Who should win the Selke? Is Ryan McDonagh ready to be in the Norris conversation? How many goals will Gustav Nyquist score next year? All this and more in this week’s mailbag. If you have any questions for next week, send them in right here.
Darryl Sutter's quotes this week have been especially enlightening. He talked about undisciplined officiating (regarding the goals against Anaheim, Philadelphia and Washington) and Anze Kopitar. Do you think Kopitar finally becomes a Selke finalist this year?
Lauren, San Francisco
Darryl Sutter is the best. There are times when you’re in a group interviewing him where you can barely hear what he’s saying and you’re not quite sure what direction he’s going. Then you transcribe the interview and it’s absolute gold. He’s great. And to answer your question, I do believe that Anze Kopitar will be a Selke finalist this year or at least really close. I also believe that Jonathan Toews will be in that conversation but right now, I’m leaning heavily in the direction of Patrice Bergeron with my No. 1 vote. I haven’t done all the research here yet and like to make a few phone calls before turning in my ballot, but Bergeron starts just 45.8 percent of his even strength shifts in the offensive zone and still has a Relative Corsi of 21.3. That means he's constantly flipping the ice in the Bruins' favor. And he does it against the best competition. Right now, I’d have a hard time putting anyone but Bergeron No. 1.
Do you see Gustav Nyquist being a 30-plus goal scorer next season?
He’s almost single-handedly kept the Red Wings in the playoff hunt and is a great, young player who will be an important part of the team moving forward. He’s also on an incredible run that fans in Detroit shouldn’t expect over the course of an 82-game season. Right now, he’s averaging 0.52 goals per game, which would put him at 43 goals over the course of a full NHL season. Nyquist is good but he’s not Alex Ovechkin.