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False Alarm: Milan Hejduk is Just Fine Thanks

On October 19th I took Milan Hejduk to task, and explored the fact that The Duke had been on the ice during opposing even-handed and short-handed goals against at a rate much higher than his teammates, and that his one goal and two assists after six games was far below his typical output.  I wondered if he was playing injured.

Apparently, Hejduk is just fine.  In the three games since that post, Hejduk has scored six total points (three goals, three assists).  In the last four, he's scored eight.  He's also looked far quicker and aggressive during his shifts and he's shying from physical contact far less than before. 

As for goals against, the Avs have been outscored 14-9 in the last three games (all losses), but Hejduk has only been on the ice for three EV or SH goals against.  He no longer appears to be a defensive liability as he was earlier this year. His (and his PP linemates') only major flub was the shorthanded goal by Jarrett Stoll that gave the Kings the lead late in the third period on Oct. 23. The Avs couldn't respond and eventually lost 6-4.  The PP line of Hejduk, Stastny and Stewart has allowed four shorthanded goals so far this year (nine games), which is pretty terrible.

Overall, Hejduk is playing like his old self, and is putting tons of points on the board.  He's now got nine points in nine games, and is among the league's scoring leaders.  Maybe he reads MHH and got motivated by my criticism, or maybe he's just overcome whatever problem ailed him up until now.  I'm happy either way.