Games Played 48; Goals 19; Assists 21; PIMs 34; Plus/Minus +12
In a season that was blighted with injuries I think Schultz’s was the one that had the greatest lasting effect, on the player at least. If it took Bohmbach a long time to adjust to Schultz not being there then it took Schultz longer to adjust to being there again. I don’t think his game really recovered completely until the play-offs. Having said that when he did recover he recovered completely and played some of his best hockey in those last couple of weeks.
The biggest talking point about Stephen Schultz will be the injury he received against Edinburgh. The stats speak for themselves, 14 goals prior to the injury, just 5 once he returned. However two of those five came in the play-offs where he was back to the form that he showed before the injury.
I feel that Schultz has more to give and would welcome a return next season.
As with his line mate Andy Bohmbach, Schultz was a genuine world beater at the start of the year. Without a doubt the best forward in the league that I saw through those first couple of months, but a terrible injury saw him never get back to that level until the play-offs. A fantastic goalscorer and some incredibly silky skills, but he looked like a player that lost confidence after his injury and followed it up with trying to do a little bit too much as he tried to make up for lost time.
What if… What if Stephen Schultz didn’t get that injury against Edinburgh, what could he of achieved? What would the Panthers of achieved? We will never know. Started the season very well, striking up a great partnership with Andy Bombach with who he had played with before. Confident on the puck, had a trick up his sleeve and I personally feel if it wasn’t for the injury Schultz would have been our leading goal scorer. We have heard from Corey Neilson that he only wants players who want to wear the Panthers jersey and Schultz has given the impression he would like to return next season and I have to say that would put a smile on my face.
What if eh?
What if Stephen Schultz never attempts that open ice hit on the Capitals player that derails, what was looking like, a standout season? We finish that game scoring the OT goal, Schultz carries on a stunning partnership with Bohmbach that sparks the death of the festive quicksand that seems to suck us in every year and we win the league?
Far-fetched I know but, what if?