Jussi’s fruits bearing Penguin playoff gifts

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Jussi Jokinen scored his sixth playoff goal Wednesday and extended his point streak to eight games. Jokinen now has nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) in 10 postseason contests.

Sidney Crosby would die for those numbers – well, at least the goal production. Crosby famously has but one goal in his last 14 postseason games.

So what should we make of Jussi, who totaled 21 goals and 57 points in 81 regular-season games?

At this point, who really cares? The versatile winger/center will be an unrestricted free agent after the season ends (Carolina is footing about $900K of his $3 million salary). Let’s just enjoy what the Pens have going right now. They’re playing their best hockey of the season.

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How surprising is it for Jokinen to score in eight straight contests?

Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, the Kalajoki, Finland native has played in 705 contests (including 45 playoff games).

He’s had just one hot stretch longer than his current run. From Jan. 28, 2010 to March 2, 2011, Jokinen put together a 10-game point streak.

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IMG_6247Sometimes the bear gets you …

He’s participated in only five playoff runs in nine seasons. His current run is the best of his career, but he scored seven goals and four assists in 18 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008-09. During one stretch, he posted six goals and four assists in nine games.

In fact, Jokinen’s success didn’t run out until the Penguins limited him to a single point in a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference finals.

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IMG_6340 … and sometimes you get the bear

Where would the Penguins be right now without Jokinen? There was talk of moving Jokinen to the third line when Beau Bennett returned from injury. That scenario didn’t play out. Good thing, too, because Bennett is becoming somewhat of an enigma – making a great play and then becoming a deer-in-the-headlights the next.

Jokinen has proved to be a model of consistency.

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Unheralded contributions from secondary sources during the 2008-09 Stanley Cup run helped Pittsburgh to its first championship almost two decades.

Bill Guerin (15 points), Ruslan Fedotenko (14 points) and Tyler Kennedy (nine points) all made key contributions. Max Talbot scored both of the Penguins’ Game 7 goals against the Red Wings.

Jokinen is proving to be the perfect extra ingredient for the big stars; thus far the recipe is working.

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Jokinen ranks highly within the advanced metrics system for the Pens during the playoffs. Really, the only Penguin with better numbers across the board is Brian Gibbons, who has played in half of Pittsburgh’s 10 games.

Click here for the dashboard statistics for the playoffs.

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Penguin Audio

Dan Bylsma:

Courtesy, Pittsburgh Penguins

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Treasure Life!
JT
@JohnToperzer
@PiratesTalk

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