(Ed. Note: We’re once again pleased to partner with Dobber Hockey to provide fantasy hockey insight throughout the NHL season. Here’s Steve Laidlaw, the Managing Editor of DobberHockey, as your new fantasy hockey smarty-pants!)
By Steve Laidlaw
Last week, we looked at some of biggest over-performers in terms of shooting percentage. This week, we will continue to look at outliers, this time, the biggest under-performers in shooting percentage. We could easily have included the many defensemen who have yet to score a goal, like Colton Parayko, Rasmus Ristolainen, Duncan Keith, John Carlson, etc. but defenseman goal scoring is typically a rare event. Only 10 defensemen hit the 15-goal plateau. Shots from defensemen are typically lower-percentage chances, but also come in lower volume. That means they are more likely victims of swings in shooting percentage.
Today, we will strictly look at forwards, who are much more likely to see regression in shooting percentage.
Before diving in, remember that the “Regressed Goal” total assumes that the player shoots at his career percentage over the games remaining in the season. We don’t assume an over-correction that would allow him to make up for his slow start because that’s not how regression works.
One last caveat: all figures are based on stats are up to date as of November 28th.
A few notes on some of these players:
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks – No one is expected to boost his goal-scoring more than Perry, whose regressed total is 14 goals higher than the 15 he’s currently on pace for. Even after his slow start, a 30-goal season remains a possibility. That both Getzlaf and Perry feature on this list has to be exciting news for Duck fans.
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks – While Getzlaf’s career shooting suggests that he may be due for some better shooting luck, this is the second straight season that his shooting percentage is in the tank. Do not blindly rely on an a massive uptick in shooting percentage. His abilities may be waning. Fortunately, Getzlaf is still a stud playmaker.
Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens – Like Getzlaf, this is the second straight season of collapsing shooting percentage from Plekanec. He has seen his role become more defensively oriented than before and has lost much of his power play usage. His shot rate and shooting percentage are both down. At 34, the signs are there for a player dropping off.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins – Second in terms of expected increase in goal-scoring is Bergeron who has been shooting the crap out of the puck, with few results, all while his linemates (David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand) have been finding the twine regularly. How good is that line? Injuries might be slowing Bergeron down some, which suggests he may not totally regress. Still, with his talent and shot volume, it is hard to see him falling short of 20 goals.
Ryan Strome, New York Islanders / Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes – Neither of these two have been particularly good shooters throughout their careers, nor have they been high volume shooters. Safe to pass on both of them in your pool.
Boone Jenner, Columbus Blue Jackets – His drop in shooting percentage has also coincided with a drop in usage. He’s gone from a top line/top power play contributor to more of a depth player. He still has potential as an awesome net-front guy but right now that isn’t his primary role, which means his shooting percentage may not reach his career average. Don’t count on him coming close to last season’s 30 goals.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators – Another guy who has seen a dramatic drop after a 30-goal season. Forsberg is also seeing a drop in shot volume. Unless Forsberg gets back to shooting three or more times per game, he is a candidate to fall short of 20 goals, let alone 30. Fortunately, he is still a stud who can make up the difference with assists. For those who invested high in Forsberg, the drop in shooting percentage has been frustrating but it’s the drop in shot volume that is concerning.
Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes – Rode the shooting percentage dragon to a renaissance performance in 2015-16. That seems to have caught up with him as his shooting percentage has found the toilet. He’s 40 and skating on a bad team. Safe to ignore him in your pools.
Andrew Ladd, New York Islanders – Has seen his role on the Islanders diminished to that of a secondary player. His minutes and shot volume are down. Even if he starts to get some better bounces, it’s hard to see Ladd becoming relevant.
Jaromir Jagr / Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers –Things typically have to hit unsustainable lows for a coach to get fired. Indeed, the Panthers seeing two of their best players have their shooting percentages cut by more than half is an unsustainable low. Tom Rowe may get all the credit but Jagr and Barkov were strong bets to improve no matter who was in charge.
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