Despite unprecedented circumstances amid chaos and uncertainty since March, many players shined (or still are) during this season's playoffs. Of course that raises the magical question as to whether those players can carry their momentum into 2020-21, or instead will end up following in the footsteps of Justin Williams, Daniel Brière, and Derick Brassard as players known primarily for playoff success. And as avid readers of Roos Lets Loose are aware, when I've got a question that needs answering, I know just the folks to turn to….
With that in mind, I've assembled a list of NHLers whose 2020 playoff numbers are/were better than their best single season output in – for skaters – points and – for goalies – save percentage or GAA. In parentheses next to each player's name is a 2020-21 target number which is better than his previous regular season best in the given category but not as good as what we saw from him in the playoffs. If you think the player can reach his parenthetical number in 2020-21, then you should vote for him. In fact, you can – and should – vote for as many players you think will be able to seize upon their playoff momentum to reach this new career best in 2020-21.
Here are the voting choices, in alphabetical order. A link to the voting poll is at the end of the column. For Dallas/Tampa players, I factored in their stats through Sunday, September 20th.
Sebastian Aho (2020-21 points = 95)
Although he didn't take the step forward this season that many expected, I'd written that we should expect improvement from Aho in 2020-21 even before the playoffs started. Then he went out and averaged 1.5 points per game in eight playoff contests, failing to get a point in just one game. That might have just been a preview of the scoring jump we'll see in 2020-21.
Sam Bennett (2020-21 points = 55)
Although still only 24, many poolies had likely given up on the idea of Bennett amounting to a fantasy worthy player. Then he goes out and posts eight points in ten playoff games, firing 32 SOG in the process. The Flames might be looking to shake things up for 2020-21, in which case Bennett could get a fresh look and finally start to live up to expectations.
Andre Burakovsky (2020-21 p