By Adam McGill
Since fantasy hockey is only weeks away from ending their regular season, this is the perfect time to start looking at the potential fantasy MVP’s. The award is not only about the who was best player throughout, but also about who was the best value in drafts this past winter. Below are my top five fantasy hockey MVP candidates:
1. C/RW Evengi Malkin, PIT – The absence of Sidney Crosby has given Malkin full control of the Pens’ offense. Malkin is currently leading the NHL with a staggering 81 points; 38 goals and 43 assists. Malkin has anchored thousands of fantasy teams this year and it is scary that the kid has yet to hit his prime.
2. C Steve Stamkos, TB – “Stevie Stam” leads the NHL with 47 goals and is only point behind Malkin with 80 points on the year. The 22-year old has netted 10 game winning goals already, only adding to the kid’s growing legacy. He continues to be the leader on the ice for Tampa and as he averages well over a point per game for fantasy owners.
3. G Brian Elliot, STL – Elliot is currently leading the league in Goals Against Average (1.63) and is second in the league in Save Percentage (93.7%). He has kept the Blues’ in every game this year and his 20-8-2 record certainly does not do him justice, especially considering the team that is in front of him. Elliot has stopped everything shot at him so far this year and has proven to be one of the best value picks of the entire 2012 season.
4. C Claude Giroux, PHI – The 24-year old has led the Flyers’ youth movement this season. Giroux currently has an outstanding 75 points (23 goals and 52 assists) and still ranks third in points despite missing more than a week with a concussion. Giroux was another guy who was not selected until well after the first several rounds, only helping his overall fantasy value.
5. G Henrik Lundqvist, NYR – Lunqvist has always put up consistent numbers, but his 31-12-5 record is worth taking a second glance at. He has made 48 appearances on the year and his glimmering 1.82 Goals Against Average is second in the league. New York has one of the strongest teams in front of him in recent years, which only helps fantasy owners get more W’s out of the veteran goal-minder.
Just Missed: D Erik Karlsson (OTT), C Henrik Sedin (VAN), and C Jason Spezza (OTT).