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 ~20 or more games this season (and finished the season 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.
Regular season statistics:
Key Stat: 4 and 5 - Tyler Seguin's NHL rank for points (4th) and goals (5th). Fun fact: his 37 goals beat out Sidney Crosby's total for the year.
The Good: What's not to like about Seguin's first season in Dallas? He was all everyone expected him to be -- and more. Moving back to his natural position of center, we weren't sure what to expect from him. A high draft pick several years ago, Seguin had played wing in Boston. His scoring there was dynamic, but could he do the same playing as THE center in Dallas on the top line?
He proved it this year. He set career highs in goals, assists, points, power play goals, hat tricks and game winning goals. He finished the year with the fourth highest point total in the league. He led the Stars to their first playoff appearance in several seasons. He allowed for new best friend Jamie Benn to go back to his natural position at wing. Creating time and space for Benn allowed both young forwards to light up the opposition most nights. On nights where Seguin didn't record a point in the regular season, the Stars had a losing record (11-15-5).
The Bad: One area Seguin needs improvement in is his faceoff ability. As a center, it's a big part of playing that position. His first year back at center saw him average just 41% on the faceoff dot. Of the top 30 centers in points in the league, Seguin's faceoff percentage ranks nearly dead last (Jiri Hudler in Calgary is worse, though I'm not certain he was utilized as a center fully this year.) Most of those guys at least are at the 45% mark, and a good majority of them are 50% or better. It's something even coach Lindy Ruff commented on earlier in the season with Seguin.
The good news is that while he's learning and improving in that area, Benn has a pretty healthy faceoff ability having played center the last few seasons. It gives Ruff more options on the top line when one or the other is struggling on a given night.
Bottom Line: The Seguin-Benn duo is one of the most dynamic offensive pairings in the league. The fun for us / scary for the league thing is, they're both young and haven't even really hit their prime playing years. Seguin is only going to get better...
Vote now: Rate Seguin 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.