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Fantasy Hockey Gauntlet - Week Eighteen: Nick Bjugstad and All Available New York Islanders

Troy Langefeld runs the fantasy hockey gauntlet for week eighteen of the NHL season!

You'll be seeing a lot of Islanders celebrations this week - Photo Credit
You'll be seeing a lot of Islanders celebrations this week - Photo Credit
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed out on the early entries into my weekly series, you can find it all right here: Fake Teams Fantasy Hockey.

A quick recap of last week's recommendations: I didn't exactly knock any out of the park, but I didn't exactly fall on my face with any either. Mats Zuccarello was probably the top performer with three goals, a solid plus five rating, and eight shots, but didn't help at all in the other three categories. Cam Atkinson scored a couple goals himself with a plus three, a couple penalty minutes, and seven shots. Travis Hamonic was our most complete player with two assists, plus six, seven penalty minutes, and five shots. He'll be a great addition this week with five games on the docket. Those three were the big winners. Mike Fisher and Mathieu Perreault were both solid with contributions in four of the six categories, but nothing that stood out necessarily besides their shot totals. John Klingberg took a step back when compared against his previous work since the All Star break, but he is still a hold going forward. David Desharnais would have been the biggest disappointment after his NHL third star of the week performance the week before. Managing only one goal and two shots, he really didn't help at all. Cam Talbot won all three of his starts last week, but only really produced good numbers in one of the games. His 2.67 goals against average and .918 save percentage were serviceable, but the three wins made him a very helpful fantasy contributor last week.

In the snake draft league - This was Made in Kariya - After winning six matchups in a row, it was bound to happen. I lost. And not only did I lose, but I lost to the top team in the league and fell back to third and out of a first round bye. The pressure is on for me to get back to winning and grab that important bye week. I'm only eight and six points back from the teams ahead of me, so it's not unattainable. In the auction draft league - Don't Toews me bro! - It seems that in both leagues, I often wind up with similar results and this week was no different. I lost both leagues by identical 6-2-2 scores. This loss leaves me in second and in a first round bye, but puts ten points behind the leader. Overall, it wasn't a very good week for me as I went 2-4-0 and I'm now 59-32-10 in head to head matchups on the year. My matchup winning percentage is 0.634 for the year among all leagues versus my category (points) winning percentage of 0.571.

Week Eighteen (February 16-22) Preview:

The New York Islanders will grace us with the fabled five game week, the only one in the NHL the season for any team. The Islanders make for great additions this week purely from a man games perspective.

5 Game Week: New York Islanders
4 Game Week: Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington
2 Game Week: Arizona
All other teams at 3 games

Waiver Pickups:

Kevin Hayes - C/RW - NYR (8% owned) and Carl Hagelin - LW - NYR (21%): These two are playing together on the third line and lighting it up of late providing the Rangers with great depth scoring. The fact that they are third line scares me and I'm not sure how much to expect from them. If they cool off, their minutes will likely decrease again quickly, but they're so hot right now that I have to mention them. They're contributing in every fantasy category at the moment.

Contributes in everything but penalty minutes (Hayes) and powerplay points (Hagelin)
Can hurt you in nothing

Nick Bjugstad - C - FLA (32%): I've been considering writing about Bjugstad for a few weeks but have always held off. I find myself in the same place this week, but now I'm realizing that he has to be featured for his consistency over this time. He's a shooter which everyone knows I love (fourth highest in NHL in last two weeks) and if you can deal with the rating drain, he's a very valuable player right now.

Contributes in everything but plus/minus
Can hurt you in plus/minus

Josh Bailey - LW - NYI (7%) and Anders Lee - C/LW - NYI (31%): Lee has been widely added over the last few days since his two goal performance against Toronto was followed up with a four assist performance against Columbus. Bailey hasn't quite been so prolific over this span, but he's been contributing as well. Both are playing on the top line with phenom John Tavares and should be added immediately, especially in light of the Islanders five game week this week.

Contributes in everything but powerplay points (Bailey) or everything (Lee)
Can hurt you in nothing

Mikko Koivu - C - MIN (45%): Koivu won't help you in goals, but he can tally some high assist totals with snipers Zach Parise and Jason Pominville on his wings. Despite the lack of goals, his shot totals aren't terrible and he's not a hindrance in any other category.

Contributes in assists and powerplay points
Can hurt you in goals

Alexandre Burrows - LW/RW - VAN (8%): Burrows was once a top 75 player, but has been off the radar since being taken off of the Sedin line. He came into the year ranked 525, showing just how much twins Daniel and Henrik mean to his value. He has been reunited with them and should be looked at to see if he can rekindle that old magic. When he's on, he is an every category contributor.

Contributes in shots
Can hurt you in plus/minus

Mike Hoffman - C/LW - OTT (18%): Mr. Hoffman is making quite a name for himself this year. A fifth round pick by the Senators in the 2009 draft, he was a highly touted prospect, but he finds himself breaking out this year resulting in an invite to All Star weekend as a young star as well as playing on the Sens top line. The team is scoring right now and he is very much playing a role in that.

Contributes in assists
Can hurt you in plus/minus and penalty minutes

Travis Hamonic - D - NYI (28%): I recommended him last week and he didn't do anything to change my mind about him this week. In fact, he bolstered my argument. I don't like recommending people two weeks in a row, but with his five game week, I needed to reinforce that he needs to be added in all leagues. Added bonus is that he is a very good contributor in penalty minutes as well as points right now.

Contributes in everything but goals
Can hurt you in goals

John Gibson - G - ANH (46%): Gibson is long gone in all of my leagues, as he should be the go to starter on one of the best teams in the league until Frederik Andersen returns from the IR. Everything is setup for him to succeed. He's one of the top goaltender prospects in the league and I've recommended him multiple times this year already. The problem is, is that the Ducks are playing terribly right now. You'd have to think that they can turn it around, but I'm a little hesitant right now about Gibson and the Ducks.

Chad Johnson - G - NYI (3%): Now, Johnson is only a one week recommendation if you're desperate for starts as he should be starting two games this week (with my guess being Tuesday at Carolina and Sunday at home to Vancouver). With the Islanders playing five games in seven days, they're going to have no choice but to play him at least once this week. It wouldn't surprise me to get good starts out of him as well.

Realistically, any Islanders player is likely to help you this week, so take a look at who's out there in your free agent pool this week. Hopefully there is enough here to help you through the week, but if not, here is a preview towards next week.

Week Nineteen (February 23 - March 1) Preview:

4 Game Week: Anaheim, Arizona, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey, St. Louis, 
2 Game Week: Edmonton, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Tampa Bay
All other teams at 3 games

My NHL Schedule:

The NHL Schedule has not been revised for anything since last week but can be found here: 2014-15 NHL Schedule . Don't forget to change the time zone to your appropriate time zone. The one thing I ask of you is that you do not take my schedule and use it for your own personal gains. Please do not sell it, you can direct people here to find it, but do not sell it.

I'm new to the twitterverse, but I'd love to hear your feedback and questions. Follow me on Twitter @HockeyGauntlet for more of my thoughts and all of your fantasy hockey needs.