Johnny Hockey has tough night; Dvorak, Hayes, Smith, regressing percentages and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
Calgary Flames left winger Johnny Gaudreau was demoted to the fourth line during their 5-0 loss to Arizona Monday.
It’s been a difficult season for the diminutive third-year forward. He got off to a slow start and then missed time with a broken finger. He was productive initially upon his return to action, with 14 points in 10 games, but he’s slumped since, with two goals and 10 points in the past 20 games, and he ended up getting shuffled down the depth chart, playing with Matt Stajan and Garnet Hathaway after his turnover led to Arizona’s second goal.
Of course a team shouldn’t demote its best offensive performer when down 2-0, not if they want their best chance to come back, but in a bigger picture it’s not altogether surprising that his on-ice shooting percentages came down this season, though going from 9.6% last season (and 10.7% the year before) to 5.5% this season is a dramatic shift.
His individual shot rates are up slightly from last season, but his goal and point production is down. Regression comes for us all.
Keep these percentages in mind when evaluating a player, because perception is drastically different for a player with a 6% on-ice shooting percentage compared to one with a 11% on-ice SH%.
Here is a look at the forwards with highest on-ice SH% last season, minimum 750 5-on-5 minutes last season and 500 5-on-5 minutes this season:
ON-ICE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE LEADERS 2015-16 AND REGRESSION
|PLAYER||TEAM||POS||2015-16 OiSH%||2016-17 OiSH%||DIFF|
|Adam Henrique||New Jersey||C||11.1||8.6||-2.5|
|Joe Thornton||San Jose||C||10.5||7.8||-2.7|
|Derek Stepan||N.Y. Rangers||C||10.4||9.2||-1.2|
|Chris Kreider||N.Y. Rangers||LW||10.4||8.6||-1.8|
|Joe Pavelski||San Jose||RW||10.2||8.7||-1.5|
|Mats Zuccarello||N.Y. Rangers||RW||9.9||8.5||-1.4|
|Rick Nash||N.Y. Rangers||LW||9.7||10.5||0.8|
When you have those outliers, consider how difficult it will be to repeat those percentages year after year. (I did when forecasting which players might have a hard time matching last year’s production.) They may not drop as dramatically as Gaudreau has this year, but it's really hard to stay at such a high level.
From Tuesday’s games…
Christian Dvorak – The Arizona rookie centre scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-0 win at Calgary, giving him seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the past five games.
Kevin Hayes – The Rangers centre continues to roll. He had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win at Columbus, and has 19 points (4 G, 15 A) in the past 15 games.
Mike Smith – Arizona’s netminder delivered a 36-save shutout at Calgary and has a .928 save percentage in his past nine games.
T.J. Brodie – The Flames blueliner was on the ice for four even-strength goals against in a 5-0 loss to Arizona. Among big-minute defencemen (min. 750 5-on-5 minutes), only Colorado’s Tyson Barrie has a worse goals-for percentage than Brodie’s 35.7%.
Shane Doan and Brendan Perlini – A couple of Arizona wingers had rough possession games. Doan (2 for, 12 against, 14.3 CF%, 2-8 scoring chances) and Perlini (3 for, 15 against, 16.7 CF%, 2-9 scoring chances) were on the wrong side of the puck in a 5-0 win at Calgary.
Chad Johnson – Calgary’s goaltender surrendered four goals on 23 shots in a 5-0 loss to Arizona. He has a .822 save percentage in his past five games.
Scott Hartnell – Columbus’ veteran winger took a hard hit into the boards against the Rangers and suffered a lower-body injury.
Coyotes D Luke Schenn recorded two assists at Calgary; he had one assist in his previous 31 games…Coyotes agitator Ryan White had a goal and an assist at Calgary, and has six points (4 G, 2 A) in the past eight games. With linemates Jordan Martinook and Josh Jooris, White had a strong possession game too (15 for, 6 against, 71.4 CF%, 8-2 scoring chances)…Blue Jackets LW Brandon Saad had a solid game (19 for, 4 against, 82.6 CF%, 8-2 scoring chances) in a 3-2 loss to the Rangers…Rangers LW Jimmy Vesey scored the winning goal and had team-best possession stats (15 for, 5 against, 75.0 CF%, 10-2 scoring chances) at Columbus.
Players being dropped the most, yet still owned in more than half of TSN leagues:
Sam Gagner – No points and only six shots on goal in the past six games for Columbus’ power play specialist. Owned: 51.6%
Jordan Eberle – It’s been a disappointing season and Eberle has gone seven games without a point, but what about moving back onto Connor McDavid’s wing? Owned: 70.7%
Jonathan Marchessault – The Panthers winger has moved down the depth chart, but still has six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past eight games. Owned: 59.0%
Jaden Schwartz – The Blues winger has 10 points in the past 11 games; might be worth keeping around. Owned: 55.5%
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com