Stanley Cup Playoffs: Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, other former Senators making most of postseason appearances
Stone leads all players in points with eight in the early going
The 2018-19 season was a tough one for the Senators.
Coming into the campaign, Ottawa traded Erik Karlsson to the Sharks for prospects and the Sharks' 2020 first round pick, as well as their second-rounder this year. At the trade deadline, the Senators unloaded Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel to the Blue Jackets as Columbus pushed towards the postseason. Lastly, Mark Stone was shipped to Vegas to join the Golden Knights.
Those deals have the Senators loaded with draft picks over the next few years, but it also completely blew up their roster, which as recent as 2017 made the conference finals. Mike Hoffman had already been flipped to the Panthers, and Kyle Turris was traded to the Predators in the middle of the 2017-18 season.
While the Senators unquestionably have a shot at brightening their future following all of those moves, many of the key pieces they dealt are now making postseason runs with their respective new teams.
Mark Stone, Golden Knights
The Senators really wanted to hang onto Stone before the trade deadline. He's just 26 years old, and still logged 28 goals in 59 games with Ottawa this season. However, the team couldn't agree to an extension with Stone and shipped him to Vegas for prospect Erik Brannstrom, forward Oscar Lindberg and the Stars' 2020 second-rounder. Since that trade, Stone and the Golden Knights are 11-5-2 (13-6-2 counting the postseason). Stone had five regular season goals and agreed to an eight-year extension with Vegas.
In the playoffs, Stone is tied for the lead with teammate Paul Stastny among all point-scorers with eight (one for each year the Senators wouldn't sign him to) and six goals. He also has a plus/minus of plus-four, and he's been part of a line that has abused the Sharks in their opening series. The Golden Knights' second line of Stastny, Stone and Max Pacioretty scored all six goals on Sunday, highlighted by a hat trick from Stone. That line has proven to be a problem all year spelling the first line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. The Golden Knights continue to look like one of the deepest teams in hockey, raising the question: Why do teams keep trading them their top wingers?
Matt Duchene, Blue Jackets
Right behind the Golden Knights and Stone in the "goodness, this team is a problem" department is the Blue Jackets and Matt Duchene. Duchene was part of a late push from the Blue Jackets to make a run this year, with Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin presumably on their way out after this season. Duchene is also on a contract year, so it seemed like a death knell when the Blue Jackets got stuck against the Lightning after clinching a playoff berth after the penultimate game of the season.
Fast forward a few weeks and the Blue Jackets are up 3-0 over the President's Trophy winners following three dominant showing. Duchene is Columbus' top scorer with five points, and he's tied for the team lead in goals with two -- which is a testament to how spread out the Blue Jackets' attack has been). He's also won a solid 65.79 percent of faceoffs for the Blue Jackets, and his line has a combined plus/minus of plus-six. The Blue Jackets are knocking on the door of a sweep, and if they do that, it's easy to think Duchene's odds of returning to Columbus are decently high.
Ryan Dzingel, Blue Jackets
Dzingel was the other Senators player that the Blue Jackets took in order to make their playoff push. While he hasn't had quite the impact that Duchene has early in the series -- his main impact has been in the shots column -- being part of a strong line is always impactful. Prior to the playoffs, Dzingel notched four goals and eight assists with the Blue Jackets, so he'll try to carry a bit more of that success into the remainder of the postseason.
Erik Karlsson, Sharks
Karlsson was the prized possession of the 2018 offseason, with the Sharks ultimately winning the sweepstakes to bolster an already stacked defense. Karlsson had 45 points and three goals in 53 regular season games, but in the playoffs it's been tough for the Sharks and its star defensive unit. A big part of that is the utterly catastrophic situation between the pipes. Martin Jones will be going into Game 4 with a .849 save percentage and Aaron Dell backs up him up at .875 in one appearance.
The goalie situation aside, Karlsson has been on the ice for 11 of the 13 goals that the Sharks have allowed. That's not what you want out of one of your key pairings. His plus/minus is somehow only minus-three, but the Sharks are in some serious trouble after entering the year among the Stanley Cup favorites due to the unforeseen implosion in net.
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