The Shark Blog
22. May 2009 09:07
As the 3rd round of the playoffs in underway, we are entering that stressful time of the year, where, for the first time in 8 months, we have evenings with no hockey. To help us through this trying period, let's take some time to look back on a few top 10 lists from the 2008-09 NHL season. Better yet, as Nigel Tufnel would say, this one goes to 11.
So, here are the top 11 players who had career years in 2008-09:
- Zach Parise - Through his first 4 NHL seasons, Parise has been on a steady climb up the scoring sheet, going from 32 to 62 to 65 points, before skyrocketing to 94 this year. His goals have likewise risen, landing him at 45 this season. He has officially reached the elite echelon of scorers, but don’t be surprised if he busts the 100 point mark next year and sets another career high.
- Jeff Carter - Carter's career has proceeded on schedule, the same as Parise's. Carter also took a major jump in his point total this season, going from 53 to 84. Even more impressive was his goal total, climbing to 46 and threatening to take the Rocket Richard trophy. Look for Carter to stay in the 40 goal range over the next few seasons, as he enters the prime of his career.
- Tim Thomas - Thomas qualified for tops on this list 2 years ago, when he busted out with a 30 win performance. He bested those numbers this year by racking up 36 wins in only 54 games. His 2.10 GAA and .933 save percentage make him a lock for the Vezina Trophy.
- Mike Cammalleri - Although he only topped his previous high by 2 points, it seems like more given his lousy 47 point performance from a year ago. Sitting next to Iginla for a season certainly contributed to his impressive 39 goal, 82 point season.
- Dennis Wideman - Anyone caught drafting Dennis Wideman last season would have been laughed at. Pass on him next year, and you'll be laughed at. Wideman jumped to 50 this season and logged a ton of minutes playing for the surprisingly high-scoring Bruins. This dwarfs his previous high of 36 points set a season ago.
- Todd White - It's unusual for a player to set a career high in his 12th season, playing for his 5th team. But that's just what White did, going from 37 points in 08 to 73 points in 09. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect this to happen again, especially if Kovalchuk ends up leaving town sometime soon. Count on White dropping back into the 50 point territory next season.
- Martin Havlat - Havlat finally came through on his promise of being a top-notch scorer this season, primarily because this is the first time he topped 80 games played. Havlat registered 29 goals and 77 points, and was the top scorer on a high-powered Blackhawks offense. As long as he stays healthy, expect him to build on this high mark next season and beyond.
- Ryan Suter - Suter is another fourth year player who has climbed steadily each season. Suter topped out at 45 points this year, but do not expect that to be the end. He is quickly becoming an elite defenseman, and may soon be challenging Mike Green for tops in scoring among defense. If he had more scoring help in Nashville, he might have done so in 09.
- Scott Clemmensen - If this had been written in March, Clemmensen would have been at the top of the list. Unfortunately (for him), Marty Brodeur had a record to break, and Clemmensen found himself in the minors, despite keeping the Devils on top with his work in net. This season, he set a career high with 40 games played and 25 wins, compared to a record 3 wins in 04 and 05. Though he won't be replacing Brodeur permanently, he may have earned a look from another club or two.
- Rick Nash - Slowly and steadily, Nash keeps topping his own bests, at least in points. He still hasn't gotten back to the 41 goals he scored as a sophomore, but he came stinkin' close this year with 40. He's now in the habit of setting other players up as well these days, which accounts for his 39 assists (compared to his sophomore total of 16). Nash may never go much higher than a point-per-game, but expect him to remain in the 40 goal range for the next 5 seasons or more.
- Jamie Langenbrunner - Langenbrunner has been playing NHL hockey since 1994, but never has he approached a point-per-game production until this season. He topped out this year at 69 points, besting his previous mark of 60, set in 2007. If you cashed in on his sweet run this year, count your money and go home, as he won't get near this mark again.
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