This will be a running column through the remainder of the season. Each week this column will give you a Fantasy Player Of The Week, and players who are sizzling or fizzling for that week. The purpose of sizzle or fizzle is to help you identify if you should be starting or sitting players. In addition it may help you identify players to add or drop. We use Yahoo! Fantasy sports for all of our information. We use stats from the last seven days unless otherwise indicated.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) – C, RW: 3G, 6A, +5, 8PIM, 3PPP, 13SOG
The Pittsburgh Penguins have officially come out of their cold streak and are turning into the team that everyone expected them to be. The Penguins are Stanley Cup Contenders and need to rely heavily on their stars to get them there. Malkin is one of the best star’s in the league and while he does get great recognition he deserves more than he gets. Sidney Crosby is the Captain of the Penguins and their biggest star, but at times I wonder if Malkin should be the team’s star. To me a week like this proves it.
SIZZLE (Who’s HOT):
Jaroslav Halak (St. Louis Blues) – G: 2W, .75GAA, .970SV%, 1SHO
The St. Louis Blues are stacked at goaltender and Halak is their starter, at least for now. The Blues have playoff aspirations but only if Halak plays up to his potential.
James Neal (Pittsburgh Penguins) – LW, RW: 4G, 3A, +3, 4PIM, 3PPP, 19SOG
This is a feast week for the Penguins and Neal is already a fantasy star is really proving it this week as well.
Ryan Johansen (Columbus Blue Jackets) – C, RW: 4G, 2A, +2, 2PIM, 4PPP, 15SOG
Owned in only 26% of leagues, Johansen is a flash in the pan. But, you may want to monitor him to see what happens.
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) C, LW: 3G, 1A, +2, 6PIM, 2PPP, 14SOG
With Rick Nash back in the game the rest of the Rangers are playing better. Kreider is really benefitting from the return of Nash, and he’s owned in onl 19% of leagues. He may be worth the pick up.
Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks) – D: 6A, +5, 2PPP, 8SOG
He’s playing as a top offensive D-Man right now, he’s not one, but he is consistent as a good second D-Man.
David Backes (St. Louis Blues) – C, RW: 2G, 1A, +1, 14PIM, 2PPP, 9SOG
He’s been playing up and down all year, but when he’s playing well he’s one of the top players in the league. I think that will continue and he’s showing signs of growth.
Niklas Kronwall (Detroit Red Wings) – D: 1G, 5A, +5, 1PPP, 5SOG
He’s finally fitting into the role that was left from Nicklas Lidstrom. Detroit still misses him but Kronwall is putting up the offensive numbers to soften the blow.
FIZZLE (Who’s NOT):
John Tavares (New York Islanders) – C: 1G, 2A, -2, 1PPP, 10SOG
He’s a bona fide star and one of the NHL’s most underrated players. Don’t worry things will pick back up.
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) – C: 2A, 6SOG
He’s having an off season, it may be time to trade or drop him if you haven’t.
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning) – RW: 2G, 1A, +1, 8SOG
He will be up and down the rest of the season until Stamkos is back.
Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) – D: 3A, -2, 1PPP, 6SOG
He’s a star and he should return back to it this week.
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild) – D: -3, 2PIM, 6SOG
He’s having an off season offensively. You can’t blame him though, he’s playing 30 minutes a night.
Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins) – G: 2W, 3.66GAA, .859SV%
An off week for the league’s best goalie. It probably had a lot to do with the trashing the Red Wings put on Boston this past week. He’ll shake it off.