It took Brent Burns just 68 games to make it into the Carolina Hurricanes Record Book. Only 68 games to set the record for the most points scored by a Canes defenseman. 68 games, by the way, represent every game he has played for the Carolina Hurricanes. And one more thing, that is also exactly how many games the Carolina Hurricanes have played this season. With his nightly solid play, Burns is earning the role of undisputed captain for the Canes defensive unit that continues to keep the Carolina Hurricanes in the hunt for the Metro Division title and a deep playoff run.
Carolina’s 5-4 OT win over the Philadelphia Flyers was not only a barn burning, come from behind, score in the closing seconds to tie, win it in overtime, 2 points earning affair. It was a record breaking night for the one and only Brent Burns setting the Carolina Hurricanes single season points record for a defensemen with 53. On the game winner, in overtime, for a Sebastian Aho hat trick, Burns got the secondary assist and etched his name in the record book with what I can only presume was a Bowie knife.
By my count Burns has a point in 39 games, meaning he has scored points in 57% of his games as a Carolina Hurricanes player. And those points have been consistent, which seems mathematically redundant given he has points in above 50% of his games, but in this case it is not.
With streaks of 7 games (once), 5 games (twice) and 4 games (twice) starting in November Brent Burns, as a seasoned NHL defenseman, can still produce for the entire year. Inversely, he only has one bad streak of four games which represents his longest point drought.
It is with this night in and night out play that Brent Burns has taken leadership of a Carolina Hurricanes defense that continues to keep the lights on for the Canes.
As we have seen, Carolina has more scoring potential, and better defensive play than both the New Jersey Devils who sit second in the Metro Division, and nearly as much as the Boston Bruins* Since adding Shayne Gostisbehere at the NHL trade deadline, bringing more scoring depth the Canes defense is producing more and more opportunities for wins.
Coming into Carolina’s game against the New York Rangers in Raleigh, the Hurricanes defense has produced 5 goals of the 12 goal total in the last five games. In that same period of time the defense has accounted for 57.5% of the shots on goal.
Two Carolina defensemen (Brady Skjei and Brent Burns) are in double digits. Skjei with 15 and Burns with 12 each have as many (or more) than Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen combined going to show the Hurricanes defense is keeping the puck in the offensive zone. You do not need me to tell you, you rarely score from the defensive zone unless of course your name is Pyotr Kochetkov, and you play goalie.
Brent Burns is, hopefully, with Carolina until they shut out the lights and turn off the motor. He has already found his way into the record books in just 68 games as the Hurricanes single season points generating defenseman. Burns has worked the defense of the Canes into an offensive leaning unit, thusly keeping Carolina in games when it matters most.
With a substantial percentage of goals, and shots on goal, it is easy to see the defense, and Brent Burns have got their skates set down hill towards the goal. As the offense hopefully gets fired back up, this combination is going to lead to some explosive numbers by the time play-off hockey gets started.
*These numbers were calculated before Shayne Gostisbehere joined the Hurricanes