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Tampa Bay Lightning Report Cards – Victor Hedman

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Former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Victor Hedman put together a respectable season amongst a stacked Tampa Bay Lightning line up. But did his play match up to previous years’ efforts?

Victor Hedman (70 GP, 12 G, 42 A, 54 Pts)

Grade – B +

End of year awards

  • Mr Stability 2019‘ Award for putting together a solid regular season

Strengths

  • Power play ability
  • Leadership
  • Offensive contributions

Homework for the offseason

  • Try to regain strength / rehab to work towards playing full season
  • Push harder to add more contribution overall
  • Try to get back to top end form

Memorable Highlight

Victor Hedman Game Winning Goal in Overtime vs Washington Capitals (Via NHL on Youtube)

Analysis

After coming off of an incredible 2017-18 season (in which he was named best defenseman in the NHL), Hedman had high expectations to meet. The Lightning defenseman spent most of the season on the top pairing (as expected) and was effective in his role. So much so, that he earned himself another Norris Trophy nomination in the end of season awards.

However, one cannot deny that the season proved to be a return to earth, as his numbers saw a slight decrease in that of the previous season. Whilst amassing 12 goals and 42 assists is by no means bad, this is slightly down on the previous years’ totals of 17 goals and 46 assists in seven more games. Where Hedman saw a notable decrease in statistics was his overall time on the ice. This dropped to 22.46 per night (down from the previous year at 25.51), his lowest total since the 2014-15 season. One can excuse these numbers due to the fact he missed several games due to injury and more notably had to share ice time with former New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, making his job significantly easier.

One area in which Hedman remained consistent within was on the power play unit, as he was a vital part of the overall Lightning dynamic. He also managed to record his sixth straight season with ten or more goals at even strength, which again is incredibly impressive.

One thing that must be noted when discussing the defenseman’s performance last season is his poor showing in the post-season. Hedman only made two post-season appearances (missing the Lightning’s penultimate two games through injury), contributing no goals or assists. This factor fed into a wider team narrative, which saw many of the Lightning’s key players struggle. The Lightning lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets in four straight games as a result.

Whilst he did not put up the Norris Trophy winning numbers of the previous season, Hedman still proved why he is one of the elite defenseman within the NHL. It is also not out with the realms of possibility that he retains another Norris Trophy nomination, preventing he does not end up significantly injured and improves upon last season’s statistics.

Potential Linemate

Mikhail Sergachev

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinur/46636774251/in/album-72157705492792484/
Mikhail Sergachev (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)

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Feature Image by Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d) via Flickr

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