Bickell worked extremely hard to return for the final four games of the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2016-17 season, five months after being diagnosed. When he came back, he realized his body was already betraying him. He knew he was done playing at 31.
“From where I was at my peak to where I am now, there’s a difference in my game,” Bickell told reporters Saturday. “I don’t think I will ever get back to that point with the circumstances. For the last couple months, from where I was mentally and physically to where I am now, it’s a big change. I’m just happy to finish up here and move on.”
The game somehow got to a shootout for Bickell to have his moment. Carolina’s Sebastian Aho tied the score with 5:10 remaining in regulation after Carolina had blown a third-period lead. From there, the teams sweated out 10-plus minutes of hockey, the final five a 3-on-3 overtime designed to avoid shootouts. With the game knotted 3-3 after OT in Game No. 82, Bickell had his chance.
If Burns continues his current pace, he’ll finish tied with fifth-most goals by a defenseman in a season all time. Burns also in on pace for 87 points, which would be the most by a defenseman since Brian Leetch of the Rangers had 88 in 1990-91
Burns had a 14-game road scoring streak end Thursday in Boston. It was the longest such streak for a defenseman since Coffey’s 15-game road scoring streak in 1995, according to Sharks stats guru Darin Stephens.
To put Burns’ scoring ability in perspective, his 27 goals are more than 20 NHL teams have from their defensemen. The Sabres have just 10 goals from defensemen in nearly 7,069 combined Cheap Jerseys For Sale man minutes. The Sharks as a team lead the NHL with 42 goals from defensemen. The Predators are second with 33 Nike NFL Jerseys 2015 apiece.