If you could sum up Tuomo Ruutu's season in one word, it would likely be "inconsistent." At the end of October, Ruutu had only four points and a lot of people wondered if he was playing through an injury because he didn't look like himself at all. We all knew that Ruutu couldn't continue to play this poor forever and he eventually came around with a solid performances in November and December, and the talk among fans shifted to Ruutu needing to be re-signed or traded for Kings Ransom because he appeared to be the team's best forward at the time.
December remained Ruutu's highest point of the season as he would cool off in January and sustain an upper-body injury in February which kept him out of ten games. His quality of play after returning from the injury was underwhelming to say the least as he struggled to get back up to speed with the rest of the team and found himself in Kirk Muller's dog house for a couple games. This was something that troubled a lot of fans because Ruutu had signed a four-year contract extension worth $4.75 mil. per year about a month prior and getting on the coach's bad side can have some bad long-term effects.
The issue with Muller ended up not being as big of a deal as it was made out to be, but there is going to be a lot of talk about Ruutu's price-tag and whether or not he isn't worth the 18 goals and 34 points he produced this season is worth $4.75 mil. This was Ruutu's lowest point total since 2007-08 and he was just coming off a career high 57 points the year prior, so I think we can expect better boxcar stats from Ruutu next year. He also produced at what is considered a top-six rate at even strength, which is a good sign for next season.
What concerns me the most is that Ruutu's inconsistencies are not only present in his counting stasts, but his underlying numbers, as well. A look at those is coming after the jump.no comments