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With his arbitration case finally over, most of the summer there has been talk of how well Mike Hoffman will perform this coming season. With forwards like Stone and Zibanejad getting longer, more lucrative deals earlier this summer, I’ve been left with a sense that Sens Army isn’t particularly confident in how he’ll follow up his breakout season.
Now I don’t predict the future so whatever I think is just my analysis, but I can’t believe the lack of faith in this guy. I barely missed a period last season and Hoffman was one of the guys who made me excited to watch every game. I could go on and on about how great Hoffman was this season, but instead I thought it would be interesting to provide some statistical analysis.
Hoffman played 79 games last season, and had periods when he was on the fourth line and the second line. When he was on the second line he was able to put up some incredible offensive numbers, especially considering how little power play time he got, but on the fourth line he couldn’t generate much playing minimally with the teams worst forwards.
I took out Hoffmans last 18 games played from the regular season and his first 8 games, to remove any early season struggles or late season stints on the fourth line. Doing this gave me his longest stretch on the season that he was his most productive. Nov 6-Mar 8.
40 points in 53 games, a 62-point, 35-goal pace. Over 53 games, that isn’t just luck and there is no reason to think it won’t happen again. Sure, he wasn’t a high draft pick when he was 19 but he was a great scorer in junior and the AHL before last season. His junior coach Gerard Gallant even compared his shot to Brett Hull’s. Lastly, in the 13-14 season when he played in the AHL he had 30 goals and 67 points in 51 games.
Now, let me know what you think his next season has in store. Will he explode like in his last season in junior and in the AHL for a 30+ or 40+ goal season? Will he have a sophomore slump and struggle to reach 20? Or a repeat of last season?
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