Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 25 or more games this season (and are still with the team) and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
#14 / Left Wing / Dallas Stars
Jul 18, 1989
|2011 - Jamie Benn||71||26||37||63||15||55||2||1||7||203||12.8|
Key Stat: 7 - Jamie Benn may not have put up the monster numbers we may have expected after the first few months of the season, but he was easily the most effective forward for the Dallas Stars this season. Leading the team with seven game-winning goals in 71 games, Benn consistently showed up when his team needed it the most.
The Good: Jamie Benn took the next step to superstardom this season, appearing in his first NHL All-Star Game and impressing a national audience with the skills we get to see on a nightly basis. Despite dealing with a nagging wrist injury for most of the season, along with the freak occurrences of an appendectomy and a severe skate laceration, Benn put up the best season of his career with 63 points in 71 games. Benn also posted a plus-15 on the season and while it's not as much as we'd like, is learning to shoot the puck more often.
The Bad: Perhaps not his fault, but Benn's season could have and should have been much better. For most of the season Benn was on more than a point-per-game pace and looked as if he could approach 90 points with a full, productive season. Yet the lack of depth at center and Benn injuries the second half of the season derailed what could have been a monster season. There's also the argument that Benn failed to take over games down the stretch like his team needed, yet I'd counter that there's mot much more we could expect from a forward playing a checking role with Steve Ott and Adam Burish as his linemates.
Bottom Line: We'll dive into this issue further in a separate post, but it could be argued that Benn was the best even-strength forward in the NHL this season. His lack of power play and penalty kill minutes this season was perplexing and for a player that approached a point per game, it's amazing how little of those points came with the man-advantage.
The Vote: Rate Benn below on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.