I am in a state of mourning today as I have been officially eliminated from a prestigious fantasy hockey pool I have participated in over the last 11 years. I finished in seventh in the regular season and four points back of a playoff spot.
This past week, the two most impressive players offensively were Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. Both Karlsson and Getzlaf had two goals and five assists for seven points in four games. However it was just not the total number of points where Karlsson and Getzlaf were valuable. Karlsson was a +6 and 18 shots on net, while Getzlaf had 21 penalty minutes.
However the best player of the week has to be Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott. The former Blues goalie saw 55 shots and saved them all this past week in shutout victories over the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets. On Thursday, Elliott made 24 saves in a 5-0 Flames win over the Canadiens and on Saturday, he made 31 saves in a 3-0 win over the Jets.
Staying with the goaltending theme, Jonathan Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks has only played once since February 20 with a lower body injury. Jonathan Bernier of Laval, Quebec has filled in admirably as he won five of his last seven games and has not given up more than three goals in any of those contests.
Another goaltender you could pick up is Antti Raanta of the New York Rangers because Henrik Lundqvist is out with a hip injury. Raanta has won four of his last five games and had an impressive 1-0 shutout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning a week ago where he made 38 saves.
Meanwhile don’t give the Stanley Cup to the Washington Capitals just yet. This past week the Capitals went 0-3 through California and even lost 4-2 to the Dallas Stars at home. During that stretch they also struggled mightily defensively. They gave up 17 goals over those four contests and only scored eight goals. Also their prized possession from the St. Louis Blues at the NHL trade deadline, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. has been suspended two games for charging Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel. The first game of the suspension took place last night in Anaheim. For the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, they will need to beat a Western Conference team four times out of seven. This past week they could not win any of four.
Finally this upcoming week you can go heavy on the Carolina Hurricanes as they play five times. They play the New York Islanders twice (tonight and tomorrow), the Minnesota Wild Thursday, the Nashville Predators Saturday and the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday. The two best Hurricanes are left winger Jeff Skinner and goaltender Cam Ward. Skinner leads Carolina with 21 goals, 43 points and 213 shots on goal, while Ward has a winning record this season of 22-20-9 with two shutouts, a goals against average of 2.66 and save percentage of .905, even though Carolina will not make the playoffs this season.