At various points throughout the 2011-12 season, NHL.com and its panel of fantasy experts will dissect individual matchups with "Fantasy Face-offs." Torn between two players? Look no further than NHL.com/Fantasy for the edge on the most compelling toss-ups as the twists and turns of the regular season impact your fantasy squad.
Here's how it works:
For each "Face-off," fantasy experts Sergei Feldman and Pete Jensen will make their case as to why a particular player deserves consideration in the particular debate. Resident fantasy hockey guru Matt Cubeta will then juggle the two arguments and reach a final verdict for who deserves the edge.
We continue with NHL.com's preseason fantasy rankings at the right wing position, where last year's Hart Trophy recipient, Corey Perry, occupies the top spot. Martin St. Louis, who provided invaluable veteran leadership for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, is ranked second among right wingers.
And, with that, here's NHL.com's take on the matter...
came into his own last season, elevating his goal-scoring output to new heights. He notched a league-best 50 tallies in 2010-11 after scoring 32 in '09-10. Perry -- to his credit -- was also able to maintain his reputation as one of the best all-around fantasy right wingers in the game.
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 50 | ASST: 48 | PTS: 98
SOG: 290 | +/-: 9
His stellar PIMs output (104) was his fourth consecutive season above the century mark in that category, and his career-high 290 shots on goal led to more scoring chances, and thus, more conversions. Perry also put forth 98 points, also a career-best, en route to MVP recognition last season.
Perry, now entering his seventh season in Anaheim, has a Stanley Cup title and a Hart Trophy on his resume, and is poised to continue his strong production in every phase of the game. The 26-year-old turned in a solid plus-9 rating last season and the third-best power play point total at his position (31). The point-scoring trend over the course of his career is an indication that he could join the 100-point, 100 PIM club in 2011-12.
-- Pete Jensen
Martin St. Louis:
What do you get when you mix in five consecutive 82-game seasons with five consecutive 80-plus point seasons? A recipe for success is the correct answer, and specifically the resume for Martin St. Louis
, a six-time 30-goal scorer who, at the age of 36, is showing no signs of slowing down.
Right Wing - TBL
GOALS: 31 | ASST: 68 | PTS: 99
SOG: 254 | +/-: 0
Take for instance his last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning
, in which he's seen increased production. An impressive 80-point 2008-09 was followed up with 94 and 99 point campaigns, respectively. For the now up-and-coming Lightning, St. Louis is guy who makes everything work, and he would be a driving force for fantasy hockey clubs.
While it certainly doesn't hurt that the crafty "Mr. Dependable" plays alongside the likes of Steven Stamkos
and Vincent Lecavalier
, St. Louis is productive enough by himself. Consider his shot totals: no fewer than 200 in every season since 2002-03. Point is, St. Louis makes things happen. That is evidenced, also, by his playmaking ability. St. Louis is coming off a 2010-11 season in which he finished second in the League with 68 assists. The year prior he ended with 65. As the Lightning aim for new heights in the upcoming season, so too does St. Louis. History suggests he will reach them.
-- Sergei Feldman
FINAL VERDICT: COREY PERRY
While St. Louis has increased his points total in each of the last three seasons, Perry has done so in all six seasons since joining the League. The biggest factor in choosing Perry over St. Louis is the well-roundedness for the Ducks right wing. Perry will contribute in every single fantasy category, whereas St. Louis will not help in the penalty minutes category (just 12 total PIMs in each of the last two seasons).
Not only will Perry help you in the PIMs category, but he'll be one of the best. Only Boston's Milan Lucic
recorded more PIMs (121) for any player with at least 25 goals this season, but Perry significantly outperformed Lucic with 20 more goals.
The second biggest factor in choosing Perry is the fact that he's just 26 years old, ten years younger than Marty. And while St. Louis has played in all 82 games 7 out of the last 8 seasons, there's something to be said for having concerns about a guy who is 36 years old.
Both Perry and St. Louis team up with other superstars: Ryan Getzlaf
and Bobby Ryan
in Anaheim, and Steven Stamkos
and Vincent Lecavalier
in Tampa Bay, but Perry is simply a one-of-a-kind fantasy player. You just can't pass him up on draft day. It will be hard not to select Perry with one of the first three overall picks and you should expect to see St. Louis fly off the board shortly after as the second drafted right wing.
-- Matt Cubeta
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