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Teemu to Rest vs Minnesota Tomorrow

Eric Stephens reports (and the team confirms) that Teemu Selanne will not be in the lineup tomorrow night in Minnesota, in order to rest him for the second of back to backs Sunday in Winnipeg.

Marianne Helm

One of the big issues surrounding Teemu Selanne's return for a 21st and final NHL season this year was how Bruce Boudreau would manage his ice time and game schedule.  Last week in my answers to SBN's Three Big Questions I had this to say about the situation:

He started last season with 15 points in his first 11 games, at age 42, but a closer look at that stretch shows two four point games and a three pointer. After that he had five streaks of three or more scoreless games (including two five game stretches). Similarly he had three points in his first three playoff games, and none in the last four.

I'm not sure what the over/under is on games played for the Finnish Flash this year, but with another compressed schedule (thanks to the Olympics this time) he'll be due some days off to keep those flashes of brilliance (no pun intended) more consistent.

Today the venerable Eric Stephens of the OC Register tweeted the following updates:

Some Twitter/syntax issues there, but you get the point.  He'll sit one game in each of the 12 back to back scenarios this year, in theory (82-12=70, for those of you as bad at math as I am).

With that in mind, let's take a look at the other 11 back to back scenarios the Ducks have this season and have a guess as to which game he'll sit and which he'll play:

Oct 24-25, @ Montreal & @ Ottawa: The Canadian media would like to think that everyone wants to play every game in Montreal, but while the atmosphere would probably be better there, Teemu might rather relive Game 4 of the 2007 Cup Final.  My vote goes to Ottawa.

Nov 14-15, @ Tampa Bay & @ Carolina: Complete toss up.  These two are in the middle of a road trip, but I say he takes the Carolina game off to get three full days of rest before playing at Pittsburgh.

Nov 22-23, home to Tampa Bay & @ Phoenix: This year divisional games actually mean something, so the Phoenix game is vastly more important.  He gets an extra day at home with the family and skips Tampa.

Nov 29-30, home to Calgary & @ San Jose: This is a tough one, skipping the San Jose game would mean two fewer flights on the season as he could stay in Anaheim, waiting for the team to come back and play the Kings at home, but they'll probably need him more against the Sharks than the lowly Flames.  I think the importance of the Sharks game outweighs the travel to and from NorCal.

Dec 6-7, @ Chicago & @ St. Louis: Chicago's too good, gotta play 'em.

Dec 20-21, @ New Jersey & @ New York Islanders: If he, Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr all play in New Jersey, we might set a record for highest average age in an NHL game.  How can you pass that up?

Jan 17-18, @ Chicago & @ St. Louis: Sorry St. Louis, Teemu's not playing in your building this year.  Thank the schedule makers for making you the second of back to backs with Chicago, twice.

Mar 14-15, @ Colorado & @ Los Angeles: Unless he's on 699 goals and wants to guarantee the 700th he's playing LA.

Mar 28-29 AND Apr 6-7, @ Edmonton & @ Vancouver: These are the most likely for Boudreau to scrap the whole idea and have him play both back to back.  It all depends on where the Ducks are in relation to their opponents on the day.  They could be fighting for playoff positioning with either or both of these teams in late March/early April.  If they're way out of contention, give them each a Teemu game.  If Edmonton is still Edmonton-ing it up at the bottom of the Conference, he plays twice in Vancouver.

Apr 12-13 @ Los Angeles & home to Colorado: The Colorado game is the final game of the regular season, so you have to assume that Teemu will play, but if they're in a dog fight for a playoff spot and/or positioning that could come back to bite them.

UPDATE: Stephens has quotes from Teemu and Bruce here ($) including the fact that it's Teemu's choice as to which game he plays in each back to back.