Fantasy Hockey 201: Crashing The Party

Two things that we definitely learned in the fantasy world in the last month is the following:

1. Look to the West Coast

2. See what the West Coast players are up to……

Many of us are accused on the East Coast of having a certain “bias” if you will. One of the most fortunate experiences in my life was being able to live on the West Coast for almost four years. It lends a certain perspective to discussions and fantasy debates to some that may never ever see it coming.

Do not look now but Corey Perry crashed on to the Hart Trophy discussion with a 13 goal binge in the last nine games.

Perry Currently leads all NHL players with 44 goals and yet still does not quite get the respect he deserves? Why? Some will say it his linemates (Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan). Some will say that Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu make for a whale of a second line duo. Now that is hard to deny but how about the simple fact that Perry has continually grown over the last several seasons?

Corey Perry’s March Madness has been impressive but more clutch may be the fact that he has scored 20 of his 44 goals in either the third period or overtime. It is a fact not lost on many fantasy experts. Though his high penalty minute total may be considered a bit of a negative, it is not in reality. Perry plays with an edge and if that means more penalty minutes than so be it.

Also in this nine-game stretch, four goals have gone for game winners. Last I checked, that is pretty clutch. After all, in crunch time is when your best players are supposed to show their highest value.┬áThat is just what Corey Perry is doing…

Anaheim still has seven games left and players like this often go on 10-15 game runs unlike a Sidney Crosby who went on a 25-30 game run earlier in the season that rivaled the greats like Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. Where does Perry fit in all of this? His current run is thirteen goals and four assists in his last nine contests which is 1.89 points per game. Crosby was averaging two points a game over a 25 game stretch. If Perry can keep it going, then look out National Hockey League, he may just crash the Hart Trophy part that had Daniel Sedin or Steven Stamkos’ fingerprints all over it.

For fantasy purposes, it is more likely that Corey Perry will win our Wayne Gretzky Award for most valuable fantasy hockey player but who knows. If he keeps up the production, he may just “crash” his way into a Hart Trophy as well.

Sadly the same cannot be said for Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. Kopitar was nearing a point a game pace and had averaged 1.2 points per game since the All Star Break when injury struck on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Kopitar broke his ankle and will be out a minimum 6-8 weeks. He was another potential MVP candidate and also up for consideration for our Wayne Gretzky award.

Kopitar finishes the season with 73 points in 75 games but know full well that he and Dustin Penner meshed particularly well with Wayne Simmonds. Now that was one beefy line that reminded this writer of the old “Crash Line” in New Jersey with just more talent and skill.

Talk to any writer and player and they will note the “true maturation” of players like Kopitar and Perry. However will they get the respect they deserve? That answer is probably not but from a fantasy perspective, they have more than served notice.

Our question to the readers this week is this. Is there as much of a fantasy left coast bias as a hockey left coast bias? I can tell you personally one may be surprised as to some of the answer. Let the debate begin…


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