There has been a deafening thud that can be heard throughout the fantasy hockey world as Sidney Crosby has been injured for the last eight weeks after suffering multiple concussions from the likes of David Steckel and Victor Hedman.
First off I want to thank Nick Cotsonika for the excellent piece on Crosby this morning because it provides an excellent blueprint for how the Fantasy Hockey GM should tread going forward, sort of.
Here are some of the amazing numbers that we want to throw out there first and foremost.
- Crosby is still seventh in scoring with 66 points
- He is fourth in goals with 32.
- He has missed the last 24 games with the concussions.
- Alexander Ovechkin is still one point behind him and he has been healthy.
That is the key in the last statement. CONCUSSIONS. No one can say this with any more emphasis.
The blame falls in so many places and includes so many that it is not worth it to throw them under the bus on this type of forum. What we do know is that no Sidney Crosby has hurt fantasy owners for nearly two months now and expected to for the final five and a half weeks of the regular season.
Cold reality dictates this fact that not many in the fandom that is the Pittsburgh Penguins or fantasy hockey wants to necessarily face. Even if Crosby were to come back at some point before the season ends, how effective would he honestly be? He averaged nearly 1.6 points per game over the first half of the season. That put him on pace for about 132 points. Say he took a few games off for routine maintenance or minor injury, he still would be on pace for around 125 points. The NHL and fantasy world has not seen stuff like that since the early 1990′s. That is almost twenty years ago back when Mario Lemieux was dominant.
The hurt is profound and is like an open wound that keeps growing. Just imagine all the points lose by fantasy owners that were banking on Crosby’s production. Crosby would likely have another 35-40 points or so at this point of the year and probably would be closer to 50 goals than Steven Stamkos. Anyone who knows can acknowledge that Crosby was on pace for one of those special seasons with or without the likes of Evgeni Malkin. Really, it was that obvious.
One has to wonder just what could have been.
The pain goes beyond X’s and O’s for fantasy hockey fans. It hits the experts too. How many drafted Crosby 1st overall and have had to try and figure out a new fix for each week to survive. Because in most leagues, one cannot just replace a Crosby they sort of have to coexist with less. The production is clearly not the same. Maybe Michael Grabner could have provided a brief spark perhaps with his February but there really was little else on the waiver wire that could have produced anywhere near that torrid 1.6 points per game pace and for a while from about Thanksgiving to New Years, that pace was closer to a full two points per game.
Needless to say this is a story to be continued and next week we will have a double column including one on who to take in life after Sidney Crosby. Until then, good luck with your fantasy hockey leagues.