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NHL Fantasy Hockey: Most, Least Valuable Players for Week 3

Getty ImagesWe are quickly creeping towards November and Claude Giroux has one fewer goal than Mike Smith, and just as many as me. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. It figures that when the Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting some solid goaltending, from Steve Mason of all people, their offense has gone dry. Never fear Philly fans, Craig Berube is at the helm and nothing screams offensive creativity like a guy that had over 3,000 career penalty minutes.

Let’s look at few guys who don’t know a lot about PIMs, but could have helped or hindered your fantasy team last week, depending on what side of the coin you were on.

The MVP

Sidney Crosby – C – 100% Owned

Now that I think about it, I probably could have just copy and pasted last week’s writeup on Crosby to save time, because he’s likely going to have a regular spot in this position in 2013-14.

Crosby had two goals and six assists last week and is now up to 17 points in eight games on the season. This spot may or may not be renamed the Sidney Crosby Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence for the rest of the year.

The Runners Up

Jason Spezza – C – 98% Owned

Spezza chipped in last week with four goals and two assists, which included a hat-trick against the Phoenix Coyotes. He has eight points and six of those came in two of his last three games, so he seems to be heating up. Spezza can also be a big asset if your league uses face-offs as a category. The Sens center has won at least 10 draws in every game this season and has only had one contest where he had a win rate of less than 50% in the circle.

Patrick Marleau – C/LW – 95% Owned

Marleau had three goals and three assists to go along with 14 shots. He has at least a point in every game this year and has now scored in five straight, and in seven of eight contests overall. Sure Marleau’s numbers were great last week, but Jeremy Roenick probably wants him to show more emotion.

Jonas Gustavsson – G – 14% Owned

Gustavsson made his first three starts of the season last week in relief for an injured Jimmy Howard, and posted three wins. He stopped 102 of the 107 shots he faced and never gave up more than two goals in a game. Howard is still the No. 1 guy, so Gustavsson doesn’t figure to get a lot of starts, but he’s a good fit if your league has a category entitled ‘Leafs castoffs that turned out to be pretty freakin good players.

Honorable Mentions: Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin, Alex Steen, Joe Pavelski, Mike Ribeiro, Pavel Datsyuk, Logan Couture, Chris Kunitz, Joe Thornton, Daniel Alfredsson, Eric Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Erik Karlsson, Henrik Sedin

The LVP (Least Valuable Player)

Jonathan Toews – C – 100% Owned

Toews may have been held pointless, but it was his performance in other areas that was more troubling. He only had five shots and had a game against Carolina where he lost 15 of 21 draws. Toews has now been held without a point in six of eight games this season. Loosen up, Captain Serious.

Not Last, but Certainly Least

Patrick Kane – C/RW – 100% Owned

To put into perspective how deep the Blackhawks are, Chicago won two out of three this week with Kane and Toews failing to record a point. It’s a little concerning that Kane had four goals in his first four games and then nothing in his next three. That’s about as bad as his perennial playoff haircut. However, Kane is still putting up shots which is an encouraging sign, so look for him to get back on track shortly.

Jack Johnson – D – 75% Owned

Johnson has never been a defensive stalwart, but he is now sporting a minus-8 rating this year after going minus-5 this week. To make matters worse, he didn’t record a point either in four games over the past seven days. Johnson has only found the score sheet once since opening night, and based on his play it doesn’t seem like he’s looking very hard to find it.

Daniel Sedin – LW – 100% Owned

Henrik Sedin had five points in five games this week, so it’s slightly shocking that Daniel managed just one assist during that same timeframe. Aren’t these guys supposed to be sharing a brain? Sedin started the year with six points in four games, but now has just two in the last six contests. It must be that sniper Mike Santorelli vulturing points once again.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Alex Goligoski, Mikhail Grabovski, Dustin Brown, John Carlson, Alex Tanguay

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for DobberHockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mik

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