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Right of Way: Perry returning to last season's form

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Right of Way: Perry returning to last season's form
Fantasy owners who have stuck with Corey Perry through the struggles this season by both him and the Ducks are now being rewarded, as he's contributing in virtually every relevant category.
Every Friday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy right wings in our weekly segment: "Right of Way." From updated right wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy right wing expert all season long.

Slowly but surely, Corey Perry is starting to show that last season's 50-goal outbreak was no fluke. If anyone has watched the way he's been playing lately, they'd quickly realize how talented and how worthy he is to be mentioned among the game's most valuable players.

Forget about the fact he had 3 goals in the month of December and he's "only" on pace for 65 points this season. What matters is what he does right now, and right now, Perry is performing like he did last season. This is the most critical time for fantasy owners, and Perry is delivering for them in nearly every category.

It's been a bit of a roller coaster season for the Ducks forward with the end of November being his most consistent period of play -- Perry notched points in seven straight games (despite the Ducks losing all of those games) and had 10 points during that span. Throughout most of the rest of the season Perry has put up a goal here and there and often times found himself left off the score sheet.

However, since Feb. 8, Perry has really started to heat up and his versatility is on full display. During his last five games Perry has scored in four of them (including a hat trick against Columbus), has been a plus-3, has 12 penalty minutes (recording at least one minor penalty in each of the last four games), has 2 power-play goals and has an astonishing 5.8 shots on goal per game (11 in the game he had a hat trick). The only category he hasn't chipped in during this hot streak is with assists, but we're certain his fantasy owners aren't complaining.

TOP 40 FANTASY RIGHT WINGS

These modified re-rankings are based on expectations of the season going forward (including injuries). The plus or minus for each player is movement based on our most recent rankings. (NR means not ranked in previous rankings). Note: Positions are dictated by how they're labeled in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues.
*dual position eligibility in Yahoo! Leagues

Players that dropped out of previous rankings: Justin Williams

Players on IR: Martin Havlat
With his recent play, Perry is now tied for fifth in the NHL with 28 goals, putting him on pace for exactly 40 goals. His plus/minus has improved significantly since the early parts of the season, as it's now down to just a minus-5. His penalty minutes are still a boon to fantasy owners with 79, a pace that would see him easily eclipse the 100-PIM mark for a fifth consecutive season. Perry is also on pace for exactly 300 shots on goal, which would be a new career-high.

While Perry has 46 points in 57 games for the Ducks, if he continue to dominate the way he has lately, a 75-point season certainly seems attainable. He's currently rated 10th overall in Yahoo! Leagues and we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he finishes the season third among all players -- the exact spot at which our NHL.com fantasy experts rated him coming into the season.

TRENDING UPWARD

Jarome Iginla -- Things are starting to look very familiar to last season for Iginla. In early February of last season, the Flames captain went on a six-game point-scoring streak with 9 points. So far in this February, Iginla has 8 points over his last seven games. If this is a trend, expect to see Iginla go crazy for the remainder of this season. In March of last season he had 19 points in 14 games and then closed out April with 9 points in just four contests. He now has 23 goals and 47 points in 58 games, and with a big finish could still reach around 75 points.

Jason Pominville -- Many Pominville owners probably expected his production to slow down at some point this season, but it hasn't happened. If anything, his play has picked up recently with goals in three straight games and points in six straight (5 G, 2 A). He has been playing on a line with Derek Roy and Ville Leino, and the group seems to be clicking -- Pominville's season has been a great success to this point, but both Roy and Leino have struggled mightily. With 54 points in 57 contests, Pominville continues to be a must-start down the stretch.

T.J. Oshie -- The return of David Perron has definitely helped Oshie and David Backes' fantasy value. The three players formulate St. Louis' top line and Oshie's numbers have really skyrocketed lately. He has 7 points in his last six games (1 G, 6 A) with five of those points coming on the man advantage -- plus he's also contributed 6 penalty minutes during that span. Oshie is the playmaker of the unit and now has 15 goals and 24 assists in 55 games to go with solid, well-rounded peripheral stats (plus-15, 40 PIMs, 13 PPP and 134 SOG).

TRENDING DOWNWARD

Despite several players moving down in the rankings (mostly as a result of other players outperforming them despite good results from themselves), there is not one of these 40 right wing-eligible players that deserves to be among the trending downward list.

Flyers forwards Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr are both day-to-day and are slumping a bit recently, but clearly, the right wing position continues to sport the best fantasy players. Even Justin Williams, who was ousted from the rankings, has been playing good hockey -- he has 5 points in eight February games, but was red hot with an eight-game point-scoring streak prior to that. Still, Wayne Simmonds, who bumped out Williams, has been even hotter and deserved to crack the ranks this week.

Milan Michalek, a 25-goal-scorer, is ranked 36th, but there are just so many good players ahead that because Michalek isn't the most diverse fantasy player, he has to remain towards the bottom. David Clarkson has been a big surprise this season with 21 goals and 88 penalty minutes, but he barely cracks the top-40 list. The amount of value goes on and on, but the list has to stop somewhere.

If you're loaded with any of these talented right wings, you'd be smart to try and trade one of them for either a center or left wing (definitely not as deep as the right wing position) before your league's trade deadline.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Steve Downie -- Downie probably won't ever crack the top-40 because of all the depth, but he is definitely a valuable fantasy player. There aren't too many players that have 20-goal potential and 200-penalty minute potential, so Downie is certainly worthy of a roster spot, especially in deep leagues. He's owned in 43 percent of Yahoo! Leagues and has been hot lately with 4 goals and 1 assist in his last four games (surprisingly he hasn't had any penalty minutes during that time).

NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings
New teams alter outlook for these 10
Spin: Hartnell can hit 'refresh' with CBJ
Elliott-Allen duo | Halak's value with Isles 
Biggest steals based on draft position
2013-14 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Awards

OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS