The Jets did it again, with another overtime thriller. They're not dominating the weaker teams, but they're winning nonetheless, and are still tied for the best record in the NFL. The Rangers went 2-1, including a romp over Edmonton yesterday. The Devils were 1-0-1, while the Islanders continued their losing streak, with an 0-2-1 week. The Nets only won one out of three, but it was better than the Knicks, who went 0-4. And as far as I'm concerned Sunday never even happened for the Giants. Game? What game? And now on to the Player of the Week.
Mark Sanchez: The Jets' quarterback overcame a leg injury and gutted his way to a win, the second consecutive overtime victory for Gang Green. He Eli Manning'd his way out of a few sure-looking sacks, and finally struck for the game-winner when he connected with Santonio Holmes. Sanchez went 27 of 44, throwing for 299 yards, with two touchdown passes, and he ran for a TD himself. And his lone interception was really a glorified punt. He may not put up the best stats, but he's coming through in the clutch at the end of games. Give credit to Jerricho Cotchery for that impressive catch on third down when he had already injured himself running his pass pattern. Holmes made a couple of nifty moves on the winning touchdown catch-and-run. And Drew Coleman also made a key play when he forced a fumble with Cleveland already in field-goal position in OT. The happiest person on the planet when Holmes darted into the end zone? Nick Folk -- not necessarily because he had already missed three field goals, but because he didn't have to attempt another one.
Runners-Up & Other Notables
Marian Gaborik: The Rangers' returning right winger spearheaded an explosion at the Garden yesterday, when the Blueshirts decimated Edmonton, 8-2. The contest was more like a 1980s Oilers game, with one puck after another finding the back of the net. In his second game back after separating his shoulder, Gaborik produced a hat trick, two of the goals on breakaways, and also added an assist. His line mates joined in on the fun, with Alex Frolov netting two and assisting on another, while Erik Christensen had three assists. Artem Anisimov scored three goals this week, including the OT game-winner on Thursday. Brian Boyle scored three as well this week, giving him eight for the year, which is probably more than he's scored in his whole life combined. And Derek Boogaard tallied his first goal in almost five years and dropped the gloves twice yesterday.
Devin Harris: The Nets won one out of three last week, and almost topped Orlando, but almost doesn't quite count. Harris scored 31 points, with nine assists, in the win over Cleveland on Wednesday. He's attacking the basket like the Harris of two years ago. Kris Humphries played a huge roll in the victory, also, with 13 points and a whopping 18 rebounds, picking up the slack for the ineffective Brook Lopez. But Lopez had his best game in ages on Saturday, with 23 points, outplaying Dwight Howard. Harris had a 26-point, eight-assist, six-rebound performance in their oh-so-close game against the Magic. And Travis Outlaw had a couple of good games, scoring 27 points on Tuesday and 20 on Saturday.
Raymond Felton: The Knicks went 0-4 for the week, as the losing culture continues. Take your pick for the standout of the week. Felton had 10 points and eight assists on Tuesday, followed by 20/6, 22/8 and 15/5 games the rest of the week. Amar'e Stoudemire's starting to rack up the points - 19, 33, 14, 25 - but the team keeps losing. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari had a few good games, too.
Ilya Kovalchuk: What do you know - the $100-million man finally came through. He netted the game-winner in overtime on Friday, giving the Devils their first win at home this season, and just maybe that makes up for his inept, comical shootout attempt in the previous game. He can finally breath a sigh of relief -- well, until the next game that is, and then for 15 more years. Mattias Tedenby notched his first NHL goal on Friday, and the 20-year-old Swede made it count, too, coming up with the tying score in the third period. And recidivist Devil Jason Arnott scored two goals and added an assist this week in the two New Jersey games.
Dwayne Roloson: The Islanders can't find their way back to those gritty, successful early days of the season, when they were willing themselves to victory. They've lost so much the past month that they've fallen behind the Devils into last place. They picked up one point this week (and month) with an overtime loss in San Jose. Roloson made 37 saves in that game, only allowing two goals. The previous night in Anaheim, he only allowed one to slip by him, but his teammates couldn't score at all. Sure, on Saturday the Kings scored five goals against him, but what did it matter? The offense could only muster up one goal once again.
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