It’s the dog days of…October? Sure, I guess. That’s what happens when the Rangers play three games in two weeks to start the season and you can only write about Lias Andersson, Brett Howden, and the blue line so much. So let’s go into a quick, way too early, should not be taken overly serious look at who’s getting lucky and unlucky to start the season.
We use shooting percentage to track shooter “luck” here, as SH% can really tell a good story about a player. It’s what we used to say Ryan Strome likely wouldn’t repeat his season last year. There are always outliers (see: Grabner, Michael), but for the most part, players will be around their career shooting percentages more often than not.
The first thing to note is that Mika Zibanejad is currently shooting at a whopping 33% (4 goals on 12 shots). I probably didn’t have to tell you this, but he’s not going to continue to score at this pace. If you’re surprised that Zibanejad isn’t going to continue at a 90 goal pace, then I don’t know what else to tell you.
The other players shooting 33%: Brendan Smith and Brett Howden, although they only have one goal on three shots. So yea, not much to evaluate there. Suffice it to say though, it’s highly unlikely either are going to continue to a 27-goal pace. I don’t know if that’s a reach or not.
The only other players with more than five shots on goal are Artemi Panarin (two goals, 22% shooting rate), Jacob Trouba (one goal, 11% shooting rate), and Brady Skjei (zero goals). Panarin shoots at 14.3%, which is also his FO win rate. Nothing to see there, just something funny.
So what is the point of all this? After all, it’s been three games, stats are relatively meaningless right now.
And that is also your answer. It’s been three games, far too early to make any judgments about any specific player, especially a player that isn’t a known quantity yet, like Howden or Lias Andersson. Unless of course it’s Ryan Strome or Marc Staal. Then fire away.
Most of this post is in jest – and if I needed to tell you that, then you need to get out more. There are certainly things worth keeping an eye on, such as continually giving up the blue line by design and wondering why the 2C spot isn’t getting switched. Things to watch are just that, things to watch. No panic. Just something to watch, like the coworker who is standing by the elevator buttons and refuses to hit the door close button.