With the National Hockey League taking three days off during the holiday season, fantasy hockey production was at a premium last week. Most players saw just a couple of games over the past seven days and if you were one of the lucky ones that saw your roster put up some significant numbers, you likely gained a hefty advantage over your competition. If you were on the flipside of the coin, however, there is a good chance you will be falling behind to start the New Year.
Patrick Sharp – LW – 98% Owned
We should just start charging Sharp rent as he seems to have found a permanent spot on this list week in and week out as of late. The Chicago Blackhawks forward needed just three contests to post six goals and an assist, to go along with 15 shots on goal. He was also a plus-8 over that span. Sharp exploded for a hat-trick against the Avalanche last Friday and provided one of the year’s most memorable defensive plays, when he pick-pocketed Matt Duchene on a breakaway. Duchene was last seen still looking for the puck and muttering to himself incoherently.
The Runners Up
Brent Burns – RW/D – 89% Owned
Burns’ blueline eligibility in some leagues can’t be overstated. The fact that he is playing forward in that Sharks lineup allows you to really pad the stats from your defensemen if you drafted Burns. Last week he notched seven points in three games to go along with nine hits. He was the gift that kept on giving all week long.
Reilly Smith – RW – 31% Owned
Reilly’s ownership took a huge jump last week after a three goal and two assist performance. “See, I told you we shouldn’t have given up Smith for Tyler Seguin!” – said no Stars fan ever.
Jarome Iginla – RW – 81% Owned
Iginla is really starting to pay dividends for the Bruins now and has given them some decent depth with their injuries at the forward position. Iginla had four goals last week and is up to 26 points on the season with 11 points in his last 11 games.
Honorable Mentions: Wayne Simmonds, Andrew Ladd, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Devan Dubnyk, Martin St. Louis, Carl Soderberg, Tuukka Rask, Kari Lehtonen, Mark Giordano, Matt Moulson
(Least Valuable Player)
Jaroslav Halak – D – 84% Owned
Try as he might, but Jaroslav Halak just can’t officially claim the net in St. Louis. After a strong start to the year it looked like Halak was going to get the bulk of the starts going forward, but a recent stretch of shaky efforts has given Brian Elliott more looks. Halak had a pair of rough outings last week, including getting yanked after giving up three first period goals to the Blackhawks on Saturday, and he now has just three victories in his last seven starts.
Not Last But Certainly Least
Andy Greene – D – 39% Owned
Greene wouldn’t normally be on many fantasy hockey radars, but 20 points in 40 games has certainly captured the attention of some folks. Greene rewarded that interest with no points in three games over the last seven days to go along with a minus-3 rating and two measly shots. The downside with making a name for yourself is it comes with great expectations, which Greene certainly didn’t meet last week.
Mike Richards – C – 78% Owned
The Kings don’t need a lot of scoring since just about every goalie they put between the pipes suddenly becomes unbeatable, but I’m sure Mike Richards owners would have appreciated a little something this holiday season. Richards has now gone seven games without a point and posted a minus-4 rating for good measure. He’s also only had more than one shot in a contest just three times in that stretch.
Mikkel Boedker – LW – 17% Owned
Scoring doesn’t come easy in a Dave Tippett defensive system. In fact, sometimes it almost appears frowned upon. With that being said, Boedker still had an abysmal week going pointless and finishing minus-2. If only fantasy performances could be re-gifted.
Dishonorable Mentions: Ryane Clowe, R.J. Umberger, Sean Monahan, Zach Bogosian, Matt Duchene, Michael Del Zotto, Eric Staal, Ville Leino, Linus Omark