SAN JOSE – The 2018-19 regular season was a monumental one for Sharks defenseman Brent Burns – one that has him in the Norris Trophy conversation as the campaign has come to a close. Now, it’s time for him to build off of his impressive season and help Team Teal make a deep playoff run.
Burns did more over the season than just top all defensemen in the NHL with 83 points and 67 assists.
He also set a few records.
Per SharksStats, Burns' assists total is the most by a defenseman since Brian Leetch registered 70 during the 1995-96 season. According to Elias Sports, his 39 primary assists on the season were the most by a defenseman since the 1992-93 season, when Paul Coffey tallied 39 and Phil Housley tallied a whopping 50. Burns’ points and assists totals are the most by a defenseman 34 years old or older in the history of the league.
With a regular season résumé like that, there’s no denying the Sharks can benefit from Burns’ offensive prowess in the playoffs. In his 74 career playoff games, the blueliner has registered 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists), including seven points in10 playoff games last season. Against the Vegas Golden Knights, who the Sharks will face in Round 1 of these playoffs, he tallied five points (two goals, three assists).
This is all in addition to carrying a heavy workload throughout the season. With various injuries hitting the blueline throughout the second half of the season, Burns averaged 25:06 minutes a game, and topped all Sharks’ skaters with 2058:08. Even with a healthier blueline heading into the playoffs, Burns will still likely be logging big minutes every night.
While scoring streaks don’t always carry over into the playoffs, Burns comes into the postseason on a nice streak, having tallied five points in the final five games. If he’s able to keep that pace going, it can greatly help the Sharks make a playoff run.