Say what you will about the relevance of The Hockey News in today's hockey media landscape, they're still pretty good at putting together lists of players because it's kind of easier than writing real stories. Says the guy who spends his spare time writing top 11 lits for a two-bit hockey rag.
The latest list from THN is the 10 most disappointing players this NHL season. The premise is not who are the worst players this season but the guys that had expectations on their shoulders and aren't living up to those expectations. Coming in at fourth place with a bullet is Blues player Brad Boyes. Here's what they have to say about him:
Like Boston, St. Louis has been a disappointment as a whole this season. But Boyes' inability to score anywhere near the pace expected of him makes him the poster boy for the Blues in Missouri. The man who scored 76 goals combined the past two seasons is on pace for just 15 this year.
On it's face, that's a mostly fair comment. But if you look at it a little closer, I question if he's totally deserving of this honor.
#22 / Right Wing / St. Louis Blues
Apr 17, 1982
|2009 - Brad Boyes||52||10||24||34||-2||14||2||0||2||0||129||7.8|
First of all, they're only judging him on his goals scored. Granted, that's why he has a decent contract in the NHL, but it's not like he's not contributing. His 34 points leads the Blues. Granted, that sucks and is part of the indictment of the whole team. His 24 assists are right on pace for his total of 39 a year ago. And that minus-2 rating? Worlds better than the minus-20 he put up last year. And the writer compares his goals this year (which are incredibly low) to his two year total which includes a 43-goal season. He has to go back two seasons to cherry pick that comparison.
The drop-off for Boyes' goal scoring can be traced to two columns. The first is power play goals. You can see above that he has two this year. Last year he scored 16. Is it his fault the power play hasn't connect this year? Maybe, but I think you could argue the puck movement and the general disorganization of that thing combined with a lack of scoring threat from the blue line are more to blame than one player not finishing chances.
The second stat related to his decreased scoring will not be a surprise to folks around here. Boyes' shooting percentage is in the toilet compared to his last two seasons. When he scored 43 goals, he connected on an absurdly high 20.8 percent of his shots. To put that in perspective, only Henrik Sedin and Tomas Fleischmann are shooting above 20 percent this season and neither are on pace to get 200 shots on net like Boyes did two years ago.
Last season when Boyes scored 33 goals, his shooting percentage fell off like you would expect. He connected on 15 percent of his shots. His times hitting the net were up from 207 to 220. This year? It's an abysmal 7.8 percent. To put that in perspective, there are 260 players in the NHL with better shooting percentages than Brad Boyes this season. Shocking, I know.
So in the end, has Boyes disappointed? I think that's a safe call. But has he had the fourth most disappointing season in the league? I kind of doubt it. Another players on the list: Pavel Datsyuk.
What's your take, fair commenters? Let us know down below. And be sure to come back for the Game Day Thread. It promises to be quite the event on the Internets.