Well, as expected, Corey Perry got off pretty lightly for an ugly hit on Jason Zucker, drawing a four-game suspension from the NHL.
As far as suspensions go, I argued that this is one of the deals that hurts fantasy owners more disproportionately than usual. Think of it this way: the Anaheim Ducks are comfortably in first place in the Pacific Division with a chance to take the West overall, so missing a star like Perry hurts less than usual. While Perry gets docked the $115K from four game checks, he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he’ll likely stop missing that lost money by the time he gets the first check from his next deal. (Really, he might not even care THAT much about the money now, depending on how wisely he’s saving.)
Meanwhile, on fantasy owners’ end, they lose Perry for 1/12 of the shortened season. Considering the fact that he took until mid-February to really get in gear, it’s been a very disappointing season in that area. You don’t get to put him on the IR for those games, so you lose a guy who’s probably no worse than a second-round pick until March 22nd’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Every now and then, the aligning yourself with "evil" players plan can backfire.
P.K. - WORTH THE WAIT
I consider myself a pretty strong proponent of P.K. Subban’s merits in both fantasy and reality, yet I can’t say that I expected him to be such a slam dunk. Particularly since his RFA situation ended up dragging on longer than some (but not all) expected.
Even if you dock him for missing those games, his production has been outstanding: seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points, solid +5, 12 PIM, 16 power-play points (second overall in the NHL to his teammate, Andrei Markov) and exactly 3 SOG a game (63 in 21).
Unless you own him in a league, it’s likely that Subban’s brilliance might have slipped under your radar. It’s reasonable for two reasons: 1) he slid seamlessly into Montreal’s impressive start, obscuring his individual successes and 2) many dislike him, so they won’t give him credit unless forced to.
It’s great to see Subban succeed, even if he isn’t going to get paid appropriately compared to his significant value. Don’t worry, though; the Habs will have to pony up after 2013-14.
HEDBERG HEADS IN RIGHT DIRECTION
Things were looking pretty desperate for New Jersey Devils backup-turned-interim-starter Johan Hedberg. He went 0-6-1 from mid-February to early March, with numbers that were often outright disturbing. Yet last night’s 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers marked his second victory in a row (both with two goals allowed) and third victory in four tries.
The aging No. 2 isn’t likely to set the world on fire, but goalie-desperate people were hoping he’d snap out of it. With Martin Brodeur’s status still a bit of a mystery, it looks like Hedberg is worth at least a short-term look for the goalie needy now that he isn’t leaking goals.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
Sergei Gonchar is quietly carving some solid fantasy value out for himself in Ottawa, with a five-game point streak that totals six assists … Chris Kelly’s sidelined indefinitely with a broken tibia … Just to reiterate, it looks like Kris Versteeg is day-to-day with that right knee injury … So far, Jason Zucker is out indefinitely because of that Perry hit … As expected, T.J. Oshie’s upper-body issue leaves him day-to-day so far … Tom Pyatt is day-to-day with an upper-body problem … As a chance of pace, Jim Slater’s upper-body issue leaves him week-to-week, not day-to-day.