Antoine Roussel: victim number 9,845,223* to the injury bug that decimated the Dallas Stars this past season. (*Non-scientific approximation.)
Things started off well enough. He played 60 straight games from the start of the season, a kind of rare feat considering the injuries that the forwards started sustaining even prior to the season, through training camp, and into the first two months of the year.
Then, on March 2nd versus the New York Islanders, Roussel put his hand out to block a Johnny Boychuk shot with 2:29 left in the first period. Boom - broken hand, and out for the remainder of the season.
With the injury, the Stars lost their top forward in penalty killing time on ice per game played (nearly two minutes on average). They also lost one of their top shot blockers and their leader in penalty minutes (115).
He was the most effective forward at suppressing shots against, leading the forward corps in shot differential at +130. For reference, the next most effective forward was Radek Faksa at +76. Faksa is often lauded as the most complete two-way forward the Stars have, so Roussel is in great company on that side of the puck.
I think Roussel provided the Stars with one thing that was missing at times this year: consistency. He gave a similar effort night in and night out. He also provided a game that he has for years in Dallas now: defensively responsible, not afraid to stick up for his teammates as evidenced by his nine major penalties this year, and able to pitch in on offense occasionally.
Roussel has a lot of tools that make him valuable to organizations. He can play up or down the lineup and in all situations on the ice. He’s responsible enough in his own end. He has a positive impact on play, as shown by his team leading 54.6% Corsi For metrics. He’s a solid two-way player — exactly the kind of player this team needs to balance out their offensively minded forward corps.
There will be an interesting debate that rages until the expansion protection lists are released, with strong arguments for protecting Roussel in one of the Stars’ last forward protection slots over someone like a Cody Eakin.
How would you grade Antoine Roussel’s 2016-17 season?
This poll is closed
A - another great one!
B - better than most!
C - consistently consistent!
D - debbie downer due to disappointment :(
F - frankly disappointing.