Bryce Salvador is having one rich playoff run
Of all New Jersey’s surprise success stories in the playoffs, Bryce Salvador’s scoring prowess probably ranks as the least expected.
Salvador’s game-winning goal on Saturday night was his 14th point of the playoffs, tying Drew Doughty for the lead among NHL defensemen. Adam Kimmelman points out how rare game-winners have been for Salvador; apparently, it was his first GWG since Jan. 2010 and his second career playoff game-winner.
(His other one came on April 19 ... 2001).
Salvador wasn’t coy about how unusual scoring has been for him, either.
“I went 82 games without scoring, so I’ll take any goal I can get,” he said.
Scoring this often in the playoffs is rare enough for the Devils defenseman, but he isn’t far from matching career highs for a season’s worth of work. His two best career outputs were 16 points (in 76 games in 2008-09) and 14 in 79 games in 2009-10.
Apparently Salvador’s Fernando-Pisani-of-defensemen act is so unusual that it actually broke a record. His 14 points is the highest postseason point total ever for a player who produced 10 points or less in a regular season with at least 70 games played.
(Salvador failed to score a goal and had nine assists in 82 games during this regular season).
Salvador’s career stats are likely to be blissfully ignored by some NHL general manager during the off-season. The 36-year-old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so this postseason output isn’t just record-breaking and unlikely.
It’s also probably going to be very lucrative.