Last season, David Perron was 1st in shooting percentage, 2nd in goals scored, and 5th in both assists and total points on the St. Louis Blues team. This season? He is 3rd in shooting percentage, 3rd in goals scored, 6th in assists and 4th in total points on the St. Louis Blues.
I was surprised when I looked at these numbers because they do not relate to the frustration that many of us have been feeling about his play on the ice. And it looks like this frustration just isn't limited to the fans, because Hitchcock assigned Perron play to the 4th line for their game against the Avalanche last night.
I took a look at more than just his points, goals, assists, and shooting and added in his numbers from previous seasons to provide some additional perspective. In order to even out the stats between seasons, due to the shortened season this year, I converted all the numbers into a Per Game stat. However, I left out the 2010-2011 season because he only played 10 games due to his concussion. The data was sourced from Hockey-Reference and Behind the Net. Check out the Hockey-Reference glossary for a definition of the Goals Created stat that I included.
The chart in the lower right corner tells the tale. Look at all those Penalty Minutes per Game he has been racking up this season compared to seasons in the past. The other trend I noticed is that last season was definitely a great season for Perron. So what we might be witnessing this season is some regression to the mean. If you compare this season to the 2009-2010 season, the numbers look very similar. Another clue that we might be witnessing a "regression season" from Perron is his PDO. Cam Charron has been doing yeoman's work tracking PDO this season and he has a pretty good explanation of it at Backhand Shelf. Go read it.
Basically, the idea is that a player or team's PDO cannot be sustained above or below 1000. As you can see, Perron's PDO was above 1000 last season so it shouldn't be a surprise that it is now below 1000 this season.
So is David Perron having a bad season? Well, when it comes to penalties, yes. And penalties can be indicative of other problems on the ice. But as far as the rest of his performance, one could make an argument that he is having a relatively typical season in spite of all his time spent in the penalty box.