Ramblings: Farewell to the Sedins; Gardiner Reaches 50 Points; Suter Injury Update – April 3

by Michael Clifford on April 3, 2018
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Farewell to the Sedins; Gardiner Reaches 50 Points; Suter Injury Update – April 3

The big news from Monday was the announcement by Henrik and Daniel Sedin that they would be retiring from the NHL at season’s end. Both players will leave the NHL, barring something wacky over the final week, with 0.80 points per game in the regular season.

The plaudits and stories told Monday were mostly of their nature off the ice. Both are lauded in Vancouver, and across the media, for being friendly, approachable, and down-to-earth guys. That is probably the best praise a person can receive. My favourite on-the-ice story was this, though:

I wonder how often they tried that?

I’m sure the Sedin twins helped carry some of you to more than one fantasy title, with Henrik managing 112 points in 2009-10 and Daniel with 41 goals in 2010-11. I figured this would be a good time to go over some of the stats from their career, all courtesy of Hockey Reference:

  • They are two of nine players to amass 1000 points this century along with Alex Ovechkin, Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Marleau, Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis, and Joe Thornton.
  • Henrik has the second-most assists this century (828) behind only Thornton (964). Though he’s known at the Shoot-y Sedin, Daniel is fourth (647).
  • Daniel is 10th in goal scoring since 2000-01 with 391, trailing only Ovechkin, Iginla, Marleau, Hossa, Rick Nash, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sidney Crosby, Marian Gaborik, and Eric Staal
  • Daniel is tied for the 8th-most 20-goal seasons since entering the league with 11 while Henrik is tied for the 3rd-most 40-assist seasons in that span.
  • Henrik only missed 33 games in his entire 17-season career. Daniel just 57. For being coined “soft” by some idiot corners of the hockey world, they were very durable players who showed up most every night.
  • Just for fun: if Henrik Sedin fails to register six shots on goal over the balance of this season, he’ll finish the year for fewest shots on goal for any forward with 1200 minutes played in a single season this century. Adam Oates holds the record with 67 back in 2002-03.

There are a lot more I could go through over their sensational careers but I think the point is clear: we may never see something like this again. All the best to the twins in retirement and thanks for the memories.

*

On most days, the injury news about Ryan Suter would have dominated the news cycle but this was not a normal day. Anyway, Suter is out for the season, both regular and playoffs, following ankle surgery. This is a huge blow to a Wild team and their Cup chances. Jared Spurgeon is still on the mend after a partial tear to his hamstring when he went crashing awkwardly into the boards a few weeks ago. It’s possible Minnesota goes into the postseason with their top two defencemen out of the lineup.

If there’s good news for poolies it’s that the injury to Suter happened before playoff drafts. You never want to see a player injured but this is basically the best time for it to happen from a fantasy perspective. It’s late enough in the year where it won’t have a huge impact in roto leagues, most head-to-head leagues are done, and playoff drafts are yet to take place.

Suter finishes the season one point shy of setting a career-high with 52 but he did crack 50 for the second time in three years.

With Suter out, Matt Dumba has been getting the lion’s share of power-play time with Jonas Brodin and Ryan Murphy getting some extra PP time.

*

Minnesota shut out the Oilers at home, the fifth of the season for Devan Dubnyk. That was as many as he had last year. His save percentage now sits at .918 for the season, which is where it was two years ago. It’s just been another solid season for the ex-Oiler.

Zach Parise led the way offensively with two goals for Minnesota. As our friends at Keeping Karlsson pointed out on Twitter, those two goals give him a 31-goal/82-game pace this year at a reasonable shooting percentage (12.6 percent). He’s still a talented player playing with other talented players. If he can stay healthy, he could be a very good value in drafts next season.

*

This is just anecdotal but I’ve really liked the game from Andre Burakovsky over the last couple weeks. Whether it was injuries, or confidence issues, or some confluence of other factors, he looks like the player fantasy hockey owners were hoping to show up this year. The opportunity was there with Marcus Johansson traded and Justin Williams signing in Carolina but he just couldn’t stick in the top-six. He looks like he’s carrying the puck with a purpose on virtually every shift, and that’s the guy that fantasy owners were hoping for this year.

Keep in mind that without injury or an unforeseen trade, Burakovsky will not be on the top PP unit anytime soon. That caps his upside (pun totally intended). But he will come at a nice discount when drafts roll around in September. Just someone to keep in mind in the meantime.

Of course, like I said, it may just be anecdotal but goals like this sure help:

*

Derek Ryan scored his 15th goal of the season for Carolina which makes a nice season for him but also bodes well for the future of the Hurricanes: it was the first time since 2008-2009 that franchise had eight different players score at least 15 times. This is a team that has had a lot of trouble over the years finding consistent scoring outside of Jeff Skinner but not only is Sebastian Aho turning into a premier goal scorer, and Teuvo Teravainen making good on the promise he flashed over the years, but guys like Ryan and Brock McGinn are picking up the scoring slack.

Now, about that goaltending…

*

Nick Bjugstad was taken off the top line in Florida’s win over Carolina, replaced with Colton Sceviour. It was a straight swap, which meant Bjugstad spent the third period on the fourth line, so there was no injury. Things seemed to work out alright as Sceviour assisted on the game-winning goal from Alex Petrovic. We’ll see what they have in practice this week, but if Bjugstad appears again on the fourth line, he’s droppable at this point of the season.

*

Sam Reinhart scored his 24th goal of the season in the team’s loss to Toronto on Monday night. That goal sets a new career-high for him in that department, as well as a career-best 48 points. I know it stings for Sabres fans that Leon Draisaitl was taken one pick later in the 2014 draft but when you see some of other picks in the top-10 of that first round, Reinhart turning into a perennial 20-goal, 50-point guy could have been a lot worse.

Also in that game, Jake Gardiner reached the 50-point plateau for the first time in his career. After topping out at 31 points in his first five seasons, Gardiner had 43 last year and now at least 50 this year.

For those in points leagues, I would expect Gardiner at 40-plus points for the foreseeable future. That Leafs offence has the potential to be a juggernaut for years and playing 22 minutes a night with power-play time in that team means he can sleepwalk to 40 points. It doesn’t appear he’ll be a huge roto contributor, though. I mean, 50 points is very impressive, but it’ll be another season without 140 shots, another season without 40 penalty minutes, and another season with a very meager hit total. The production is nice, but in fantasy roto leagues, simple production isn’t enough unless he’s head and shoulders above everyone else. He’s the 29th-ranked defenceman as of tonight in standard ESPN leagues, and his ADP was 32nd overall among d-men in drafts. He’ll likely be inside the top-25 come September. There’s something to be said about stability being priced into ADPs, but if a 50-point season can’t even get him among the top-25 d-men, what could possibly be the logic in drafting him at that spot? I’ll be taking a pass when drafts roll around.

*

Morgan Rielly scored a power-play goal in that game, his 27th power-play point of the season. Remember when he was lower on the power-play totem than Nikita Zaitsev? That was such a wild time.

Wait. That was just last year.

*

Blake Wheeler had himself a game in the team’s 6-5 win over Ottawa. Two goals – which leaves him one point shy of 90, by the way – with four total shots, one block, four penalty minutes, and two hits. The kicker? He did it in 13:45 minutes of ice time. There was no injury or anything. The Jets got out to a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes so it seems like they were just scaling back the minutes of the top line.

Kyle Connor also scored in that game, hitting the 30-goal mark for the year. I’m still on the island of Kyle Connor Is Mostly A Passenger, but it’s getting real lonely on this island.

Erik Karlsson has three assists in that game and is now one assist shy of his total from last year (54). So, basically, if he’s healthy and his shooting percentage was where it normally is, he has a season like he always has. It also could have been the last game Karlsson plays at home as an Ottawa Senator, a fact that doesn’t seem lost on him:

It’s going to be an interesting summer.

*

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal, an assist, three shots, one block, and was a plus-2 in Washington’s 4-2 win over St. Louis. That makes three straight seasons with 20 goals for Backstrom, and he’s tied a four-year high in shots.