Each week we will look at a top 5 fantasy defensemen and top 5 fantasy goalies. The list will be based on fantasy impact over the past few days and weeks. Most elite stars consistent produce, but there are several players who are very streaky so keep an eye on their stats so that you can dress them while they are on a hot streak.
#5 Travis Hamonic (New York Islanders) has been ice cold over the last 10 games with zero points and a minus 5 rating. Hamonic has a single assist which is has been so disappointing for those poolies who drafted him expecting him to build off a strong rookie season. Hamonic should get back onto the score sheet very soon.
#4 Jason Garrison (Florida Panthers) has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. Only Nicklas Lidstrom has more goals than Garrison. Over the last 6 games he has scored 3 goals and 5 points. Garrison is not well known in fantasy circles so he is likely sitting in your free agent pool and worth a gamble on as he is on pace for 20+ goals and 40 points.
#3 Sheldon Souray (Dallas Stars) is proving he can still be an effect power play quarterback. Souray has 2 power play goal and 8 points over the last 6 games. Souray is on a 4 game point streak with 7 points over that span. Souray is on pace for 23 goals and 75 points, which is a little high but 50 points this season is definitely in reach.
#2 Alexander Edler (Vancouver Canucks) has taken over the reigns as the Canucks top defender. Edler has 3 goals and 9 points over the last 5 games. Edler has a previous career high of 10 goals and is on pace for 16 this season. Edler leads all defensemen with 15 points and is on pace for 81 points, expect to him to finish somewhere between 55 and 65.
#1 Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) continues to prove he is simply the best defenseman in the NHL. Lidstrom leads all defensemen with 6 goals. Lidstrom has only scored 20 goals once in his career and is currently on pace for 37. Lidstrom is on pace for another 60+ point season and is pure fantasy gold.
The goaltending position is the streakiest of all hockey positions so be sure to keep a hot goalie in your line-up and the cold one on the bench!
#5 Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) has struggled over the last 5 games losing 4 straight before winning last night. Miller has never lost 5 straight starts and even though he let 5 goals in last night the Sabres did enough to get him the win. Miller will get his game back on track so dont panic and trade him away.
#4 Kari Lehtonen (Dallas Stars) is a big reason why the Dallas Stars are sitting 1st overall in the Western Conference. Lehtonen has lost just 1 game this season, going 11-1-0. Lehtonen is has a respectable GAA of 2.13 but no shutouts yet. Lehtonen bounced back from allowing 6 goals against the Colorado Avalanche to allowing just 2 goals in each of the last 2 games, which included a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
#3 Josh Harding (Minnesota Wild) is finally showing his potential after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Harding is 4-0-0 with a shutout in his last 4 starts. Harding has allowed just a single goal in each of his last 3 games giving him a very low GAA of 0.75 and SV% of .977 over the last 4 games. Harding is the back up in Minnesota but will get his fair share of starts.
#2 Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators) is worth every penny the Predators are paying him. Over the last 5 games Rinne is 4-0-1 with 2 shutouts. During the span Rinne has a GAA of 2.26 and SV% of .931. Rinne is on pace for his first 40 win season. Rinne records multiple shutouts each season, he already has 3 and is on pace for 17.
#1 Nikolai Khabibulin (Edmonton Oilers) is out to prove that he can still be an elite goaltender in the NHL, as he has not lost a game in regulation yet this season. Khabibulin is 7-0-2 with 2 shutouts and what is even more impressive is that he is boasting a GAA of just 0.98. Khabibulin is a big reason why the Oilers are 2nd in the West and is on pace for a 40-win and 10+ shutout season.
Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of fantasyhockeycoach.com. FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. Brouwer writes a weekly fantasy hockey column for The Star Phoenix, Fantrax, Inside Hockey and Bleacher Report. Email Coach Brouwer at [email protected] or check us out on twitter at twitter.com/fanhockeycoach.