ESPN presents the best player in the world of the week, celebrating the player that has the best stats, impact or storyline to earn the honor. To nominate someone, please email us here by midnight on Monday each week. Photos and context are encouraged!
We’re not sure if there’s a name for player getting multiple points in four straight games, so we’re just call it the Monahan for now. The Flames center had eight points in that four-game span, helping Calgary to a perfect week. That included their first win in Toronto since January 2011. Alas, it appears that “Boring Sean Monahan” has not chimed in on this news, as this was his last tweet:
I asked Mike Smith if he wants to sit out and rest for a game and he said No I don’t want to. I said why not? He said because I don’t want to. I said fair enough, Mike.
– Boring Sean Monahan (@boringmonahan) October 11, 2018
Hey, remember Nigel Dawes? Well, he’s been in the KHL since 2011 and has done quite well for himself there. He had himself a week, too: eight points in three games, including a four-point night against Sibir. He leads the KHL with 33 points in 26 games. As he told Sportsnet in 2016, he’s closed the book on the NHL: “I had made peace with it,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it definitely helped me not having one foot in, one foot out.”
Joachim Blichfeld, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
A San Jose Sharks draft pick in 2016, Blichfeld had nine points in three victories for the Winterhawks. That included four goals and a five-point game, the second of his WHL career. He has 35 points in 17 games this season, which is a lot, by our count.
Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Hancock had nine points in three games for the Attack, including four goals, to bring his career total to 214 points in 214 games. Also, he wore an Adam and Eve couples costume for Halloween, which is a shockingly underrepresented concept in the genre. Kudos, sir.
Jacob Bernard-Docker, North Dakota (NCAA)
Timing is everything in the POTWOTW rankings. Witness UND freshman defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker, whose overtime goal against Wisconsin gave the Fighting Hawks the win on Saturday night. He also scored a goal on Friday night to help complete the sweep. Said Oliver Francies, who sent this our way: “He did not score the most goals for a defender at any level, but his goals were superb and both timely, and his defensive play this year has been exceptional. Ottawa fans need to watch UND Hockey to see him and Jonny Tychonick play this year, they both are getting better every game, it is fun to watch them play and the future is quite bright for Sens’ fans.”
Well, anything that can brighten up the day for an Ottawa Senators fan, we’re all for it.
T.T. Cianfarano, Clarkson (NCAA)
The senior led a ECAC opening weekend sweep over Union and RPI, getting the game-winning goal in both contests as part of a seven-point weekend (3 goals, 4 assists). She was the ECAC player of the year as sophomore but missed the entirety of her junior year due to injury. She transferred to Clarkson from Quinnipiac.
Jason Williams, Protec Ducks (New Jersey Youth Hockey League)
Williams, 16, is a goaltender for an 18UA division team in New Jersey. In the first period of the Ducks’ game on Nov. 3, their opponents, the Jaguars, pulled their goalie for a delayed penalty advantage. They shot the puck at Williams, he made the save, and somehow it glided all the way back down the ice into the Jags’ net. So not just a goalie goal … a goalie goal scored at 15:40 of the first period.
This is like “seeing a unicorn riding on Haley’s Comet” rare. He also made 18 saves in a 4-2 win, and has a .900 save percentage with a 1.77 goals-against average for the season. Thanks to reader C for the tip.
And the best player in the world of the week is …
Zac Dalpe, Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
Dalpe’s one of those players for whom you wish there was a Triple-AHL or something: a level that fits between the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. Because the 29-year-old might not quite be NHL material, with 24 points in 140 career games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets; but he’s also maybe a little too good for the AHL, with 60 points in his last 67 games with Cleveland.
He’s like a between-pants-sizes player.
Dalpe was the player of the week in the “A” thanks to five goals and three assists in just two games. He scored his fist AHL hat trick since March 2010 on Friday night against the Marlies for a four-point night. He then had two goals and two assists against Grand Rapids. This is the second time in his AHL career he’s had back-to-back four-point games. He’s now leading the AHL with 19 points and has 12 goals in 12 games.
For continuing his offensive dominance in the AHL, and increasing the chances he’ll earn another opportunity to have John Tortorella scowl at him in the NHL, Zac Dalpe is the Best Player In The World Of The Week.