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.
Busy night with 10 games and 20 teams in action. A few young stars took the spotlight tonight as we witnessed pretty balanced scoring. I cannot vouch for myself watching these games as I was too busy watching Team USA win in the WJHC! In other news, our betting expert Anthony Curatolo went an impressive 8-2. Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 5, 2009:
THIRD STAR: Tomas Fleischmann, Washington Capitals (0-0-1) – Fleishmann played center tonight, for the first time since his junior days, to great results. In over 15 minutes of ice time the 26-year-old scored a powerplay goal and assisted on two more leading the Caps to a 4-2 victory over the Canadiens. He also took three shots on goal while posting a perfect plus two making him a solid contributor across five categories.
SECOND STAR: Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins (0-1-0) – Staal scored two and assisted on a powerplay tally of Ruslan Fedotenko giving him three points on the evening. The youngest Staal brother in the NHL added a healthy plus-three rating and a whopping six shots on goal in Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win. Always a threat on the third line, expect more from Staal before Chris Kunitz returns.
FIRST STAR: Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins (1-0-1) – Last night Wheeler made our list as the third star. Tonight he makes it as the first. With two goals and a powerplay assist, the 22-year-old led his team to a substantial 4-1 win over the Senators. In addition, the winger posted a plus-two rating, three shots on goal and even sat two minutes in the box. Wheeler is on fire with back-to-back honors.
HONORABLE MENTION(S): Tomas Kaberle, Travis Zajac, Patrick O’Sullivan, Alex Burrows