Dustin Byfuglien's transition to the wing has allowed him to amass plenty of hits on the forecheck. He led all skaters with 23 hits in only three matches last week. The behemoth defenseman turned power forward has 146 body checks in 57 games this campaign. Columbus forward Derek MacKenzie and Montreal blueliner Alexei Emelin earned 19 hits apiece in four games for their respective clubs. MacKenzie has compiled 143 collisions in 44 appearances this season, while Emelin leads the Canadiens with 120 hits despite playing in just 34 contests. Marcus Foligno hasn't produced much offense this year, but he has been physical. He added 18 hits to his season total of 141 during four games for the Sabres last week.
The Montreal Canadiens have blocked plenty of rubber this season. The Habs lead the NHL with 1,051 blocked shots, which was 97 more than the second-place Calgary Flames going into this week. So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Montreal defensemen populated the top shot-blocking skaters for the period ending Feb. 2. Andrei Markov led the pack with 14, while Emelin and Josh Gorges were right behind him with 13 each. Doug Murray rounded out the aspiring goalie group with 11 puck stops. Gorges and Markov sit in the top-10 among shot blockers in league at number two and number eight, respectively. Edmonton center Boyd Gordon was first among forwards in shot blocks this past week with a total of eight in three matches. He has been an excellent penalty killer for the Oilers this season and he leads the NHL's forward contingent with 68 blocks in 51 games.
Brandon Dubinsky was superb in all three categories this past week. He won 52 of 92 faceoffs while registering 17 hits and three blocked shots in four games. Dubinsky entered this week's action in a 13th-place tie in the NHL with a 55.2% success rate on draws this season. The 27-year-old forward has been a valuable fantasy player in several categories because he can score and he has an edge to his game. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler is another player who can get the job done in all areas for your fantasy squad. He was outstanding in the circle in three contests last week, where he won 42 puck drops and lost just 20. Kesler leads the Canucks with 958 total faceoffs taken this year and he's won 52.3% of them. He also had seven hits, three blocks, four points, nine shots and 14 penalty minutes. Nashville center Mike Fisher managed to succeed in faceoffs, hits and blocks as well last week. He won 36 of his 57 faceoffs to go with six hits and two credited blocks over three matches. He also added two goals during that span. Fisher was especially dominant in Saturday's game versus St. Louis when he won 16 of 20 faceoffs. Anze Kopitar is one of the most complete centers in the league and he excelled again on the draw last week. He won 34 faceoffs and lost 18 in four outings. He posted a winning percentage over 55% in each of those games and he topped 71% in Saturday's loss to Philadelphia. He also racked up 10 hits to give him 64 in 57 contests this season.