Following my Western counterpart’s lead, this week I will give you my All-Fantasy choices.
The Stars - Best of the Eastern Conference.
C - Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier wins out over Crosby by the slimmest of margins. 30 goals, 66 points, 52 penalty minutes, 20 power play points, three short-handed points, six game winners, what’s not to like?
Runners-Up - Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza
LW - Alexander Ovechkin. Russian snipers sweep the port side selections. Ovechkin edges Kovalchuk by two goals and leads the NHL in goals and shots on goal. They are the only players on pace for 60 goals or more.
Runners-Up - Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin
RW - Dany Heatley. Dual eligibility on both wings makes Heatley so versatile, but it's the incredible plus-31 that really sets Heatley apart from the rest of the right wingers. Both Heatley and Alfredsson were averaging 1.30 points per game before last night's seven point explosion from Alfie.
Runners-Up - Daniel Alfredsson, Martin St.Louis
D - Sergei Gonchar. Once again Gonchar leads Eastern Conference defensemen in scoring. Hard to fathom how the NHL could leave him off the All-Star game ballot.
D - Zdeno Chara. Great combination of points and penalty minutes. Chara is sixth in NHL defence scoring with 34 points and has 77 penalty minutes. He is on pace for over 55 points, easily surpassing his previous career high of 43 points.
Runner-Ups - Andrei Markov, Wade Redden, Brian Campbell
G - Martin Brodeur. After a shaky start, Brodeur has returned to his old form. Brodeur’s goals against average in October was 3.02 with a save percentage of 0.885. Since then, he has recorded a stellar 1.88 goals against average and a 0.932 save percentage.
Runner-Ups - Henrik Lundqvist, Cristobal Huet
The Steals - Best Bargains in the East.
C - Mike Richards. Absolutely the best bargain on the planet. Over the last two months, Richards has scored at a point a game pace. If he continues this trend, he'll finish with 89 points. The question we keep asking is can he keep it going? At this point, I wouldn’t bet against it.
Runners-Up - Nik Antropov, R.J. Umberger, Eric Perrin
LW - Vaclav Prospal. Prospal has become a legend in pools for being consistently inconsistent. In his five previous seasons, Prospal has scored 55, 79, 54, 80 and 55 points. This year he's on pace for more than 75 points. Old Faithful.
Runners-Up - Scott Hartnell, Ryan Malone
RW - Alexei Kovalev. What a difference a year can make. Last year, Kovalev was mired in one of his worst seasons ever. This season, he is a large part of the Canadiens (and if you own him, your fantasy team’s) success. Kovalev is only two points away from his season total last year.
Runner-Up - Joffrey Lupul
D - Mike Green. If you read the Eastern Edge regularly, you already know how much I love this guy. After finishing last season with 12 points in 70 games, he’s currently on pace for 50 points. He leads all NHL defenders in goals.
D - Mark Streit. Not many expected Streit to score 50 points this season, but that's exactly what he's on pace for. He has stepped into the position vacated by Souray and now has 19 power play points.
Runner-Ups - Pavel Kubina, Dennis Wideman, Paul Ranger, Shane O’Brien
G - Martin Gerber. I would compare Gerber's season to having a shower while the toilet is being flushed (by Emery?) over and over again…hot, cold, hot, cold.
Runner-Ups - Tim Thomas, Ty Conklin
The Future - Rookies Making an Impact Now.
C - Nicklas Backstrom. Is on pace for over 65 points, but with Nylander out for an extended period, Backstrom has a real chance to catch Pat Kane in the race for the Calder trophy.
Runner-Up - Brandon Dubinsky, Tyler Kennedy
LW - Andrei Kostitsyn. Although technically not a rookie (played six games too many in 2005-06), young Kostitsyn looks like he is going to be an important part of Montreal's future. After only eight points in 21 games (Oct-Nov), he’s recorded 22 points in 24 games in Dec-Jan.
Runners-Up - Milan Lucic, Sergei Kostitsyn
RW - Steve Downie. I didn't think it was possible for people to hate a player more than Sean Avery. It would be hard to argue that Downie hasn’t made an impact in his rookie season. Of course a 20 game suspension probably wasn't the greatest way to start an NHL career for the Ultimate Agitator. His eight points in 13 games is making an impression on the scoreboard.
Runners-Up -David Clarkson (a recent Downie sparring partner), Blake Comeau
D - Tobias Enstrom. Imagine, a rookie defenseman leading the entire NHL in power play ice time. He has exceeded all expectations this season.
D - Marc Staal. He's a plus-6 on a Rangers team that is a minus-35 overall. Staal has logged the sixth most ice time among NHL rookies.
Runners-Up - Kris Letang, Andy Greene
G - Carey Price. The most sought after rookie goalie in fantasy leagues. Worth the Price of admission on what’s going to be a very good Montreal team.
Runners-Up - Ondrei Pavelec, Karri Ramo
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