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Monday, May 13, 2013

Bouwmeester Joins the 'Olli Jokinen' Club

From one dubious club to another, so goes life for embattled NHL defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. For his newest distinction, I'll kindly ask Olli Jokinen to shove over and give Jay a place to sit down.
By now, everyone's familiar with Boumeester's story. It took 10 seasons and 764 regular season games for the Edmonton native to finally make the NHL playoffs, which he did this season with St. Louis as a 29-year-old.
Perhaps known best for his iron man streak of 635 games -- highest among active players, not to be overlooked as a key contributor to such a string of good health are two variables:
  1. He's consistently had the longest summers of any NHL player. That's more rest, more relaxation and most importantly -- more recovery time.
  2. By taking every spring off, as well as summer, he's missed out on the hard-hitting, knock'em-down-drag'em-out wars of attrition that are the NHL playoffs. e.g. When the Blues and Kings last met in the regular season this year, there were 37 hits in that game. In game one of their playoff series, there were 79 hits.
As of the end of the 2012-13 NHL regular season, 679 players had played 750 or more regular season games in the NHL with Bouwmeester and Jokinen tied for the top.  And by the top, I mean the bottom
On May 10, Bouwmeester joined Jokinen as the sole two members of the exclusive 'Six Playoff Games and That's All' club when Los Angeles eliminated the Blues from the playoffs in game six of their first round series.
So, after an 11 year wait that followed being drafted 3rd overall by Florida in 2002, Bouwmeester's debut in the post-season lasted just 11 days -- long enough to grow just a tiny bit of stubble. Oh, don't worry Jay, many guys can relate to not lasting very long after waiting oh so long for their, ahem, 'first time'.
Here is a list of the other playoff-deprived players who have rarely had a chance to play NHL hockey in May. Notable is the presence of a whopping eight former Calgary Flames on this list and that sure can't be good.

Top 25 - Fewest NHL Post-Season Games
(With at minimum 750 regular season games, as of end of 2012-13 season)
1. Jay Bouwmeeser, D, 2002- (Fla, Cgy, Stl) - 6 games
1. Olli Jokinen, C,  1997- (LA, NYI, Fla, Phx, Cgy, NYR, Wpg) - 6 games
3. Scott Lachance, D, 1991-2004 (NYI, Mtl, Van, Clb) - 11 games
4. Walt McKechnie, C, 1967-1983 (Min, Cal, Bos, Det, Wsh, Cle, Tor, Col) - 15 games
5. Robert Kron, C, 1990-2002 (Van, Har, Car, Clb) - 16 games
5. Nick Libett, LW, 1967-1981 (Det, Pit) - 16 games
7. Bill Collins, C, 1967-1978 (Min, Mtl, Det, Stl, NYR, Phi, Wsh) - 18 games
8. Michel Petit, D, 1982-1998 (Van, NYR, Que, Tor, Cgy, LA, TB, Edm, Phi, Phx) - 19 games
9. Karlis Skrastins, D, 1998-2011 (Nsh, Col, Fla, Dal) - 20 games
10. Gary Bergman, D, 1964-1976 (Det, Min, KC) - 21 games
10. Andrew Cassels, C, 1989-2006 (Mtl, Har, Cgy, Van, Clb, Wsh) - 21 games
12. Marty McInnis, LW, 1991-2003 (NYI, Cgy, Ana, Bos) - 22 games
13. Lubomir Visnovsky, D, 2000- (LA, Edm, Ana, NYI) - 24 games
13. Marty Reasoner, C, 1998- (Stl, Edm, Bos, Atl, Fla, NYI) - 24 games
13. Nick Schultz, D, 2001- (Min, Edm) - 24 games
16. Mikeal Andersson, RW, 1985-2000 (Buf, Har, TB, Phi, NYI) - 25 games
16. Marc Savard, C, 1997-2011 (NYR, Cgy, Atl, Bos) - 25 games
16. Rogie Vachon, G, 1966-1982 (Mtl, LA, Det, Bos) - 25 games
19. Gilles Marotte, D, 1965-1977 (Bos, Chi, LA, NYR, Stl) - 29 games
20. Jason Blake, C, 1998-2012 (LA, NYI, Tor, Ana) - 30 games
20. Eric Brewer, D, 1998- (NYI, Edm, Stl, TB) - 30 games
20. Niklas Hagman, LW, 2001-2012 (Fla, Dal, Tor, Cgy, Ana) - 30 games
20. Bill Houlder, D, 1987-2003 (Wsh, Buf, Ana, Stl, TB, SJ, Nsh) - 30 games
20. Don Lever, LW, 1972-1987 (Van, Atl, Cgy, Col, NJ, Buf) - 30 games
20. Scott Walker, RW, 1994-2010 (Van, Nsh, Car, Wsh) - 30 games

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