Welcome to week 10 of Fantasy Hockey’s 5 Studs and 5 Duds. This week’s honors for team of the week goes to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs had a great week going 4-0 and the Leafs picked up impressive back to back victories against their division rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. Toronto closed off the week in style by defeating the Stanley Cup champion LA Kings 4-3, via the shootout. Both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier were spectacular this week, picking up two wins each for their team, Reimer was superb in a shootout win against the Wings, as the Leafs goaltender stopped 41 out of 42 shots on the night, before stopping two out of the three shooters for the Wings in the shootout picking. Captain Dion Phaneuf enjoyed a great week as well, picking up a +3 rating on the week. Phaneuf has cleaned up his game at the back end so far this season, with a solid +14 rating.
Sticking with defensemen, there was a trio of great defensemen during week 10 who deserve an honorable mention. Kevin Shattenkirk continued his tremendous play for the Blues in week 10, as the former Avalanche defensemen picked up four points in two games along with a +4 rating. Kevin is +13 so far this season and sits behind only Mark Giordano for the league lead in defense points with 26, four back of Giordano’s 30.
Another defensemen sparked his team with a return to the lineup during week 10. Kris Letang made an immediate impact, scoring three goals in his first two games back into the Penguins lineup. Out for almost two weeks, Letang made an impact quickly scoring three goals, but also picking up an impressive +4 rating in the two games. Finally, P.K. Subban was back to his old ways in Montreal, as Subban was a pure stud against the defending cup champs. He picked up a goal and two assists in the 6-2 victory. Also, we need to recognize Carey Price in that game for being absolute magic. Price saved 44 out of 46 shots on the night. What a stud.
That’s a wrap for this week’s honorable mentions around the league. Let’s now see who made the official top 5 studs and top 5 duds list of the week, enjoy!
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10 STUD: Tyler Ennis (1G, 4A, +3)
Don't look now, but the Buffalo Sabres were a perfect 3-0 during week 10. Jonas Enroth held his own picking up all three victories and Enroth has won eight out of his last 10 starts. Offensively this week, the Sabres were led by their 5’9 first liner Tyler Ennis. Ennis had a strong week, particularly against the Flames registering three assists on the night. Ennis is enjoying some nice chemistry on the team’s top line with Matt Moulson and all star voting leader Zemgus Girgensons.
9 DUD: Steven Stamkos (1G, 1A, -4)
Despite picking up a goal against the Capitals this week, Stamkos had a rough game along with his line mates, combing for a -6 rating on the night (Stamkos was a -3 individually). The power play has gone dry for the Lightning as of late, which prompted Jon Cooper to switch up the lines and put Val Filppula back onto the top line, alongside Stamkos and Callahan. Look for Stamkos to improve his game during week 11 and be sure to start him every night.
8 STUD: Joe Thornton (1G, 5A, +2)
Coming off a tough stretch and not having scored a goal in his last 11, Jumbo Joe was relieved to have put the puck into an empty net to seal the victory against the Predators on Saturday night. Despite not scoring many goals this week, Joe was still contributing by picking up two assists in games against the Oilers and Wild. Joe’s starting to gain some serious heat on San Jose’s top line along with “Little Joe” Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl. Despite having his C removed this season, Thornton still leads the way offensively for the team so far this season with 28 points.
7 DUD: Shane Doan (0G, 0A, +1)
It’s been a rough month so far for Shane Doan and the Arizona Coyotes. In the month of December, the Coyotes have dropped five out of six games and what is even more alarming is how they are losing these games. The Coyotes have been outscored 23-8 while dropping five in a row. Their captain has struggled as well recently, as Doan is goalless in his last nine and has only one point in his last seven games. If the struggles continue for the Coyotes in the upcoming months, look for Doan to possibly be on his way out of Arizona so he can take a run at the Stanley Cup.
6 STUD: Sergei Bobrovsky (3W, 0L, 2.19 GAA)
After struggling to win a game in the month of November, Bobrovsky has managed to go perfect in the month of December thus far. Sergei is 6-0 this month, leading the Blue Jackets out of the basement and back into a possible playoff spot. Going 3-0 this week was especially significant for Bob and the Jackets, due to the fact that all three wins came against division rivals in the Penguins, Capitals, and Flyers. Props to Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets for turning things around during the month of December. If you gave up on Bobrovsky early, you may end up regretting this decision in the long run.
5 DUD Line of the Week: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin & Radim Vrbata (0G, 0A, -9)
Despite starting this season as one of the league’s hottest lines, the top unit for the Canucks slowed down quite a bit in week 10. The Canucks are in the midst of their biggest slump so far this season, dropping four in a row. The top line had a tough outing against the Rangers on Saturday night, combining for a -6 rating on the night. Coming back from a brutal seven game road trip in the East is never easy, so look for this line to be fully rested and energized in a game at home against the Stars on Wednesday night. Be sure to continue to start these players.
4 STUD Line of the Week: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom & Tom Wilson (5G, 7A, +7)
How quickly a player can go from a dud to stud. In Ovie’s case, one week is enough time to turn things around. Despite going goalless in week 9, Ovie answered the bell, scoring twice against the Lightning in a 5-3 victory. Ovechkin also contributed with two assists in another victory on Saturday night against the Lightning once again. Linemate Nick Backstrom had a terrific night picking up a hat-trick along with a game winning goal. Former 1st round pick Tom Wilson benefited nicely from playing on the top line with these two superstars, as the 20 year picked up two assists on the night.
3 DUD: Erik Karlsson (0G, 0A, -3)
Erik Karlsson is regarded as one of the league’s top offensive defensemen and despite his tremendous offensive instincts, his defensive play has been an issue for the Sens so far this season. His plus/minus numbers as of late are extremely alarming, as Karlsson has one of the league's worst plus/minus ratings at a -13. His recent struggles are apparent in his numbers, as Karlsson has been a minus player in his last four games. What's even more alarming, is that Karlsson hasn’t been a plus player in his last nine games. With a new coach in Ottawa, look for Karlsson to clean up his defensive play in the next upcoming games.
2 Frederik Andersen (3W, 0L, 1.33)
Picking up his 18th straight start on Saturday, Frederik Andersen has won seven consecutive starts along with eight wins in his last 10 starts. What more can you ask for from a fantasy hockey goalie? With Corey Perry injured, the Ducks managed to keep on going, enjoying another perfect week. The Ducks are not only one of the hottest teams in the league, having won seven in a row, they are also the best team in the NHL with 47 points. If you were able to draft Andersen, we praise your brilliant move. What a season for the Ducks and their 25 year old goaltender thus far.
1 DUD: Tuukka Rask (0W, 2L, 2.46 GAA)
It’s been a tough season in Boston so far, something Bruins fans haven’t been used to in a while. Due to a long list of injuries, the Bruins have struggled to win games this season. In nets, Rask hasn’t been as consistent as he normally is. Rask has only one win in his last five starts and two wins in his last eight. Yes, times are tough in Boston, but the Bruins are slowly getting healthier. Don’t even think about the possibility of trading Rask away. With the return of David Krejci on the horizon, look for Rask and the Bruins to put up a big run down the stretch. Don’t lose faith in Rask just yet.
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