Should we temper our expectations, or are these four players for real?
It is one of the most difficult challenges we face in fantasy hockey, the evaluation of players who have put together career years and whether or not they can sustain their peak production. Do we shop these guys in a classic sell high situation or do we hold them in anticipation of continued success. Will Tyler Seguin continue his point per game ways and establish himself as a superstar, or was this past season his peak? Many of us would suggest this season was a taste of what we should expect from Seguin year after year. Is 65 points and fantastic peripherals the norm for Gabriel Landeskog or should we expect a bit of a decline next year? Colorado's captain will consistently post fantastic peripherals but his point total could go either way next year depending on how Patrick Roy utilizes him next season and whether or not Paul Stastny sticks around.
Last week we looked at five players out West who should bounce back after putting together a dreadful 2013-2014. This week we are going to temper some expectations and take a deeper look at four players from the Western Conference who should experience a dip in production next season.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
It is safe to assume that 47 points in 64 games (a 60 point pace) is not the norm for Giordano. Prior to this season, Giordano's career year was 43 points in 82 games in 2010-2011. A season that also saw him fire 165 shots on goal which was a career high before this season's 180 shots in 18 fewer games. Giordano's consideration for Canada's Olympic team was well deserved and his plus-12 this season was very impressive when looking at Calgary's place in the standings. Giordano was heavily relied up on this season, playing 25:14 per game, which was two minutes more than his career high TOI. This was in part due to Dennis Wideman being injured at various times during the season but Giordano's increased time on ice was earned and deserved considering how he played this season. Giordano deserves more respect than poolies gave him last summer and will be taken higher in drafts next year, but before reaching too high for Giordano keep in mind that in his seven years in the NHL, he has only played a full season twice. In his five other seasons he has never played more than 65 games. His inability to play a full season is one reason to temper expectations, the fact that he plays for the Flames is another obvious reason to be cautious, and finally his career point per game pace is .44 so we should expect Giordano to find his way back to the 35 to 40 point bracket in 2014-2015.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
In 2009-2010 Keith had an amazing season putting up 69 points in 82 games on his way to the Norris Trophy while also winning a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold meda