Let's talk about something positive.
Let's talk about Erik Karlsson.
I think most of us agree he's not quite back at 100% yet. Close, sure, but not quite there. He still seems a bit more hesitant at times than he did before, that explosive first stride isn't quite the same yet,
But I did say we should talk about something positive, didn't I? Okay then.
Despite all that, he's 10th in league scoring right now. The highest any other defender has finished the season in the past 15 years was 21st (Karlsson was 11th in his Norris season).
He leads all defencemen in goals and assists, and is 4 points up on the 2nd place trophy warmer.
He's on pace for the most points by a defenseman since Ray Bourque in 95-96 (the last season before the trap era really set in), and a top 50 (ever) finish.
His current career pace is 18th among all-time defenders (200+ games played). If he maintains his current point per game pace this season through 82 games, he would move up to 13th all-time.
All this at age 23. Defencemen who have had at least as many points in a single season as Karlsson is on pace for by age 23? Bobby Orr (3 times), Brian Leetch (2 times), Denis Potvin, Gary Suter, Paul Coffey (4 times), Ray Bourque, and Sergei Zubov.
And he's doing all of this at less than 100%. Just take a moment to think about what he might be able to do when he is 100%.
Now quickly, in whatever order you choose - cross your fingers, knock on wood and throw some salt over your left shoulder. Just to be safe.
- More green than I expected in the Ups & Downs after a 1-2-0 week [S7S]
- Recaps galore [S7S] [Bonk's Mullet] [SenShot] [NHL.com] [Senators Extra] [Sportsnet]
- Another sneak peek at the Heritage Classic jersey. It's looking more and more like a straight up inversion of the black and white on the 3rds (as most expected, I think) [Twitter]
- Craig Anderson seems to have fallen off the Team USA Olympic list (obnoxious video ad warning) [CBS Sports]
- Want to know about the upcoming games this week? We can help with that [S7S]
- Forbes has their latest NHL valuations out, here's what they have for the Senators - and their estimates don't jive with what the Euge has been saying [Forbes]
- Bingo had their 7 game win streak broken by the Hershey Bears, but then bounced back to beat them the next day [Press & Sun-Bulletin]
- Steven Stamkos is already walking, just 2 weeks after breaking his leg [Tampa Tribune]
- The rights for the national TV broadcasts in Canada could go for over $400m next season, up from $190m currently. Sounds like we'll get the status quo for CBC on Saturday and TSN on Wednesday for regular season games, but Sportsnet picking up a new national broadcast on Sunday nights, and CBC losing the All-Star game and some playoff games [Sports Business Daily]
- Here's the full list of NHL Valuations [Forbes]
- In Lou We Trust digs into zone exits [In Lou We Trust]
- Does anybody like the new Sabres jersey? [Die by the Blade]
- Varlamov was charged with 3rd degree assault on Friday [Mile High Hockey]