January 22, 2019
Player Ratings - Right Wings
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
1. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames: Fresh off his second 50-goal season, Iginla could have a swell new set-up man in Michael Cammalleri. Could he hit 60? Well, no, but thanks for asking.
2. Marian Hossa, Detroit Red Wings: (Sunshine) Hossa.
3. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators: There's talk the Sens will break up the top line once and for all, but it won't do much to hamper Alfredsson's production. He's as complete a player as there is in the NHL, assuming, of course, you count douchery as a skill set.
4. Marian Gaborik, Minnesota Wild: My pick for the fastest skater in the NHL not named Kid Crosby, Gaborik is more entertaining than a monkey on a high wire. At least until the playoffs roll around. The 42 regular-season goals were swell, but all anyone remembers is his complete ineffectiveness against Colorado. And it's odd, because he's had postseason success before, bagging 12 goals in his first 23 playoff games.
Gabby still needs a contract. If he doesn't get it soon, he could be moved, and maybe we'll all get a chance to find out once and for all if he's faster than Crosby. Aw, that would be glorious.
5. Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning: It was a brutal year all around in Tampa, but St. Louis still managed 83 points in 82 games. Not too shabby. And with Steve Stamkos on board and Mullet behind the bench, the Bolts could be primed for a big season.
6. Alexei Kovalev, Montreal Canadiens: Just when his career seemed solid gone, Kovalev rallied, reminding everyone why he's so wicked cool. Kovy's 35 goals and 84 points last season were nothing short of miraculous. I find it hard to believe he'll be able to come anywhere close to that this season, but I'm still ranking him sixth out of respect. Plus, we're hoping to get him on the fake radio show someday.
7. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks: When the Hawks drafted Kane, I thought they were nuts. He looked wee tiny. I figured it would be at least two years before he saw the light of day in the NHL. I was misinformed.
The little tyke came through in a big way, revitalizing Windy City hockey with his speed and creativity. It was a well deserved Calder.
By the way, I completely forgot about Kane's buddy Jonathan Toews when writing up the centers. While he isn't top 10 material yet, Toews should have at least been mentioned in the Movin' On Up section.
8. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes: Doan returned to form last season, playing his usual gritty, gutty game while ringing up 28 goals and a career-high 78 points. Olli Jokinen's arrival should mean more good times ahead.
9. Jason Pominville, Buffalo Donald Trumps: Who canceled? Yeah, Pominville doesn't get much hype, but he's putting together a nifty little career, notching 61 goals and 148 points the past two seasons. The Donald must be proud. Hey, maybe Pominville will get to bang Ivanka. That'll be somethin', huh?
10. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks: Perry appeared on his way to a monster season until he hit the wall in February, finishing with just two goals in his final 16 games. A freak injury cost him the last 12 contests, and he ended with 29 goals and 54 points. Solid numbers to be sure, but a far cry from what could have been. Expect the agitating power forward to be on a mission this season.
Brad Boyes, St. Louis Blues: Boyes had one of the most bizarre seasons in recent memory. After gaining a reputation in Boston as a slick playmaker, Boyes completely reinvented himself, exploding for 43 goals in his first full year with the Blue Note.
Prior to 2007-08, Boyes had 43 goals in his entire 164-game NHL career, averaging 0.26 goals per contest. Last season, he averaged 0.52 red lights per game. He was tied for fifth in the league in goals and ranked behind only Iginla amongst right wings.
So why didn't Boyes make the top 10? Because I'm still not convinced last season happened. I mean, I drink a lot. I could be hallucinating the whole thing. I need to see him do it again.
And while Boyes' goal-per-game average skyrocketed, his assists-per-game fell through the floor. Again, prior to 2007-08, Boyes averaged 0.44 assists per contest. Last year, he had a mere 22 assists in 82 games for a 0.27 mark.
Pass the gin.
Martin Havlat, Chicago Blackhawks: If healthy, Havlat is... aw, who am I kidding? He's a walking glass menagerie.
Nathan Horton, Florida Panthers: Life without Jokinen is gonna suck.