Commentary

Corey Perry won't drop off

Shot distance makes reigning MVP a good bet to repeat

Originally Published: October 4, 2011
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider
Corey PerryDebora Robinson/NHLI/Getty ImagesCorey Perry's willingness to go to the dirty parts of the ice helps his odds of scoring 50 goals again.

For the past few years, Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry wasn't considered to be in the class of elite goal scorers like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. He was a consistent 25- to 30-goal scorer whose 100 PIMs per year showed he wasn't afraid to be physical, but playing in Anaheim caused him to fly under the radar.

That changed last season.

During a 30-day stretch from March 9 through April 9, Perry scored 19 goals in his last 16 games and propelled the Ducks to the playoffs. He edged Daniel Sedin by 83 votes to win the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's most valuable player, and won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top scorer with 50 goals.

Scoring goals is a blend of skill and luck, which is why most skaters see their goal totals dip after their first 50-goal campaign. Will Perry be the one to buck the trend?

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.