Mar
27

Regression, thy name is Michael Grabner

March 27, 2017, by
michael grabner

Photo: NHLI/Getty Images

Michael Grabner has been a helluva find for the Rangers this year. His 27 goals and 39 points are about double what any rational mind expected when the Rangers inked him to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million. Expansion draft fodder. Solid bottom-six depth. Decent penalty killer. Those were the expectations.

But then Grabner started scoring, and scoring often. He started scoring so often that he became the leading goal scorer on the team, and has an outside shot at a 30-goal season. With that came something we all saw coming. Grabner was shooting over 20%. The regression was coming. And it was going to come fast.

Now we have a Grabner that has just one goal in 17 games. It’s not for lack of shots either. It’s just simple regression. Grabner’s career shooting rate is 12.6%, and even with his recent slump he’s still at 17.8%. While not a guarantee that he will continue to slump, it’s a safe bet that he will not be scoring at the same clip going forward.

There’s more to Grabner’s game than just scoring goals though. And while we shouldn’t expect him to be an elite scorer, there are other benefits. Steve Valiquette mentioned on a broadcast a little while ago that teams are actually more cautious around Grabner when on a powerplay. In theory, this makes the penalty kill significantly more effective. I say in theory because the PK has been shaky lately.

This does give more weight to the argument that the Rangers should trade Grabner in the offseason, since he is unlikely to produce like this next year. There was a vocal crowd that thought moving Grabner at the deadline was the best choice, a move I disagreed with. However the price for Grabner, especially if he hits 30 goals, may never be so high. There is certainly a valid argument for moving him this offseason, as there is keeping him.

That said, the Grabner we saw earlier in the season, the one scoring seemingly at will, is one we likely will not see for the remainder of the season. That doesn’t mean he is going to be ineffective. It just means he is going to need to contribute in other ways, which he already does. Speed is always a weapon, especially in the playoffs.

"Regression, thy name is Michael Grabner", 1 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.
Categories : Players

29 comments

  1. Leatherneck says:

    That whole line has regressed….they got too cute…when they were successful they drove the net…now they are passing too much….confidence is lost…Grabner missing an open net shorty sums up that line last 15 games or so

  2. Peter says:

    I think that in view of the struggles of Hayes and Miller during the same stretch that the regression argument is a bit over stated. I watched him closely on the last breakaway and the puck was rolling, so when he attempted his backhand shot he didn’t quite get all of it. Them’s the breaks sometimes.

  3. Walt says:

    Why the hell mess with a line that seemed to have chemistry, skated well, and defended well. That line is then broken up, for no apparent reason, the play of the three players is impacted negatively, and now the players are being being called out for not playing like they did earlier in the season. Hey Marv, leave the effing lines in tact, you’ve choked your chicken long enough, let the lines develop chemistry again!!!!!!!!

    • Spozo says:

      Wasn’t it broken up because of Grabners injury?

      • Walt says:

        why wasn’t it put back together ASAP??????? I can play the same game……….

        • Spozo says:

          because clearly something wasn’t clicking!

          Your theory is that time away from each other leads to them not playing well. So they were separated out of necessity due to the injury. Who’s to say that if they were reunited earlier they would have regained that chemistry (and Grabner blowing his career shooting % out of the water)? Why would they have automatically played better if the time away from each other was a little shorter? How do we know the result would have been different than it is now? We don’t!

          Maybe, just maybe AV knew what he was doing and knew that Grabner was clearly overachieving and Hayes and Miller were streaky youngsters that throughout their short careers have dried up offensively from time to time just like they are now! Maybe AV was trying to navigate several other injuries to key players and he felt keeping this “untouchable” line together at the expense of the other lines wasn’t his main priority! Someone had to move up to the top line a couple weeks ago and normal people would have been thrilled that Miller was given a larger role with more minutes but no! He should have kept the untouchable trio together and assumed that Grabner would keep shooting at 20%.

          Boy I would love a job where if I started to suck at what I was doing it was automatically my bosses fault! Especially in a performance based industry, especially if I had a history of performing crappy from time to time just as Miller, Hayes, and Grabner have!

        • Spozo says:

          And before Grabs injury let’s look at how awesome this trio was performing. Miller led them with a whopping 3 points in the previous 8 games, Miller had 2, and Grabner was pointless in this 8 games before injury. Yup, they were clicking on all cylinders and that moron of a coach couldn’t see to it that they were reunited.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Spozo nails it exactly!

            I find it incredibly amusing that many have defended Miller and Hayes (aka The Untouchables) with the excuse that hey, they’re young. They have great upside. Ok, maybe so, but color me skeptical on Miller and Hayes. I don’t expect them to be anywhere near as good as some make them out to be. On course to be Kreider-types. Good to very good at times, but not great. And not untouchable franchise changing players.

            But if that’s the case, then how can you call for AV’s head when you are asking for patience? If you want to win now, then we have to get performance from the Untouchables (and I include Kreider in this too) NOW! If you are about the future, I have no problem with that, but then don’t bellyache if we get bounced in the first round, and don’t blame the coach if these kids are just going through growing pains.

            Because we have ZERO chance of advancing with this erratic group of offensive “stars” unless they mature and fast.

            BTW, did you see Brooksie’s article that came out a short time ago…”The Bad J.T. Miller is back and it’s a huge problem for the Rangers”? Should make for an interesting discussion!

            But I forget, AV hates Miller and the regression is all the coach’s fault.

            • paulronty says:

              Spozo & E3–folie a deux.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                You always know when the “Don” has no actual response to something he disagrees with. He will resort to his usual childish personal attacks.

              • Spozo says:

                Walt and Paul – grumpy old me

              • Spozo says:

                Typing on the iPhone is a blast. Should have read grumpy old men!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Hey, as I said, be careful Spozo. The Don may start accusing you and I of being the same person any day now! 🙂

            • Sammy says:

              I’m so glad someone has good enough sense and knows hockey like spozo and E3. Im always amazed at how it’s the coaches fault no matter what and nobody says boo when he makes a move that pays off. Walt and his buddy paulountry love bashing AV even when it doesn’t make sense. And glad to see someone noticed just how good the “untouchables ” have been. Hockey players are usually streaky anyway. The AV name calling got old for me a long time ago

              • Walt says:

                How in the hell is any line going to develop any chemistry, and get to know what the next guys will do????? That comes from playing with each other over a period of time. This coach hasn’t had the same group of players play together for any extended period of time all season long, or for his entire career while the coach of this team.

                Switching people due to injuries is common, but switching people every shift is nuts. Please defend this coach all you want, he will never take us to the promised land, even if he had an entire team of HOF’ers like E3 refers to them. Vancouver with the Twins, that team was loaded, what did AV do with that group, squat, that’s what he did!!!!! He got into Luongo’s head, and fu*ked up his mind for him, or Tim Thomas played outstanding, whatever excuses E3 will make for him, the results just weren’t there. The remark that you would love a job that if you sucked at, it automatically would be the boss’s fault, well Spozo, who’s fault is it if you’re put into a situation where you’re doomed to fail?????

                As to Bozo’s referring to me as a grumpy old man, thank you for acknowledging that I reached that status, I wear it as a badge of honor!!!!!!!!!

                Question for you all, could it be that the three guys, Hayes-JT-Grabs, skating together was the reason they were effective, and since they were broken up, they may have lost that comfort level? Also, why do you not criticize Stepan’s play, or Nash, or the rest of the teams, when they all are playing some poor hockey??????

                The name “Untouchables” was given to this group by E3, and no one else refers to the kids that way!!!!!!

              • Spozo says:

                Grumpy old guy, I’m sure you’ve done the research to determine that AV tinkers with lines more than any other coach. I’m sure you’ve compared starting lineups over a set period of time and figured AV is the worst offender here. I’m sure those line tinkerigs correspond to wins/losses and on ice performance of the players. I’m sure you’ve done all of this because you’re so good at providing empirical evidence, not just opinions!

              • Walt says:

                Strunz

                I don’t need to give stats, the guy has yet to win a cup, so cram it from your friend the “Grumpy old man” !!!!!!!!

                When he does, then I eat crow, but I’ll bet you $1,000 it won’t happen with this team!!!!!!!

              • rglv says:

                How about last season when a trio of Lindberg, Stalberg and Eric Staal was for a few games the best line, and then were taking apart for no reason just to accommodate the return of Nash. Ever since that time Staal “sucked”

              • Spozo says:

                Walt you’re great at deflecting this argument. We go from arguing his line combinations to about how he hasn’t won a cup. I love the bold statement that he won’t win a cup! Since that’s so easy to say a team won’t win a cup how about we make a bet that could actually mean something on here. Since you make the bold prediction that the rangers won’t win, I will make the bold prediction that any team of your choice won’t win the cup this year. You can pick ANY team. I will say they won’t win the cup. If they in fact win the cup then I will never post on here again!!!! If that team doesn’t make it to the promise land then you can’t post on here again.

              • Walt says:

                I enjoy posting too much for that, and you’d have nothing to bitch about then!!!!!!!!!!

                BTW, keep defending the undefendable will you, it puts a smile on this relic’s face !!!!!

  4. 43 says:

    He’s had a helluva a season. More than we asked for. Good signing. I’d keep him for next year. No one’s gonna give up anything of true value to take a chance that Grabner has another good season.

  5. paulronty says:

    For the past month I’ve advocated returning Grabs to the fourth line & putting Zucchie with Miller & Hayes. AV plays Russian Roulette with the lines but if one is working the other two aren’t.

  6. pas44 says:

    SPEED!

    Rocky go catch that chicken!

    NOW YOU’VE GOT SPEED

  7. Chris F says:

    What’s the scoop on Vinni Lettieri?

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Strongly rumored that he’s on his way to NY. But it’s probably a false bogus rumor. I mean, no young player is going to choose to play for a coach who hates young players. (Oops….Hayes, Vesey….and of course Skjei is the one pushing Lettieri to come here!).

      Man, they must all love to be abused and disrespected I guess! 🙂

      • Chris F says:

        I asked because he had already signed with us, so it’s a done deal. I agree with your sarcastic assessment –it’s pretty apparent that this organization and coaching staff are doing a fine job attracting young talent– but I’m not familiar with Lettieri. You know anything about him?

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Yep! Shame on me for not checking before posting. When I last looked a few hours ago, it was only a rumor.

          I’m definitely not the guy to ask on prospects (suspects as I call them). I keep a healthy skepticism. All we do is overrate them out here anyway. I just fold my arms and wait until I see actual results. 🙂

          But hey, at the very least, we know Hartford needs all the help it can get.

  8. John B says:

    Sadly, this is what he is. I was on the train to move him at the deadline. I’m still on the train of move him prior to the expansion draft, as it’s good asset management.

    Even if we only net a 3rd round pick for him it beats Vegas maybe taking him or losing him for nothing after next season.

    We missed the boat with Klein, were missing the boat with Holden. We finally decided to get on it with Talbot. We have the opportunity with Grabner and Raanta to get assets back that we need this summer. Winning organizations sell high and we need to do it this summer

    • Bloomer says:

      If you look at what teams were offering up for forwards at the trade deadline New York could of got a handsome return for Grabner. Game tied at 3 early in the third last night and Grabner watches Cogliano skate by him off the faceoff and bury an errant rebound behind Leakyqvist. I am ok with players going through scoring droughts…it happens. But more effort needed there on defence.