Everyone is in awe with Teemu Selanne and how he manages to remain one of the game’s best players year in and year out. He’s currently scoring at better than a point-per-game pace with 10 points in 9 games.
As a Colorado Avalanche fan, I thought he’d be done after his miserable year with the Avs back in 2003-2004. But the lockout allowed him to get surgery and the time needed to let it heal, and for him to rehab properly. When the league came back to us, Selanne was back to his old self, scoring 40 goals and 50 assists in 80 games. He’s been killing the Avs since the lockout, and I couldn’t be happier for him – you have to accept the loss and be happy for Selanne. Now one of his teammates seems to be enjoying the same benefits from the extended/forced vacation.
38-year old Saku Koivu has generally been considered to be in the twilight years of his career. He hasn’t been as productive as he was during his years with the Montreal Canadiens, which isn’t a surprise – this is a guy who has battled through several injuries and cancer to be able to keep playing. So I couldn’t be happier to see that he’s quietly putting on a show in Anaheim, with 3 goals and 8 assists in 9 games. That’s a pace of 59 points over the 48-game long season.
Last night he had a goal and an assist against my Avalanche, but much like with Selanne, you just have to take it in stride and bow before one of the game’s greats. Koivu has never been able to replicate Selanne’s numbers, in part because Selanne is a generational talent, but also because Koivu’s career has been ripped apart by injuries and cancer. If he’d been able to stay healthy, I think Koivu would’ve been good for multiple seasons of at least 70-75 points every year. The time away from the game has hopefully allowed his body some extra rest and rehab, and now he’s reaping the benefits. And we should enjoy it while it lasts.