Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Justin Faulk Wins One For Carolina

There was some chatter on Twitter a few weeks ago about former UMD defenseman Justin Faulk being a candidate for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL's top rookie.

I chuckled a bit, and didn't take it all that seriously.

Now, I am.

Faulk continues to play big minutes, and his contributions are increasing virtually every time I look. Tuesday night, he scored the overtime winner for the Hurricanes in a 4-3 victory over Washington.

The winner comes at the end of the video. Fast forward to around 3:45 and enjoy.

Faulk has eight goals and 18 points in 50 games, but there are some other interesting numbers. He's averaging over 22 minutes of ice per game, tops among all NHL rookies. Since the calendar flipped to 2012, the 19-year-old has played in 26 games, scoring six goals and totaling 11 points while compiling a plus-six and averaging nearly 23:30 of ice time per game.

I'm not saying he SHOULD win the Calder, but he sure has vaulted himself onto the list of candidates.


By the way, fellow former UMD player Mike Connolly was scratched for Colorado against Minnesota Tuesday. The guy whose spot he took in the lineup Sunday, Steve Downie, returned from a shoulder injury and played.

It might not be back to Lake Erie for Connolly, however, Colorado center Matt Duchene suffered an ankle injury against the Wild, and that might keep Connolly on the big club for the time being.

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