 98% Owned
The Blackhawks are scoring at a 1980’s pace right now, when every final looked like a baseball score. Sharp notched four goals and two assists last week, which included four points on the power play. The Chicago forward is always good for shots on goal as well and he added 15 of those for good measure. The Blackhawks have so much talent offensively that they aren’t even feeling the loss of losing their top two goaltenders. The best defense is a good offense. Somewhere Jacques Lemaire just cringed.
Patrick Kane – RW – 100% Owned
Kane cracks the list this week for many of the same reasons Sharp found himself on here. The smooth Chicago stick-handler had eight points last week and went plus-4 over that span. Much like Sharp, four of his points came on the man advantage as well. Kane has just three goals in his last eight games, but I’m sure poolies will give him a pass when they see his 12 assists and plus-9 rating over that same stretch.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Ovechkin, Brandon Dubinsky, Corey Perry, Jaden Schwartz, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Sergei Gonchar, Jaromir Jagr, Dainius Zubrus, Brandon Saad, Mike Santorelli, Kyle Turris, Dan Boyle, Keith Yandle.
The LVP (Least Valuable Player)
Kris Letang – D – 99% Owned
Letang failed to record a point last week and missed Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings with an injury. The Penguins blueliner has now gone three straight games without a point and to make matters worse he has only able to register one hit in the last seven days as well. Letang logs heavy minutes for Pittsburgh and with all the talent on that roster one wouldn’t expect his numbers to be that bad over a week’s time.
Not Last But Certainly Least
P.K. Subban – D – 98% Owned
Subban is another defenseman that has been struggling lately and as far as the debate about him representing Canada at the Olympics goes, the Montreal blueliner hasn’t exactly been giving his best audition recently. Subban has picked up just a single point in seven games and prior to Sunday hadn’t had more than one shot in a game in three straight contests.
Devan Dubnyk – G – 38% Owned
Now the Edmonton Oilers are probably not going to be known for their defense anytime soon, but Dubnyk isn’t helping matters with his play lately either. In three outings last week Dubnyk didn’t finish a contest with a goals against average of less than 3.88 and his save percentage on the year has now dipped well below .900. Ilya Bryzgalov may be viewed as a savior between the pipes all of a sudden for the Oilers, and that more than anything says all you need to know about Dubnyk’s play.
James van Riemsdyk – LW – 89% Owned
The Toronto Maple Leafs have benefitted from James van Riemsdyk's play greatly this season, but he didn’t have his best week, posting just a single point in three games and going minus-2. What’s worse, in Toronto’s shocking 7-3 blowout of Chicago on Saturday night, where even the hot dog vendor picked up a point, van Riemsdyk was held off the score sheet and didn’t record a shot. Even still, he would probably need another 1,000 weeks like that before Leaf fans regretted trading Luke Schenn for him.
Dishonorable Mentions: Milan Lucic, Tomas Plekanec, Tomas Fleischmann, Steve Mason, Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Mats Zuccarello.