If your New Year’s resolution wasn’t to take better care of your fantasy team(s) in 2014 then you clearly have your priorities out of whack. Let’s take some time to see which players made good early on their own resolutions and who came up short.
Jeff Skinner – C/RW – 84% Owned
SKINNER is on a torrid pace since returning from injury in late November. He has teamed up with Eric Staal on the Hurricanes’ top line and has scored an insane 16 goals in his last 16 games to go along with six assists in that time. Last week was his masterpiece though, with a six-goal/three-assist performance despite Staal going down halfway through the week.
Sunday’s game against the Predators saw Skinner carry a line with “enigmatic” Alex Semin and a fresh-off-the-scrap-heap Tuomo Ruutu, scoring the game winner late in the third and adding an assist. There are still 16% of leagues that need to wake up on this guy.
The Runners Up
Ryan Suter – D – 98% Owned
It only took him 41 games but Suter finally knocked the lid off scoring his first goal of the season in Week 13. He then proceeded to fill the net with as much rubber as possible scoring four goals and adding two assists including a game winning hat-trick in a dramatic come from behind victory over the Capitals on Saturday.
For those confused about why Keith Yandle was left off the US Olympic team, who needs him when you’ve got Suter?
Brian Elliott – G – 68% Owned
Jaroslav Halak is on his man-period once again, which means Smelliott gets to make his annual run of fantasy dominance. I hope no one is thinking that Elliott is a good goalie. But on that stacked Blues team he’s a quality fantasy netminder and is a must own for Halak owners since his time of the month is always just a few short weeks away.
Anton Khudobin – G – 13% Owned
You know, it’s a real shame that the Hurricanes are paying their worst goalie $6.3 million a year when they have two perfectly capable tenders making a combined $1.3375 million this year. Put that $6.3 million towards a defenseman or two and suddenly this team looks like a powerhouse in the East.
The single best thing Cam Ward could do for the Hurricanes would be to tear his groin and let the Khudobin/Justin Peters tandem carry them to the playoffs. Alas, he is only day-to-day with a lower body injury. That could be a torn groin but I suspect it isn’t.
In any case, Khudobin is back healthy and is a legitimate threat to steal starts from Ward. The second half of the year is where coaches need to ride the winning goaltender no matter who it is, which means we could see a lot of Khudobin even when Ward returns.
Peters does loom as another threat and perhaps Khudobin finds himself traded but he makes a good gamble.
Honourable Mentions: Craig Anderson, Sidney Crosby, Rob Laurie, Max Pacioretty, Nick Bonino, John Tavares, Evander Kane, Patrick Sharp, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Niklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov
(Least Valuable Player)
Braden Holtby – G – 79% Owned
Holtby owners cheered Philipp Grubauer’s two-game losing streak last week as it would finally open the door for Holtby to reclaim his crease. Little did they know Grubauer had been saving them from Holtby’s torturous ways all along.
Holtby faced just 11 shots in his lone appearance in Week 14. You’d think that was setting him up for success but you’d be wrong. He allowed five goals in the single worst performance by a goalie when his team allowed 11 shots or fewer since they started tracking the stat. If a historically bad performance doesn’t win you the LVP, I don’t know what does.
Not Last but Certainly Least...
Motivated Bobby Ryan – LW/RW – 99% Owned
Ryan did manage a point last week but that was before the US Olympic team was announced with him on the outside looking in and with some disparaging remarks from USA Hockey brass. Ryan did not take kindly to those remarks and swore to use them as motivation. Motivated Bobby Ryan has zero points in two games. Let’s see where he goes from here.
Carey Price – G – 100% Owned
I for one would like to blame the Montreal defense for Price’s sieve-like week, unfortunately fantasy hockey doesn’t work that way. Price gets all the credit even if his team did offer up an absurd number of power play chances to their opponents.
So Price spent the week doing his best Devan Dubnyk impersonation and you probably lost all the goalie categories. Sad but true.
Martin St. Louis – RW – 100% Owned
Mere mortals are allowed to go four games without scoring but mere mortals don’t have legs like this.
Dis-Honourable Mentions: Dan Ellis, Mike Santorelli, Devan Dubnyk, Nazem Kadri, Mike Cammalleri, Ilya Bryzgalov, James Reimer, Jonathan Bernier, Jaromir Jagr, Ondrej Pavelec, Mike Richards, Cam Ward, Matt Cullen, Antti Niemi
Dobber checks in to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of DobberHockey.com and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.