In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.
Last night was a great night for hockey with 18 teams in action.
THIRD STAR: Matt Stajan, Toronto Maple Leafs (0-0-1) – This may come as a bit of a shock, but Stajan has 13 points in his last 13 games. Playing primarily with Phil Kessel and last night’s hero Alexei Ponikarovsky the soon to be 26-year-old seems poised to break last year’s career high of 55 points. The Mississaua, Ontario native scored a goal and an assist in his teams 5-2 victory over Atlanta last night. An overall solid effort, he also gave his owners two penalty minutes, three shots on goal and a nice plus two rating. If you need a depth C, you could do a lot worse than this Leafs pivot.
SECOND STAR: Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals (0-1-0) – If this guy can stay on his skates he will win you a fantasy championship. There is no doubt in my mind he will be a consensus first rounder next year. Including last night’s game Semin now has 8 points in his last 3 games! Last night he assisted on two goals, one of which was a powerplay tally, and took a whopping seven shots on goal. In addition, the 25-year-old sat two minutes in the box while maintaining a perfect plus one for the evening.
FIRST STAR: Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche (2-0-0) – I didn’t realize Ryan Smyth was still on the Avs, and wore #25 now. All jokes aside, Stewart is really coming into his own. Last night the 22-year-old scored a goal on the powerplay, a goal at even strength and assisted on a marker from Paul Stastny. The right wing took five shots on goal and finished a plus two for the night. Playing with Stastny should guarantee him some value even if his statistics somewhat falter. At this point he is a must have in whatever format.
HONORABLE MENTION(S): Martin Brodeur, Niclas Bergfors, Semyon Varlamov, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Alexander Ovechkin, Peter Budaj, Ilya Bryzgalov
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