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.
Big night with most teams back in action following a New Years layoff. Twelve games and 24 teams in action total. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:
THIRD STAR: Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers (0-0-1) – Afinogenov contributed in a large way, helping the Thrashers stay in the game until overtime, where they eventually fell to the Islanders 6-5. The 30-year-old and first-year Thrasher scored two and assisted on two more, including a 3rd period powerplay tally from captain Kovalchuk to tie the game at five. In addition, Afinogenov fired three shots on net and sat two minutes in the box good enough to earn third star honors.
SECOND STAR: Daymond Langkow, Calgary Flames (0-1-0) – Langkow assisted on all three of his team’s goals, leading the Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Leafs. Playing on a line with Curtis Glencross and Jarome Iginla, the trio scored one even strength, one on the powerplay and one empty netter. The Edmonton, Alberta native finished the evening a perfect plus two while adding a shot on goal and two penalty minutes to his stat line. If this line sticks, Langkow should be a safe play in all formats as should Glencross.
FIRST STAR: Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers (1-1-0) – The Atlanta captain scored a game-tying powerplay tally and assisted on three even strength goals nearly leading his team to victory. The 26-year-old impending unrestricted free agent finished a perfect plus three and with a perfect 1-1 shooting percentage, good enough for our first star honors.
HONORABLE MENTION(S): Pavel Datsyuk, Jamie Langenbrunner
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