Sidney Crosby returns to action Monday night against the Islanders after a ten month layoff.
Analysis: The window to sell high in Sidney Crosby’s case may be rather short. We do not know how his body will react nor do we know if any opposing teams will head hunt the overrated center. What we do know is that with all the hype surrounding Crosby at the moment, the intelligent play here is to sell him. Yes, when he suits up he is a top five fantasy player but how often will he suit up this year? The Pens have sixty-two games remaining on their schedule and if Crosby cannot play in at least fifty games then his top five to ten value will go out the window.
It is unpredictable how Crosby will acclimate back into a rigorous NHL schedule and with the nature of concussions I do not expect Crosby to play in more than forty games. Now is the time to capitalize on the hype of his return and land an elite, reliable player. After all, Crosby is only scheduled for twelve minutes of ice time Monday night and with four games this week it is likely that he will miss a game or two.
Sidney Crosby should not find himself anywhere near your fantasy roster this year. Considering it’s only “likely” that he’ll return this year and that the goal of his doctors is a Christmas return- it’s just not worth owning a guy that will have a bull’s eye on his head for the entire season. On the other hand you have Evgeni Malkin who has played the best hockey of his career with Crosby out of the Pittsburgh lineup. Geno is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, so there are some question marks, but he if looks good in the preseason he is a top five fantasy pick.
It was only two to three years ago that Malkin lead the lead in points in the regular season and in the playoffs. He also won the Conn Smythe(playoffs MVP) while Crosby went without a point in games five, six and seven against the Wings. If Geno looks healthy in the preseason expect a top five fantasy performance from the Russian with the potential for much more. Crosby now has a built in excuse for his lack of heart. We already know about his disappearing act against the Wings but take the Vancouver Olympics for example- although he scored the gold medal winning goal with a shot he never saw… he was not the best player on Team Canada, not even top three. Jonathan Toews was by far the best forward for team Canada as he led the squad with eight points and a plus nine rating. I’m sure Crosby will play a few games and take a few off this year. Even if he doesn’t get targeted with some head shots he’s still not worth what his ADP will be.