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Setting expectations for 2014-2015

Before the puck drops let's just get this out of the way. Steen will not repeat what he did last season. But that should not be interpreted as him having a bad season.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

I have been anticipating the "Steen Steen scoring machine" narrative all week.  And he did have a phenomenal start to the season that really helped propel the St. Blues into a solid position early on.  However, as predicted, he eventually cooled off.  Will Steen repeat his 33 goal feat again this season?  Probably not.  But I think we can still count on him to be a leading scorer for the Blues, especially considering the talent he is being paired up with on ice.

I just didn't want to look at Steen, but I also wanted to look at some of the other core Blues' forwards that have spent a handful of seasons with the team.  That left me with TJ Oshie, David Backes, Alexander Steen, Patrik Berglund, and Vladimir Sobotka. Each of these players have played four season with the Blues so they provide a nice sample size to do a quick look at their shooting percentage over time versus league average.

I pulled the data from Dave Johnson's site Hockey Analysis.  I included only forwards who have played a minimum of 400 minutes (200 minutes for the lockout season) and the data is limited to 5v5 play only.  I then calculated the "league average" of that dataset for shot %, goals, and shots.  The results are in the dataviz below.

Steen has a stellar season last season, but compared to previous full seasons, I think we need to prepare ourselves for a lower shooting percentage at 5v5 as well as fewer goals. By just "eyeballing" it I would suspect we could see Steen scoring around 10-12 5v5 goals this season which is about half of what he did last season.  This might change if he gets more shots off at 5v5 play which could very well happen with Statsny.

I think we can still expect relatively the same level of scoring from Backes this season as he did last season.  Which is a good thing.  Obviously it would be ideal if he could score more, but I'm not seeing that coming from his line this year.

Berglund still puzzles me.  His average for the past 4 seasons is still well above each of the individual season's "league average" for this dataset.  Last season he saw some regression compared to the previous three even though he was still just over the season average for last season.  It would not be surprising to see his goal scoring continue to slip this season unless some sort of magic occurs from pairing Bergie, Backes, and Oshie together.

Oshie will just keep being Oshie.  He is consistently consistent and I'm not going to complain about that.  He has a better season than usual last season, but I don't think we will see any dramatic change in his goal scoring ability.

Now with all that being said I would be more than happy to be proven wrong.