We’re about 20 games into the 2011 season and there have been many surprises both good and bad for fantasy owners. The biggest news of late is the return of Sidney Crosby and I’m sure you heard he came back in a big way scoring two goals and adding two assists in a 5-0 route of the Islanders. For all those fantasy owners who held on to Crosby all this time, it looks like your patience will be paying off.
For everyone else there are many questions this season. Where is Corey Perry and when will he start posting the numbers he’s supposed to post? Alex Ovechkin isn’t even in the top 50 in scoring to this point. These are two top 5 fantasy picks who haven’t been able to get things going yet this season.
As a team the Ducks are struggling so that argument can take some heat off of Corey Perry’s slow start but you might also say that Perry’s lack of production has a lot to do with the team’s struggles.
On the other hand, the Capitals are having a decent season so far and Ovechkin still isn’t producing. It’s interesting to see one of the best players in the league unable to put the puck in the net like he’s always been able to. My advice to fantasy owners who have these players is to stay patient, they can’t be held down forever. Sooner or later we’ll see Perry and Ovechkin back on top of the scoring list.
Taking a look at the current top 25 scorers to this point, there are many surprises. Phil Kessel leads the league? How did that happen? Not only that but his teammate Joffrey Lupul is right behind him at number three! Toronto got off to a fast start but has seen some lag in their winning streak with the injury to goaltender James Reimer who could be returning to the lineup soon.
The Florida Panthers have some strong representation in the top 25 also with Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann all in the top 20. That goes to show you how good Florida really is this year. They have a very dangerous offense that can hang with any team in the league right now. If they stay hot, the Southeast Division is in trouble.
Again, we’re only 20 games into the season and some teams are still finding their groove so we’re bound to see many drastic changes in the next 20 games. The Penguins have solidified themselves as a top team with Crosby’s return. Before yesterday they were beatable, now I’m not so sure. With Crosby’s return we’ll see increased production from Malkin and Neal since teams will be forced to deal with the tough job of covering all three of these scorers.
Jagr returned to the league after playing across the pond for a few years and seems to be right back where he left off. He has 17 points in 20 games. That’s a pretty good average for the aging superstar.
There is a lot of hockey remaining and injuries always play a role in a player’s production so nothing is for sure. I’ll say it once again, stick with the guys who are supposed to post 80-100 points each season, they’ll find their groove and start paying off.