sid

 

Sidney Crosby spoke in a press conference Wednesday for the first time since his 'double-concussion' back in early January. So what was said? Well, nothing...and everything. There is no single player in the NHL who has more of a ripple effect on fantasy hockey than Sid the Kid. So let's take a look at the best-case scenario, the worst-case scenario, as well as analyze what was said by Crosby and his doctors.

 

Concussion specialist Dr. Collins stated that he knew "they were in for a long recovery" from the first time he saw Crosby, indicating that the symptoms that were exhibited immediately spoke volumes to him about the type and severity. So he is unsurprised that Crosby is still not 100 percet. The concussion is, however, a "manageable injury", but they are "not going to make any mistakes in this case".

Dr. Collins is "supremely confident" that Sid will make a full recovery. Sid was assessed yesterday and his state "is the best we've seen" and Collins is "very pleased with where he is at now". They just need to get him reconditioned - and as we all expected, the specialist said that there is no timeline for this. When asked about introducing contact, Collins said - "not even close". As for a timeline, Collins refused to say whether October 6 was possible or impossible. Didn't want to go down any road that led to a hint of a timeline. There is no truth to the rumor of him going backstage, taking off his mask and revealing Gary Bettman.

The press conference then turned the attention to Dr. Ted Carrick. He described the evaluation process and got into specifics of what Crosby can do now. He seemed very upbeat and positive about the injury and I get the impression that when it is solved, it will be solved.

 

As for Crosby himself, he did have several interesting things to say.

 

1. Retirement has never crossed his mind.

2. He is very happy with his last three weeks (the term 90% and for some reason 89% was bandied about a lot).

3. When asked if there was a chance that he would never come back, he replied that there is a "very slight one, but I wouldn't bet on it." He is not preparing for that possibility at all.

4. He went over some of the worst symptoms that hit at times, ranging from migraines to having trouble watching the video with the rest of his team back in the spring.

5. The key question he was asked - is it more likely or more unlikely that he will play in the coming season: "Likely." No hesitation.

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins camp begins on September 17. He won't be ready for that, given that he is "not close" to contact and when he does take contact he is likely looking at two to three weeks of it before getting into a game. The season starts on October 6.

 

I don't believe it is reasonable to think that Crosby plays more than 70 games in 2011-12. But I think 70 is possible. We'll call that "best case". In the fantasy guide, I have him down for 65 games. That's just a safer bet. I also don't think he plays zero games, given his answer of "Likely". And he won't bother coming back in March - why do that? So the worst case to me is 30 games. That's a very big gap, and as I said - the ripple effect will be huge. Many players go from " no fantasy value" to "decent fantasy value"...or from "decent fantasy value" to "star fantasy value", and so forth. Here are my projections of the two scenarios (70 games on the left, 30 games on the right). The real result, I'm sure, will be somewhere in between.

 

Player

GP

Pts

Player

GP

Pts

Sidney Crosby

70

111

Evgeni Malkin

78

103

Evgeni Malkin

78

97

Jordan Staal

82

66

James Neal

78

66

James Neal

78

57

Kris Letang

81

66

Kris Letang

81

51

Jordan Staal

82

62

Chris Kunitz

71

50

Chris Kunitz

71

57

Sidney Crosby

30

43

Steve Sullivan

63

45

Tyler Kennedy

71

42

Tyler Kennedy

71

37

Steve Sullivan

63

39

Eric Tangradi

58

30

Dustin Jeffrey

67

33

Paul Martin

76

29

Paul Martin

76

33

Dustin Jeffrey

60

25

Eric Tangradi

66

32

Marc Letestu

65

21

Marc Letestu

70

29

Nick Johnson

30

12

Nick Johnson

38

18

Fleury

40 wins

Fleury

36 wins

 

 

Malkin was at his best when Crosby was sidelined two/three years ago. While Letang, at the 41-game mark last year, was on pace for 72 points. Then Crosby went down and he ended up with 50. Letestu was fairly productive when there were injuries in the lineup - and this goes for all the younger players such as Jeffrey, Johnson and Tangradi. Meanwhile, with the incomplete power play, Martin may see some PP time without Crosby for 52 games. But he won't see any with Crosby out for just 12 games.

 

Kennedy produced very well last season because he saw a lot of time on the power play. This won't happen as much with Malkin back...but it won't happen at all with Crosby back too. As for Sullivan - what a great fit for Crosby's line. If he's not on that line, however, his game really is on the decline.

 

In the DobberHockey Experts League, Ryan Ma drafted Crosby 11th overall. My pick was 13th and I would have taken him for sure. I realized at around Pick 8 or 9 that I would have drafted him then, as well. Any higher...and nope.

 

You draft these players hoping for the one scenario and if it comes to pass, you do well. If the other scenario comes to pass, you start getting down on yourself because your team isn't performing. But in the end - nobody really knows which scenario will shake out. And that's the fun of fantasy hockey. If you could find a computer program that spits out the precise projection, then how boring would this game be?

 

 

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