2013-2014 NHL Fantasy Hockey Rankings- Week 4 Update
Week Four of the NHL season is upon us and so it’s time to once again update our Fantasy Hockey rankings. These rankings reflect a standard ESPN.com league that uses “Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, Average Time on Ice, Penalty Minutes, Power-play points, Shots on Goal, Wins, Save Percentage, and Goals Against Average.
Patrick Marleau & Joe Pavelski– San Jose Sharks– Both Marleau and Pavelski have led the Sharks en-route to a rip-roaring 7-0-1 start to the season. The Sharks +23 goal differential and 39 goals scored pace the league after the first three weeks of the season and each of these two forwards has played their part. Coming into the week, Pavelski and Marleau were bunched up together in the rankings with fellow Shark Joe Thornton around #50. All three of them have usurped the point per game plateau so far this season, with Marleau having the most goals scored with seven. Marleau and Pavelski join fellow Shark Logan Couture in the upper regions of our rankings as they come in at 32 and 33 respectively in our updated forward rankings.
Henrik Zetterberg & Pavel Datsyuk- Detroit Red Wings- Zetterberg and Datsyuk are nestled among the four aforementioned Sharks in the Top-10 of the points scored rankings. Both Datsyuk and Zetterberg have eleven points and a +6 rating through the Red Wings nine games played. They deserve this bump in the rankings even independent of Philadelphia Flyers super-star Claude Giroux scuffling out of the gate. Zetterberg climbs to number eight in our rankings, whilst Datsyuk settles in at number 11.
Other major movers: David Perron (EDM, new to rankings), Lars Eller (MTL, up 11 spots), Jiri Hudler (CGY, up 15 spots), Alex Steen (STL, up 14 spots), Jeff Skinner (CAR, up 17 spots), Mason Raymond (TOR, new to rankings #88), Martin Hanzal (PHX, new to rankings #93), Kyle Okposo (NYI, new to rankings #89)
Claude Giroux- Philadelphia Flyers- As we briefly mentioned in the previous paragraph, Giroux and the Flyers have been atrocious to start the season. Despite being third amongst all forwards in the league in average time-on-ice per game, Giroux has yet to pot a goal in 2013-2014. In addition to not scoring as much, he isn’t shooting much either. He’s registering just over two shots per game thus far (for a total of 18) and only has three assists to go along with a minus-5 plus/minus rating. The Flyers are 1-7 on the season, with just 11 goals scored.
Brad Marchand- Boston Bruins- Marchand continues his precipitous drop, falling another 10 spots this week after the same fall last week. The 25-year-old native of Halifax had a promising playoff effort in 2012-2013, racking up 13 points in 22 games. That effort seemingly built off his strong 2012-2013 regular season, during which he increased his points per game total to 0.80 (the best of his career). Coming into the season it was conceivable that Marchand could tally nearly 63 points to go along with his usual 80 PIM. That idea seems like a pipe dream at this point as he only has two points in seven games as well as just 12 shots on goal.
Other major movers: Johan Franzen (DET, down 10 spots), Derek Stepan (NYR, down 7 spots), Radim Vrbata (PHX, down 6 spots), Vincent Lecavalier (PHI, down 12 spots w/injury), Max Pacioretty (MTL, down 29 spots w/injury), Taylor Hall (EDM, down 13 spots w/injury), Rick Nash (NYR, down 21 spots w/injury), Scott Hartnell (PHI, fell from 81 to off the list),
Lee Stempniak- Calgary Flames- Stempniak has six points in just seven games for the surprisingly not bad Calgary Flames. Stempniak is also receiving 18 minutes and 46 seconds of time-on-ice per game thus far, in addition to his respectable minus-1 rating given the crappy team he plays for.
*Authors Note*- The normal “other categories piece that usually follows our forward rankings will be made into an article called “Alternate League Stat Coverage”, which will run on Thursday Mornings.
Jason Garrison- Vancouver Canucks- Garrison has really enjoyed success in new Head Coach John Tortorella’s system. Garrison is second only to Montreal’s P.K. Subban in points for defenseman. The 28-year-old defenseman has nine points in ten games as well as 31 shots. He is on pace to blow the cover off his 2 shots per game pace from 2012-2013. If Garrison plays a full 82 game season (which he has yet to do in his career), he will tally 254.2 shots which is an absolutely absurd total for a defenseman. Since 2000-2001, it has been only done 11 times. The list is full of impressive names: Erik Karlsson (2011-2012), Shea Weber (2010-2011), Dustin Byfuglien (2010-2011), Zdeno Chara (2010-2011), Sheldon Souray (2008-2009), Dion Phanuef (2008-2009 and 2007-2008), Rob Blake (2005-2006, 2002-2003), Al MacInnis (2002-2003), Nicklas Lidstrom (2000-2001). The full list can be seen here. Garrison moved up eight spots in our rankings update this week to number 18.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic- San Jose Sharks- What Vlasic lacks in convenient spelling of middle names, he makes up for in skill. The 26-year-old blue-liner has seven points and a plus-10 plus/minus on the young season. Vlasic obviously won’t maintain this pace, but given his age, a breakout is not out of the realm of possibility (especially with the Sharks firing on all cylinders). He moves up 11 spots to number 38 in our rankings.
Other major movers: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (PHX, up six spots to #11), Cody Franson (TOR, up seven spots to #23), Dennis Wideman (CGY, up nine spots to #35), Mark Giordano (CGY, up seven spots to #36), Jonas Brodin (MIN, up 6 spots to #17), Jared Spurgeon (MIN, up 12 spots to #48), Kevin Bieksa (VAN, up 20 spots to #39), Sami Salo (up 17 spots to #52), Matt Irwin (SJ, up 15 spots to #69)
Cam Fowler- Anaheim Ducks- Fowler has really struggled despite playing increased minutes this season. The 21-year-old blue-liner has three points in eight games, although he hasn’t looked particularly good at moments during his average 23:49 time-on-ice. His saving grace is his age and the fact that he’s actually shooting more this year (up to 2 shots per game).
Mark Streit- Philadelphia Flyers- What Streit gives you in offense, he makes up for with horrendous defense. He is already minus-4 on the young season and playing the fewest minutes (20:04 ATOI) of his career since 2006-2007. He’s a Top-10 defenseman in leagues that count “Neutral Zone Turnovers” as a good thing.
Other major movers: Dan Boyle (SJ, down 15 spots w/injury to #25), Alex Goligoski (DAL, down 30 spots to #69), Sergei Gonchar (DAL, down 15 spots to #55), Jacob Trouba (WPG, down from #57 to off the list w/injury)
Just Made It:
Ben Lovejoy- Pittsburgh Penguins- Normally this is supposed to be “Just Missed”, but defenseman right now painfully bad. We included Lovejoy since he is playing on the Penguins (an excellent team), is receiving 20+ minutes per game, and has 21 shots already. The 29-year-old native of Concord, New Hampshire is unlikely to stay in our Top-75 throughout the season.
Here are our updated defense rankings:
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