There was a lot of drama swirling around the Florida Panthers possibly ending Keith Yandle‘s ironman streak with a healthy scratch. Maybe that explains why Keith Yandle celebrated his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks so boisterously on Sunday?
Keith Yandle scores 100th goal, ironman streak continues
Granted, that goal was also Keith Yandle’s 100th in the NHL. So there’s that. Enjoy the goal, but most of all, that celebration:
— NHL (@NHL) January 18, 2021
The bottom line with any ironman streak is that you still need to earn your spot in the lineup. Even if Rick Pitino disagrees.
Now, it’s no secret that Yandle’s defensive game draws criticism. It has for years, and sometimes with players like these, the narrative eventually becomes true (we’ve seen this with Phil Kessel lately).
The main question was always: is it worth it? Can Keith Yandle bring more to the table than he took away from it? With 45 points last season, and 62 in 2018-19, the instinct might be to say “of course.”
Again, though, you have to weigh the good vs. the bad. Take a look at how his defense graded out last season, based on Evolving Hockey’s handy player cards:
So, yeah, there’s some reason to wonder if Keith Yandle could justify keeping his ironman streak going.
On a better defense, it would be that much tougher to force Keith Yandle’s streak to keep going. But on Florida’s? He might be worth keeping in the mix. At least if he’s scoring. (Act like you’ve been there before though, eh?)
Of course, there are factors outside of where he ranks in the Panthers’ defense. Management might want to move on from Yandle’s contract, and may have noted that the previous regime’s softer techniques didn’t get the veteran to budge. For those who crave drama, there could be more to come with Yandle and his ironman streak.
Oh, and as a reminder of the give-and-take with Yandle, note that the first Blackhawks goal came after a Yandle penalty. Just saying.