Sharks' Brent Burns has played much more than anyone this NHL playoffs

Marcus White
NBC Sports BayArea
Burns played more in the first round (213:18) and the second (195:41) than anyone else has in a single round this postseason.

Sharks' Brent Burns has played much more than anyone this NHL playoffs

Burns played more in the first round (213:18) and the second (195:41) than anyone else has in a single round this postseason.

Sharks' Brent Burns has played much more than anyone this NHL playoffs originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Brent Burns has played a lot in this Stanley Cup playoffs, and a lot more than anyone else. 

The Sharks defenseman leads all skaters in total ice time (408:59) and ice time per game (29:13). The latter mark is 41 seconds clear of the next closest skater (Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones), and 2:46 ahead of any player whose team hasn't been eliminated (Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Jacob Slavin). The former total, however, is in a league of its own.

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Burns played more in the first round (213:18) and the second (195:41) than anyone else has in a single round this postseason. His total in the first round was the seventh most in a single series in NHL playoff history, and the former was 55th most.

Both of the Sharks' series going seven games is a driving force behind those gaudy totals, but Burns still averaged more ice time than anyone else in the first round (30:28 per game) and more in the second round (27:57) than all but two players: Jones (30:56) and Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell (27:57).

Plus, the defenseman also has been relied upon to shut down opposing top lines in the playoffs. In the first round, Vegas Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Mark Stone each spent almost half of their 5-on-5 ice time matched up with Burns, according to Natural Stat Trick. Colorado Avalanche All-Stars Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen skated against Burns during 5-on-5 play about two-thirds of the time. 

Burns unsurprisingly is averaging plenty of time on the power play (3:08 per game), but he also leads the Sharks in total short-handed ice time (42:00), and average time on the penalty kill (3:00). Despite Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's end-of-season insistence that Burns is not a top-unit penalty killer, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer is using him like one this postseason.

[RELATED: Sharks preparing to play more physical series vs. Blues]

The veteran defenseman is known for taking care of his body, and that work is paying off as he continues to shoulder a heavy load. He is tied for the team lead with 14 playoff points, and the Sharks sit four wins away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2016.

If they're going to eliminate the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final, you're going to see Burns on the ice more often than not. 

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