RE­CENT PER­FOR­MANCE

The Hockey News - - BUZZ -

BYFUGLIEN IS PLAY­ING THE best hockey of his ca­reer. He has fewer give­aways than in past sea­sons and is gam­bling less on risky “pinches” in the neu­tral zone. He’s also tak­ing fewer re­tal­i­a­tion penal­ties. He has far fewer hits than in past sea­sons, but his phys­i­cal play has been more ef­fec­tive. Wit­ness his dev­as­tat­ing open ice hit on Tay­lor Hall in a March 8 game in New Jer­sey. It set the tone for an im­por­tant road vic­tory and helped end Hall’s point streak at 26 games. Le­tang can still gen­er­ate points, par­tic­u­larly on the NHL’s best power play. The rest of his game has not been nearly as good as it was prior to his in­jury last sea­son. He has the high­est num­ber of give­aways this sea­son in his ca­reer. His com­mit­ment level de­fen­sively has been poor. With one hand on the stick and no “bend” in his body, he has at times been a de­fen­sive li­a­bil­ity. His de­ci­sions with the puck are usu­ally good, but he sel­dom wants to carry it any­more. EDGE: BYFUGLIEN

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