We had a little bit of everything today.
Some great goaltending, plenty of goals, and even said goodbye to another Stanley Cup hopefully.
Better luck next year Anaheim.
Here’s how today went:
We had a little bit of everything today.
Some great goaltending, plenty of goals, and even said goodbye to another Stanley Cup hopefully.
Better luck next year Anaheim.
Here’s how today went:
The offence wasn’t about to slow down on day six of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Leafs stayed alive to breathe some life back into their playoff hopes; the Devils did the same scoring three unanswered goals, Colorado got some revenge on Nashville lighting them up for five goals, and the Sharks dominated the Ducks for a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Heres what happened:
Written by: Liam Horrobin & Ian Sheppard
Apparently, defence doesn’t exist in day four of the Stanley Cup playoffs with 27 goals being scored in the first three games and five in the final game of the night.
Tampa continued to buzz against the Devils, and Nashville nudged out the Avs while the Bruins dismantled the Leafs, and the Sharks outlasted and outmuscled the Ducks.
Here’s how they went:
Previously I looked at the Eastern Conference and previewed the playoff picture. Now it’s time to look at the other side and preview what to expect from the Western Conference. The West is set up with talented teams mixed with veteran groups that have been to the dance before. There are only two teams that I see as favourites to make it all the way, but there’s always a chance for an upset, especially when there are more experienced teams. Here’s a preview of the Western Conference playoffs.
It’s weird how things have gone for the Ottawa Senators. Less than ten months ago this organization almost made the Stanley Cup Finals, a little over three months ago they made a deal for Matt Duchene to try improve the team and then… well… %#!& hit the fan.
It’s gotten to the point where they’re set on dealing arguably the best player their organization has ever seen, and one of the best players in the league. Pure insanity.
You could go read a magazine or go to major websites for season previews… but then it’s the same thing that tens of thousands of people read. So here is the start of my unique division by division season previews, which get you set for upcoming NHL season. If you want to check out my Central Preview, you can find it HERE.
Add: R.Miller – F.Beauchemin
Lost: S.Theodore (t) – J.Bernier (fa) – N.Thompson (fa) – C. Stoner (e) – R. Garbutt (fa)
They won the division last year despite a slumping offense, which came 18th in goals for. In a year where they struggled to score, their goaltending and defense stepped up in a big way. Their team GAA was 3rd and their core is still intact. Gibson will be back between the pipes while Lindholm, Fowler, Vatanen, and Manson will all be back on the blueline.
If there’s one concern with this team heading into the year it’s that the offense that finished 18th didn’t get better. While I do consider it a win that they didn’t lose any key pieces, especially considering the expansion draft, I would have liked to see them add an extra piece. They’ll need to rely on some bounce-back performances if they want to retain their Pacific Division crown.
I’m banking on that to happen. I think with the number of weapons they have, two years of below average offensive production isn’t going to happen. Expect another year of first in the Pac-8 for the Ducks.
Add: R.Strome – J.Jokinen – T.Rattie
Lost: J.Eberle (t) – B.Pouliot (bo) – D. Desharnais (fa) – G. Reinhart (e) – T. Pitlick (fa)
A quiet offseason in Oil Country, but most of the moves they made I consider a wash. Eberle simply couldn’t come back for another year with this team and while Strome lacks the same goal-scoring ability that Eberle had, he has some upside.
Offensively this team will be fine, they came 8th last year in GF/60 and there is really no reason to expect that number to drop. In fact, with McDavid and Draisaitl a year older and players like Lucic and Nugent-Hopkins looking for bounce-back years, they could score more than the 2.96 goals per game they had last year.
There are a few concerns for me when it comes to this team and it’s why I don’t have them passing the Ducks.
How will their defense hold up with Andrej Sekera out until at least the new year? It’s unclear how Matt Benning and Darnell Nurse will handle a heavier workload.
Also, this team stayed very healthy last year. Can they repeat that string of good health? Injuries are bound to hit every team at some point, does this team have the depth to overcome a significant injury? That still remains unclear.
Lastly, can Cam Talbot make it through another year starting close to 70 games? I’m not saying last year was a fluke by any means, but Talbot would have been a Vezina finalist last year, does he have that in him again?
Question marks aplenty, but I believe the young talent of this team can push them to another year with home-ice advantage in the postseason.
Add: T. Hamonic – S. Foo – M. Smith – E. Lack
Lost: B. Elliott (fa) – C. Johnson (fa) – D. Engelland (e) – L. Smid (fa) – L.Bouma (fa) – D. Wideman (fa)
Let’s start with what I like about the Flames heading into this season. The addition of Travis Hamonic is great and gives them an elite top four. The price they paid was steep, but the team is in win now mode, so I have no problems with it.
They also signed Spencer Foo, who could be a NHLer a few years from now, but I don’t believe he’ll have an impact this year.
Adding to their d-core, which was already a strength, as well as putting another winger in the prospect pool are both good moves. The problem with the Flames heading into this year is that they really didn’t address their major needs.
They still have a very poor right side. I don’t have confidence in Frolik & Brouwer to play on the team’s top line. Could they add someone mid-season? Absolutely. Wingers can be found around the trade deadline fairly easily so maybe this is a whole they could still look to fill.
They also didn’t improve their goaltending in my eyes. Mike Smith is 35 years old and not getting any better, while Eddie Lack is coming off a concussion riddled stint with Carolina that also saw minimal success. Just looking at last season, the combined GAA of Smith and Lack was 5.56 while compared to the combined GAA of Johnson and Elliot which was 5.14.
Those numbers may get better for Smith and Lack that they have a better team in front of them, but it wasn’t a big enough improvement in my eyes, especially given some of the marquee goaltenders available this offseason.
A few good moves and they can bank on some improvement from their young core, but not enough to catch either Edmonton or Anaheim.
Add: J. Demers – N. Hjalmarsson – D. Stepan – N. Cousins – A. Raanta
Lost: S. Doan (r) – Z. Michalek (fa) – J. McGinn (t) – C. Murphy (t) – L. Dauphin (t) – A. DeAngelo (t)
This may look absolutely crazy, but they had the best offseason of any team in their division. We already knew that they had one of the better young cores in the league, and now they actually have a solid group of veterans to play along with them.
Niklas Hjalmarsson was a sensational pickup. Some would argue he was the Hawks best d-man at times, and they got him at a great price. Factor in the great trade they made to grab Jason Demers along with the likes of Ekman-Larsson and Goligoski and you might be able to say they have one of the best d-cores in their division.
Up front, they added Derek Stepan who gives them an experienced centerman who can produce. Other than that their depth chart is littered with young talent and they’ll need some of those rookies to step up. There are high hopes for Clayton Keller, Dylan Strom, and Christian Dvorak. If they perform like some expect, the ‘Yotes could have a very succesful year.
In net, I like the addition of Antti Raanta and think him and Louis Domingue could be more than competent this year.
I don’t think they have enough to push into a playoff spot this year, but the Yotes are coming and might be a playoff team sooner rather than later.
Add: M.Cammalleri – D.Kuemper
Lost: B.Bishop (t) – B.McNabb (e) – M.Greene (bo) – D. Setoguchi (fa)
The Kings are coming into this season with more or less the same roster that has only won 1 playoff game in the past 3 years.
Their offense finished 25th last year and all they did was add veteran Mike Cammalleri, who is coming off a 10 goal campaign. Jeff Carter had to almost single-handedly carry this team’s offense last year, scoring a whopping 16% of his teams’ goals. The only other player to score 20 was Tanner Pearson (24).
Anze Kopitar also had a horrible year. His shooting percentage as 2.2% lower than it’s ever been, but even if he would have shot at his average percent, he wouldn’t have hit 20 goals. He’ll need to be better if the Kings want any hope of snagging a wild-card spot.
If there’s one beacon of hope, it’s that a full year of both Jonathan Quick and Tyler Toffoli may be able to boost them up the standings.
All in all, I didn’t see enough improvement to give me any reason to believe that this team can pass anyone for a Pacific Division playoff spot, and given how strong the Central is, I don’t like their odds at a Wild Card spot either.
Add: No Notable Players
Lost: P. Marleau (fa) – M. Mueller (t) – D. Schlemko (e) – M. Haley (fa)
With no additions to this point and having lost Marleau along with a solid depth d-man in Schlemko, it was not a great offseason in San Jose.
Joe Thornton is another year older, and he’s coming off a season in which he struggled to produce much offensively. Brent Burns got hot early, but shot well over his career sh%. During the last 20 games of the regular season, we saw Burns struggle, only scoring 10 points. When Burns struggled, so did the team, going 9-11-0 during Burns’ slump.
I have no questions about Martin Jones, even though both his GAA and SV% took dips last year, he should be solid again. But the cast in front of Jones? Not as strong as they once were.
To make the playoffs they’ll likely have to grab a Wild Card spot, and I just don’t see enough on this roster to beat out the crazy strong Central Division teams.
Add: EVERYONE GOT ADDED
Lost: THEY HAD NO PLAYERS LAST YEAR
You can expect a lot of 2-1 and 1-0 games this year from the Golden Knights. I really like the d-core that they managed to grab through the expansion process. Shea Theodore, Colin Miller, Brayden McNabb and Nate Schmidt are all relatively young and can all play competently in a team’s top 4. Mix them in with vets like Jason Garrison and Deryk Engelland and you have a d-core that’s better than a handful of other teams in the league.
Between the pipes, Marc-Andre Fleury can still hold a crease down. His numbers weren’t great in the regular season, but he played like his old self in the playoffs which is an encouraging sign. Even if he falters, they also have Calvin Pickard, who I was shocked to see available. The 25-year-old put up a 2.98 GAA and .904 SV% on an absolutely horrible Avalanche team. He could be a real surprise for VGK fans next year.
Up front, well, they aren’t good. They basically have a team full of 3rd liners with a few exceptions like Jonathan Marchessault and James Neal. There is some upside in guys like Vadim Shipachyov and Alex Tuch, but goal scoring will be a struggle.
I don’t think they’ll finish last, I think they’ll be too strong defensively, but the lack of goal scoring will keep them close to the basement.
Add: S.Gagner – A.Burmistrov – T. Vanek – M.Del Zotto – P.Wiercioch – A.Lindback
Lost: R.Miller (fa) – L.Sbisa (e) – D.Shore (fa) – P.Larsen (fa)
Are they tanking? Are they trying to compete for some reason? Who knows!
The Canucks are officially a laughing stock. The butt of every joke just like the Oilers and Sabres once were. The only difference: those teams knew they were going to be bad. What the Canucks are doing is just straight confusing.
They bring in Sam Gagner, Michael Del Zotto and Thomas Vanek which makes no sense. Those types of players don’t help you compete, they help you go from 29th to 27th and diminish your lottery chances.
Those additions also take playing time from guys like Jake Virtanen and Brock Boeser or even guys like Nikolay Goldobin and Brendan Gaunce, who need to figure out the NHL game in a hurry if they want to have prolonged careers.
The offseason made no sense, the season will go horribly and that cycle will likely continue until the organization can find a definitive direction.
So over at BTI HQ, we were trying to think of a way to pass the dog days of the hockey offseason. As you can imagine, trying to find content to write about in August can be tough.
So we decided to start a bracket. But a simple bracket of who is the best player in the NHL would end one of two ways: Connor McDavid defeating Sidney Crosby OR Sidney Crosby defeating Connor McDavid in the final. So we switched it up a little.
This is the first installment in our battle bracket to find out who our BTI readers believe is the 3rd best player in the NHL.
Brent Burns is the most unique player in the NHL. Not just because of his lack of teeth, tattoos, and odd fashion sense either. This is a guy that all 30 head coaches would love to have on their team as a forward and as a d-man. They don’t make too many like Brent Burns.
On defense, he ranked top 30 in opp SA/60, which may be a bland metric, but it does show how reliable he is at stopping opponents.
Some would mention that he’s a guy who takes too many risks offensively for a defender, but I have two counter arguments for that.
First, his strong skating allows him to recover in most cases. Second, when you’re as good as Brent Burns offensively, you can take as many risks as you want in my eyes. The only defenseman in the same class as Burns is Erik Karlsson and even EK65 doesn’t generate 10 shots a game like Burns does. Seriously, 10 shots a game is wild.
He’s consistent as well, over the past 3 seasons he’s had some very strong box-cars: points (60-70-70) and Assists (43-48-47). He’s also chipped home 20 goals in 3 of the last 4 years and was on pace to do so in the lockout shortened season.
A 5 tool player who skates well, shoots often and accurately, plays physical, has an elite hockey sense and can make good passes out of his zone. Whether you’re down a goal or looking to hold onto a late lead, Burns is the guy you want on the ice, which is why I give him the edge over Carter.
Early on in the NHL season last year, I made a case for Jeff Carter to be in contention for the Hart Trophy. He was carrying a team that was going through a difficult season due to injuries to key players and generally just underperforming. Jeff Carter, however, performed at a high level despite the level that his team was playing at.
Carter dominated in all offensive categories for the Kings:
His 32 goals were the most he’s scored since 2011 and they could not have come at a more crucial time for the Kings. Adding to that, Carter had more points than he’s had during his time with the Kings.
He did all of this during a time when the Kings needed him to step up the most. With no Tyler Toffoli for 19 games, an extremely underachieving Anze Kopitar – who had the worst none shortened season of his career – and offence that had only one other 20+ goalscorer – Tanner Pearson.
He was able to step up and perform at an elite level consistently all season when nobody else could.
Carter single-handedly kept the Kings’ playoff hopes alive. Of course, the Kings did not end up making the playoffs but that was through no fault of Carter’s.
Carter’s performances may be overlooked by bigger names in the NHL, but at the end of the day he does exactly what the likes of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby do: he gives his team a chance to win every night.
The difference between Burns and Carter is that Burns has a supporting cast, Carter simply does not.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Let’s start with this: I really really really like the Nashville Predators. I think their defence is exceptional and if Pekka Rinne plays good then they could be giving the Hawks dynasty a real run for their money. In the end, I think Chicago is too deep. They can beat you in too many ways and have a lot of players breakthrough this year (Panik, Hartman). My pick is
Liam Horrobin: This serious could easily go to seven games with the amount of fire power both teams have. Nashville have the young up and coming roster led by Flip Forsberg up front and Subban at the back. On the flip side, the Blackhawks have all the experience in the world and that’s what will help them cross the line.
Taylor Paniccia: A Western Conference dark-horse to many people, this is a first round matchup that the Predators didn’t want to get involved in heading into the playoffs. These two teams have met twice in the postseason in recent years (2010 and 2015) with the Blackhawks winning both series in six games. It’s no secret that the Chicago Blackhawks love to play against the Nashville Predators as the Hawks took the season series this year four games to one. This is a Chicago team that knows how to win and will be looking to avenge their first round exit from last year and hunt down the Predators.
Brayden Engel: For the second time in 3 years, Nashville gets the pleasure of taking on the Blackhawks in the first round. Much like in 2015, I don’t see the out-experienced and out-skilled Predators making much of a dent in the armour of juggernaut Chicago.
Josh Goodings: As much as I’d love to see Nashville take down Chicago I don’t see this series being much different from the one in 2015. I really like Nashville’s young core of Forsberg, Johansen, Subban, and Josi. I expected more from the Preds this season, but they still have a bright future. Sadly I don’t think they have enough to beat the Blackhawks, who many were skeptical of after they failed to advance to the second round last year. But clearly they’re still the good ol’ Blackhawks, finishing 3rd in the NHL this year with 109 points. I think the Preds will be the Hawks first victim on their path to another Stanley Cup Final.
Devin Horne: How can you bet against Patrick Kane and Johnny Toews? The Blackhawks are still the dominant force in the west and will cruise to the western conference final. Nashville still doesn’t have all of the pieces they need to make a deep push, Subban was a great addition but I feel like they need something more up front. Watch out for Pekka Rinne though.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I think the consensus is that this series will be one of the least exciting (or least attention grabbing) in the first round. Minnesota is slipping and if Devan Dubnyk isn’t back to his elite level in a hurry, then the Wild are in serious trouble. On the Blues side, even without Shattenkirk, they have a very good defense. You also can’t forget about Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues are also a better 5v5 possession team, so when the whistles go away in the playoffs (like they often do), I give them the edge.
Liam Horrobin: The Wild are getting cold at the wrong time! Devan Dubnyk’s have got worse every month which will also not help out the Wild. On the other hand, the Blues have been playing good hockey of late giving themselves a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games. Out of all the series in west, this will be the closest one but I am going to have to take the Blues. Another great regular season for Boudreau but yet another disappointing postseason.
Taylor Paniccia: A few months ago I held the Minnesota Wild as one of my favourites in the West. But After buying at the deadline the Wild have cooled down as well as their goaltending from Devan Dubnyk, while the deadline seller Blues went on a hot run with much improved goaltending from Jake Allen. A fairly even season series between the two teams, (Blues taking it three games to two) look for special teams to play an important role in this playoff series, with the Blues running better numbers on the PP as well as the PK. While the Wild hold the title for most goals scored and goal differential in the West look for Jake Allen and the Blues to keep up their peak heading into the post-season and take down the Wild.
Brayden Engel: The Blues are 15-3-2 in their last 20 games coming into this series. Not to mention Dubnyk’s abysmal .895 SV% since the Blues started their streak. While regular season success/momentum doesn’t guarantee anything, it makes St Louis a sexy pick for an “upset”.
Josh Goodings: The Blues have been red hot ever since Mike Yeo became the new bench boss, while Minnesota has seen their very strong start drop off as of late. Devan Dubnyk looked like a potential Vezina winner at the halfway point, now he might not even be nominated. Dubnyk went 6-8-2 with a .895 SV% since the beginning of March, and if he doesn’t turn it around now the Wild’s playoff run will be very short lived. On the other hand Jake Allen has been red hot since March, going 11-2-2 with a .942 SV%. Despite trading Kevin Shattenkirk at the deadline the Blues still have a very solid d-core, as well as the biggest offensive threat in the series in Vladimir Tarasenko. I smell an upset in the state of hockey.
Devin Horne: Am I the only person not looking forward to this snooze fest? This is the series I’m least looking forward to, excitement has faded as the Wild have cooled off and Dubnyk isn’t standing on his head like he was earlier this season. St. Louis trading Kevin Shattenkirk didn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence. Sure, you don’t want to lose him for nothing, but if the Blues thought they had a shot they wouldn’t have traded him.
Tyler Yaremchuk: The Flames can’t win in Anaheim, I don’t know why, and if the Flames knew why then they wouldn’t keep losing. Are they due for a win in So-Cal? I would say no. Even without Fowler, the Ducks are solid on the backend and i trust their offensive core, especially with the addition of Eaves. The Flames can win if the Ducks health becomes a serious issue or if they can throw the Ducks off their game by adding some bad blood to things. I don’t see that happening.
Liam Horrobin: This will be a fun but short series. The Flames have got all the speed up front while the Ducks have it all at the back which could be the difference maker. When you have a first line which has Perry and Getzlaf, then the second line with Ryan Kesler it’s very difficult to not say they’re the favourite. Much like Nashville, the Flames will have to rely heavily on their goaltender Brian Elliott if they want any chance of winning.
Taylor Paniccia: A matchup I’m very excited to watch. This series has all the signs of good old school hockey as these two teams do not like each other. The size and physicality of the Anaheim Ducks will be a problem for the small forwards of the Calgary Flames. With the Flames not winning in Anaheim in over ten years look for this to a be a mental problem for Calgary. While the Flames do have a deep roster the Ducks dominated the season series (four games to one) and have been one of the NHL’s best down the stretch. Look for the Ducks to extinguish the Flames quickly.
Brayden Engel: Another familiar matchup brings the return of the Red Mile and, in all likelihood, a disappointment for Calgary fans. I’m not one for season series numbers because I think a playoff date varies greatly from playing on the second half of a back to back in December but Anaheim did win 4 of 5 against their first round opponents. There’s no way a Randy Carlyle coached team could let its fans down right?
Josh Goodings: The Flames cannot win in Anaheim. Simple as that. The Flames haven’t won a game at the Honda Centre since 2006. Insane, and I really don’t think that’s gonna change during this series. Not to mention Anaheim is just a better, more experienced team. This should be a quick and easy series for the Ducks.
Devin Horne: We were so close to the first playoff battle of Alberta since 1991, but Anaheim had to ruin that. Thanks guys. As an Oiler fan I’m not sure which team I hate more, since acquiring Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler the Ducks are giving Calgary a run for it’s money. It would be a dream come true for Calgary to upset the Ducks and possibly meet Edmonton in the second round, but the Ducks are just too good. Deep down the middle and even with the Cam Fowler injury their defense is still a force. Add to that Calgary hasn’t won in Anaheim in 20 some games.
Tyler Yaremchuk: The San Jose Sharks are banged up and slumping. The Edmonton Oilers are healthy, fast and hot. That would explain why many have the Oilers walking away with this, but I’d pump the breaks. This Sharks team knows how to win and they know how to play in the playoffs. They can get away with the little slashes and cheap plays, a definite advantage over a younger Oilers team. Martin Jones should also be scaring Oilers fans, he’s the type who can carry a team through a round and he proved it last year. In the end, I think the raw skill of Edmonton prevails, but barely.
Liam Horrobin: With the injuries that the Sharks have had in recent weeks, you’ve got to make the Oilers the
favourites. However, even without those injuries, the Oilers still took the season series verse the Sharks. Although Connor McDavid led the league and Oilers in points, in the last few weeks, the Oil have had numerous other players step up like Lucic and Eberle. With those guys now hitting a hot streak, the depth that the Oilers have will help them defeat the Sharks.
Taylor Paniccia: It’s no secret and people have to realize it. The Edmonton Oilers have owned all Western Conference season series matchups this year. The Oilers have won the season series against all Western Conference playoff teams except for the Wild and the Predators. With the fade of the San Jose Sharks in the later stages of the season and the injuries to the likes of Thornton, Couture and Pavelski, look for the Oilers to drown the Sharks in their return to the post-season.
Brayden Engel: Connor McDavid puts up 4 goals in his first game of the postseason and exposes himself to Joe Thornton, setting the tone for the series. Really think home ice makes a huge difference in this one with Edmontonians finally hosting some playoff action and getting to wear orange to the games to show their support for the NDP party’s leadership.
Josh Goodings: The Oilers are legit. After finishing 29th in the NHL last year, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Cam Talbot have lead the blue and orange back to the playoffs with a 103 point season. They’re no joke, and they’ve been great against not only the pacific division but the entire Western Conference, winning their season series against every team except Nashville and Minnesota. They won the season series against San Jose 3-1-1, winning the 3 most recent games. Earning home-ice advantage in this series was huge for the Oilers, as they won their last nine home games of the season. Brent Burns is the clear cut MVP of the Sharks this season, but it’s worth noting he slowed down at the end of the season, scoring only 2 goals in his last 23 games. Logan Couture and Joe Thornton being banged up could also make this series much easier for the Oilers, but the Sharks are not a team to just shrug off, this will be a hard series for the Oilers to win. But the Sharks have the biggest challenge in this series, stopping the McDavid/Draisaitl duo. Draisaitl put up 21 points in the last 14 games, while McDavid had 25 points on his 14 game point streak to close out the year. The Oilers head into their first playoff berth since 2006 extremely hot, with no intentions of slowing down.
Devin Horne: Decade of darkness is over! I predicted the Oil to make the post season, but I thought they would be fighting tooth and nail for a wild card spot, not 2 points back of a Pacific Division title. Thornton is going to play hurt, as is Logan Couture. Sharks are still deep at centre and Martin Jones is an absolute beast. The Oil faired pretty well against the Sharks this season, taking the season series 3 to 2. Connor McDavid is the best player on earth, Draisaitl, Maroon, Talbot, and Eberle/Lucic are finally hitting their strides. This Oilers team is looking scary. Sharks are the veteran team and will be a handful for the Oilers, but I think the Oil squeeze into the second round.
He is one of the most recognizable faces in the NHL. He strikes fear into the hearts of opposing teams, rivaling fans and anyone else rooting against him. He is one of the best personalities this game has to offer. Ladies and gentleman, I give you ‘The Amazing Brent Burns!’
The Past 5 Seasons
Since the 2013 lockout-shortened season, Burns has been grooving, cementing himself as one of the best blueliners in the league today. Burns is first among defenceman in goals and second, only to Erik Karlsson, in points over this stretch. Burns’ stat line over these five seasons (which includes this season) is incredible:
Burns: 321 GP, 100 G, 164 A, 264 PTS, +32, 24 PPG, 200 PIM, 1155 Shots, 22:22 TOI/Game
The bearded wonder finds himself in the Hart Trophy race among the league’s Most Valuable Players. I wrote an article last week touching on the two-horse race between Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid for the Hart; it’s safe to say that Burns has entered that conversation as well.
Burns’ stat line for this season is as follows:
Burns: 58 GP, 25 G, 36 A, 61 PTS, +20, 6 PPG, 28 PIM, 231 Shots, 24:57 TOI/Game
While the surface numbers above are certainly impressive, the underlying numbers suggest Burns’ impact is bigger than we think.
*Stats courtesy of puckalytics.com
The Hart? Ted Lindsay?
Certainly, it appears that Brent Burns is on his way to winning his first Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. He leads the Sharks in scoring and is a big reason why they sit atop of the Pacific Division with a 34-18-6 record.
But what do you think?
Will he have enough traction to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player?
Do you think he will steal the Ted Lindsay award (the best player voted amongst his peers) away from Sidney Crosby by season’s end?
Leave your comments in the comments section below or tweet me at @TonyBrar_!
Every year there seems to be a new crop of players that are overrated by the fantasy hockey community for various reasons. Whether it’s a shiny new contract, the team they play for or simply putting too much stock into past seasons numbers.
I’ve looked into a few names that you should avoid until later on in your the draft, or leave off your fantasy roster entirely.