Tyler Seguin scoring thirty goals in a season isn’t news — but when his thirtieth tally comes on his miraculous early recovery from a knee injury, it’s worth noting.
The 23-year-old center has been on injured reserve with a sprained knee since February 14th after getting checked by Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. Although Kulikov was suspended for the hit, the Stars were the ones that truly suffered; after picking up Buffalo Sabres starter Jhonas Enroth to serve as a quality backup and help with a playoff push, the team saw any chance at the post-season slip away.
Sure enough, the Stars are as good as out of the playoff race; they sit three spots out of the Wild Card race with sixty-eight points, good to put them eight points back on the Winnipeg Jets.
For Seguin, though, his return means that the team can — at the very least — make a strong push through April and figure out exactly what needs to be tweaked before heading into next season.
The absence of Seguin has been diluted by the secondary scorepower that has stepped up to contribute in the star’s absence; both defenseman John Klingberg and rookie forward Brett Ritchie have given the team serious reason to look at them as permanent roster members for next season, while captain Jamie Benn has gone on a scoring streak without his linemate. Bringing back the former second overall draft pick, though, ensures that Dallas will continue to serve as an offensive threat; should they be able to solidify their blue line, they’ll be a threat in the West for seasons to come.
*Update: Tyler Seguin scored a second goal during the middle twenty minutes of Dallas’ game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, giving him a multi-goal game in his return to the lineup. Not too shabby.