peverley

 

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Had he slipped through waivers, there was a better than even chance that Rich Peverley would find himself to be a career minor leaguer, consistently in the Top 20 in AHL scoring. He would join the likes of Jason Krog, Darren Haydar, Keith Aucoin – the list goes on when speaking of AHL superstars who never really cracked the NHL.

 



Instead, the Nashville Predators failed to sneak him through waivers to their farm team in Milwaukee. The Atlanta Thrashers claimed him.

In the last few days, he could have picked up four points in three games for Milwaukee while centering the likes of Patric Hornqvist and Hugh Jessiman. Instead, he has six points in three games for Atlanta while centering the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk and Bryan Little.

Nice.

The 26-year-old former college star was never drafted. He went from Junior B’s Kitchener Dutchmen to Junior A’s Milton Merchants before joining St. Lawrence University in 2000. That hockey program boasts such notables as … John Zeiler (L.A.). Okay, not all that notable. Which makes his accomplishment all that more impressive.

Peverley’s calling card is his speed and opponents have difficulty keeping up with that. Even worse for them, they have to focus on Kovalchuk so they are stuck in a catch-22. If they focus any effort on keeping up with Peverley, then that’s all the room Kovalchuk needs to get open. Five of Peverley’s six Atlanta points are assists.

That kind of success buys him more opportunity to keep it up. With each game that he posts a point, Peverley is awarded two more on the big line. The odds are better than 50-50 that he’ll continued to produce at a 65-point pace. For him to fail now would require three consecutive pointless games in conjunction with an embarrassing plus/minus.

If that happens, then maybe he will join Haydar, Krog et al. after all.

But for now, Peverley makes a great No.3 center pickup in all roto-league formats for at least two weeks, with decent odds of posting another 25 to 30 points in the final 36 games and finish with 40 to 45 points in all.

For now, his keeper-league value should be kept conservative – like that of a 50-point player with upside. He will need to enter October on Kovalchuk’s line before warranting an upgrade in his fantasy value…

Meanwhile…

Todd White, now on the second line, has two points in the two games that Peverley has posted six points. White has 23 points in his last 19 games and has only missed the scoresheet twice in that span, but the situation bears watching, given the reduction in ice time (Peverley is seeing two more minutes per game)…

Phil Kessel has missed three games so far with mononucleosis, so you would think that Blake Wheeler would fill that void nicely as he moves up the depth chart. However, Wheeler has just one point in those contests – and one of those games he saw the second most ice time of his career. Meanwhile, the other scoring right winger Chuck Kobasew has a point in each of those three contests…

Robert Lang is sure benefitting from centering the two Kostitsyn brothers in Montreal. While Andrei and Sergei light the lamp, Lang has 11 points in his last seven contests…

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