Ramblings: Being Patient with Brent Burns, Shutouts for Dell and Dubnyk (Nov 12)

Ian Gooding

2017-11-12

Being Patient with Brent Burns, Shutouts for Dell and Dubnyk, plus more…

Zero. That’s the number of goals that Brent Burns has this season. When you factor in his seven assists and minus-8, he’s been a relatively replacement-level defenseman, which wasn’t what you bargained for when you drafted him in the first round in a single-season league. His one saving grace has been his shots on goal total (59), which is still second-highest among defensemen and the highest number for any player that is still without a goal.

The next highest shots on goal total for a player without a goal? Erik Johnson, who has 47 shots on goal with no goals. It’s naturally harder for a defenseman to score on a shot than a forward simply because of the shot distance. But Burns is a different animal (both literally and figuratively), having averaged 28 goals over the last two seasons. So the law of averages suggests that those shots eventually have to go in. So stay patient. You shouldn’t be shopping Burns at all. Or maybe buy low from an impatient owner.

Other players in the top-100 in shots with low goal totals, while I’m in there:

Kris Letang: 58 SOG, 1 G

Oscar Klefbom: 54 SOG, 1 G

Justin Faulk: 49 SOG, 1 G

Max Domi: 49 SOG, 1 G

Johnny Boychuk: 49 SOG, 1 G

Colton Parayko: 47 SOG, 1 G

Sebastian Aho: 45 SOG, 0 G

Duncan Keith: 45 SOG, 0 G

Mostly defensemen, I know. But in that group is Aho, who scored 24 goals last season. Domi has never reached 20 goals in his brief career, but he’s been close. Both are in a similar boat to Burns, as are the blueliners listed above. In other words, expect better puck luck going forward.

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Aaron Dell had an impressive night, stopping all 41 shots he faced in earning his first shutout of the season. Dell is one of the league’s better backups and is worth adding for a spot start whenever you need one. Since Martin Jones is a workhorse, though, Dell still might not start very often in spite of his impressive play. But continued strong play could provide him with an added percentage of starts.

With two goals on Saturday, Logan Cout