The Anaheim Ducks are one of the best scoring teams in the NHL. In fact, they have the fourth most goal/game in the league right now. But if you look further into the numbers, you will see that going into last night, of all those goals only one had come from a defenseman.
That changed last night, quickly.
Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler lit the lamp for the Ducks last night, doubling the goal output from the defenders in one game. For Lindholm, it was his first NHL goal, all though it was almost a two goal night for him. Corey Perry deflected a shot in that had the chance to go in without a deflection.
Lindholm’s play has been a pleasant surprise, even without the goals. Known as an offensive defenseman, he has been strong in his own end and his plus-13 rating is by far tops among all rookie defenseman.
But tonight was an all offensive night for Lindholm, as following coach Bruce Boudreau’s advice finally paid off,
‘Jumping up in the play, which has been trying to get the D to do to get more offense’
Lindholm jumped in perfectly, creating a 3-on-2 odd man rush skating perfectly into the slot unseen and fired home the pass from Mathieu Perreault.
At 19-years old, Lindholm is a member of an real impressive class of teenage defenseman. To see so many of them perform at a high level, especially at the position that is widely considered to be the hardest to adjust to at the pro level is something special to watch. Lindholm is no exception, his coach certainly took in the moment,
‘Him doing that and getting that first goal, it’s always pretty nice for a coach to see a young player score’
Did that play throw Lindholm into the Calder Trophy conversation as a legitimate candidate?