We think James Neal owes Malkin more than a hug for helping him pick up the coveted Breakout in Goals Scored Award.
Welcome to the third annual FHS Awards Show where we deliver the hardware to those deserving players who helped you to fantasy glory. We polled the FHS writers to get a consensus opinion but we've also included a poll to give you a chance to tell us we're idiots.
Yesterday we gave out the award for the biggest breakdown (skaters).
Today we look at some players that took a big jump forward in the goals department. Goal scoring is one of the toughest things to find in fantasy hockey so if you grabbed one or more of the guys below you probably had a good year.
And the nominees are....
David Clarkson RW Devils
Projected: 82 gms with 17+12=29 with 144 pims & 179 shots.
Actual: 80 gms with 30+16=46 with 138 pims & 228 shots.
The fact that Clarkson scored 30 goals in the NHL has to be surprising... he only passed 30 goals once in the OHL. His previous high was just 17.
Erik Cole RW Canadiens
Projected: 75 gms with 23+21=44 with 57 pims & 172 shots.
Actual: 82 gms with 35+26=61 with 48 pims & 241 shots.
Cole has shown flashes of brilliance in his career but has either been too injury prone or too inconsistent to really pay off for fantasy owners. His 35 goals set a new career benchmark.
Jason Garrison D Panthers
Projected: 73 gms with 6+11=17 with 33 pims & 91 shots.
Actual: 77 gms with 16+17=33 with 32 pims & 168 shots.
The lone d-man on our list definitely deserves his spot. He was third in d-man scoring with 16 grapes after only scoring five last year.
James Neal LW Penguins
Projected: 79 gms with 27+27=54 with 62 pims & 219 shots.
Actual: 80 gms with 40+41=81 with 87 pims & 329 shots.
He picked up his 40th goal in his last game of the season. He only had one goal in 20 games with Pittsburgh last year so some of were worried he couldn't bring the heat. Amazing what a centerman like Malkin can do to the numbers.
Michael Ryder RW Stars
Projected: 82 gms with 23+24=47 with 31 pims & 190 shots.
Actual: 82 gms with 35+27=62 with 46 pims & 211 shots.
You youngsters might not remember this but Ryder used to be a consistent 30-35 goal threat. The last few years he couldn't even get over 20 so seeing him set a new career high this year is very surprising... and pleasing if you were an owner.
Wayne Simmonds RW Flyers
Projected: 82 gms with 15+18=33 with 91 pims & 128 shots.
Actual: 82 gms with 28+21=49 with 114 pims & 197 shots.
Simmonds doubled his goal total from last year (14 to 28). That put him on a lot of fantasy radars.
Radim Vrbata RW Coyotes
Projected: 77 gms with 21+26=47 with 23 pims & 236 shots.
Actual: 77 gms with 35+27=62 with 24 pims & 232 shots.
After one 27 goal, 56 point season it was looking like Vrbata was settling in as a 20 goal, 40 point guy. Instead he surprised (mostly) everybody and picked up a career high in goals and points this past season.
And the 'winner' is....
1st - James Neal (14 points)
T2nd - David Clarkson (5 points)
T2nd - Jason Garrison (5 points)
T4th - Michael Ryder (2 points)
T4th - Erik Cole (2 points)
T6th - Radim Vrbata (1 point)
T6th - Wayne Simmonds (1 point)
(3 points for a 1st place vote, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd)
Agree? Disagree? Have your say in the poll or comments.
Who's your pick for biggest breakout in goals scored?
David Clarkson (10 votes)
Erik Cole (4 votes)
Jason Garrison (3 votes)
James Neal (33 votes)
Michael Ryder (4 votes)
Wayne Simmonds (3 votes)
Radim Vrbata (6 votes)
Other (put in comments) (1 vote)
64 total votes