Friday, November 11, 2011

Best NHL Bounce-Backers

Stan Fischler was teasing on Twitter about his Saturday night MSG story on the "5 Best Bounce-Back Players in the NHL." And he asked for any guesses.

Well, here's a list of 5 Best NHL Bounce-Backers, in no special order, from a moldy mayonnaise jar left on the Ranger Pundit's back porch:

Nikolai Khabibulin (EDM) – The 38-year-old goalie was arrested in February 2010 and convicted of excessive speeding and drunk driving in August of 2010. He then had a very poor 2010-11 season, going 10-32-3, in 46 games for the Edmonton Oilers. So far this year he is 7-0-2 in 9 starts for the Oilers. He's at the top of the NHL with a .988 GAA, and 2nd with a .964 SV%, not a bad bounce-back. And he owes it all to Tom Renney, right?

Jaromir Jagr (PHI) – You probably know his backstory already. Jags exiled himself to Russia and the KHL for three full seasons. His previous last appearance in the NHL was for the NY Rangers in a playoff game against the Penguins back on May 4th, 2008. The Rangers lost that game 3-2 in overtime and were eliminated. In his last year with the Rangers he was known around here as "Captain Perimeter". This season the big 6'3", 240 lb, Czech right winger has 6 goals, 9 assists, in 15 games for the Flyers. That puts him back in the top 20 offensive players in the NHL. Jags is also averaging almost 19 minutes of ice time during his last 5 games. Pretty good for a 39-year-old (40 in February) bounced-Czech. Feel free to use that one Stan.

Sheldon Souray (DAL) – The 35-year-old Canadian was a top-tier defenseman back in 2006-07, with 26 goals and 64 points for the Canadiens. He scored 19 of those goals on the powerplay, which was a league record for a defenseman. He signed with the Edmonton Oilers in July 2007 for a 5-year, $27M contract. At a 2009 team Skills Competition his slap shot was clocked at 106.7 mph, an unofficial NHL record. He suffered a concussion in 2009 and was subsequently waived by Edmonton, loaned to the Caps, and sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL for all of last season. Souray was signed by the Dallas Stars on July 1, 2011, to a 1-year. $1.65M contract. So far this season Souray is playing big minutes (20+/game) and he has 4 goals, 13 points in 14 games for the Stars. Not a bad bounce back from the bus league for a guy with a lethal point shot.

Zach Parise (NJD) – Parise missed most of last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee. He signed a new 1-year contract worth $6M with the Devils in July. He was named Devils Captain on October 5th. This season in 13 games for the Devils Parise has 5G-3A-8pts, and is averaging +23TOI his last 5 games. So it looks like the 27-year-old Minnesota native is on his way back to being a lethal weapon, hopefully not so much against the Rangers.

Marc-Andre Bergeron (TAM) – Talk about bouncing, this 31-year-old Canadian defenseman has bounced back and forth between the NHL and the AHL more times than you can count. He was out of a job last fall after being released by Montreal on July 1, 2010. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent on January 4th and assigned to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. While there he had 2 goals, 8 points, and was a -3 in 13 games. He was called up in February and played 23 games for the Lightning, recording a stats line of 2G-6A-8pts, and -10 in 23 games. This season for some reason he's caught fire. He has 3G-13A-16pts in 15 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning with a +5 rating, and averaging over 20 TOI. Rise up all ye faithful.

Honorable mention: Mike Smith (PHO)

update: Fishler's 5 were Jagr, Tyler Seguin, James Neal, Khabibulin, and Souray.

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  • Section 335 said...

    Honorable Mention: Matt Gilroy - from being cut by the Rangers to a top four, maybe top two defenseman. From a liability to an asset. 13 games, 4 assists, plus 6.

  • jb said...

    Wow, I forgot all about Gilroy. Sounds like he's finding his game in the Sunshine State. Fate will probably give him a big game winner against the Rangers somewhere down the road.

  • Section 335 said...

    The loss of Gilroy, a real asset, for absolutely nothing, falls on coach clueless. TB is an excellent team. They were able to develop him. What were we thinking?

    When you are coach clueless' chateau bow-wow, like Avery, you hardly have a chance.