As the old adage goes, "There's two things certain in life: death and taxes." But if we could add a third, it would include the guarantee that the Wild speak about the need to carefully manage Suter's playing time to keep him fresh for the long haul. Yes, it's early, but it appears coach Bruce Boudreau has received the memo given how the 31-year-old is averaging 25:35 of ice time through the first three games. The Wisconsin native finished last campaign with an average of 28:36.
A monster night for Suter, who had been held off the scoresheet in the previous four games. The 31-year-old is coming off a 51-point regular season and is sporting a tidy plus-5 rating so far in the playoffs. Now that he's factored in on the scoring, look for the workhorse to bring it offensively once again in Game 6.
This gives Suter 43 assists on the season, which is a new career best for him, with time left to add to that total. For a player who logs so many minutes, and has over 50 points from the blue line, it feels like Suter is having an under-the-radar season.
Suter has been relatively cold after his season-high six-game point streak, recording just two assists in his last seven outings. A minus-6 rating adds salt to the wound, but with such massive ice time (almost 29 minutes per game), numbers are bound to accumulate. Suter has now tied his career-high 39 helpers, and we expect him to set a new milestone before season's end.
The 31-year-old blueliner is on a nice run, notching points in five straight games. It almost seems like Suter doesn't come off the ice, averaging over 28 minutes on the season, including close to four on the man advantage. The power-play time has translated into 17 points and counting on the year in what could arguably be the defenseman's best campaign as a pro. Suter sits at 44 points to date -- two short of tying his career-high.