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|Right Wing Tiers|
Martin St. Louis
We gave you our look at the fantasy hockey left wingers, now let’s take a look at the guys who flank the right side of the ice.
Opposed to left wing, the right wingers are less top heavy and a bit more evenly disbursed. However, in an attempt to hype up the best players in the League, we kept our tiers relatively similar with the bonafide stars taking up the top ranks — especially those with success during April, May and June.
Our top tier places Hart Trophy candidate Perry at the very top with Kane, St. Louis, Selanne and Giroux all falling directly below him. All five players either play on the top line, or in Selanne’s case the top powerplay unit, but see exorbitant amounts of playing time coupled with excellent opportunities to score. Just like before, they are ranked by talent, then possibility for their team to make it farther in the show.
After the big five, as they should be coined, we have our superstars who battled inconsistency, injury or playing time throughout the regular season. In other words, these guys carry baggage; enough baggage to make us not want them as much as the fresher, more consistent players above them. Franzen, of course, sits on top of the list due to his past ability to score in bunches. Hossa rounds out the tier due to the Blackhawks’ uphill battle against the Vancouver Canucks. Semin, well Semin, we just don’t like in more physical games.
The third tier lists players on the top line of teams we don’t necessarily feel comfortable backing. Doan, Hornqvist, Stafford and Gaborik will all go up against offenses much more powerful than their own. Even though they may be the main scoring threat on the team, they may find themselves out of the playoffs in a week or two. While Horton does not necessarily fit that category on the third-seed Boston Bruins, we just don’t know what to expect out of him and his zero playoff games experience.
Williams, oddly enough, gets his own tier since he would be up a notch if healthy. Recent news has him getting ready for game one but that remains uncertain. Regardless, he might have gotten his own “we know you will get hurt” category if remotely healthy.
Brown, Purcell and Knuble fill the role of top line player who is not a first liner. None of the three are exceptional offensive talents but they tend to hold enough skill to kick it with the big boys. All three players scored between 40 and 60 points, putting them in the half-a-point to two-thirds-of-a-point (per game) range. Not bad depth in a format that usually does not allow for that.
Our final tier shows bona fide second line players, the kind who might make their way onto the first line but produce incredibly well on the second. Three of the four players — Samuelsson, Vrbata and Pominville — find themselves on the top powerplay unit while Gionta forms a 1A line with Scott Gomez and either Mathieu Darche or Max Pacioretty. Although these names may not be the sexiest to look at, they force you to consider them in such short sample sizes.
We hope you enjoyed our latest as much as we enjoyed writing it. If there are glaring omissions let your voice be heard in the comments. Regardless, make sure to take all of the advice in and continue to check our renowned starting goalies section, which is updated all day until game time and follow us on Twitter @DailyFaceoff