Positive, the Dallas Stars almost gained their technique to the Western Convention ultimate final season and got here inside one objective of the penultimate sequence of the playoffs, however on a private degree, it was a forgettable marketing campaign for Jamie Benn.
After close to 90-point performances in back-to-back seasons, 2014-15 and 2015-16, Benn watched his level complete dip to 69 in 2016-17 however managed to search out his kind once more with a 36-goal, 79-point output throughout the 2017-18 marketing campaign. The hope, then, was that the 2018-19 season would the previous Artwork Ross Trophy winner construct on that exhibiting, eclipse the 90-point plateau and once more cement himself as one of many premier offensive gamers within the NHL.
That…didn’t occur. As a substitute, Benn struggled, and struggled to such a level that he was publicly referred to as out by Stars CEO Jim Lites. By the point the marketing campaign concluded, the Stars have been within the post-season, however Benn’s battle with inconsistency resulted in a 53-point output, the third-lowest of his profession, and noticed the Dallas’ highest-paid participant end a full 27 factors off the group scoring lead and third on the listing behind Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.
Given his restricted manufacturing and 26-point drop off from the 12 months prior, Benn was one of many extra notable names who suffered via a big dip in offensive output, however he wasn’t alone. Eric Staal, Patrik Laine and Rickard Rakell have been additionally amongst those that took a significant step backwards. So, who shall be affected by an analogous decline this coming season? Listed here are 5 high-scoring gamers whose level complete might dwindle in 2019-20:
Phil Kessel, Arizona CoyotesGuess what number of gamers have outproduced Kessel over the previous 4 seasons. Someplace within the 20s? Perhaps even 30 gamers? Flawed. It’s 11 gamers, as Kessel’s 303 factors tie him with Leon Draisaitl and Seguin over the previous 4 campaigns. It’s a veritable who’s who atop the scoring listing over that span, and Kessel is true there alongside them. That is to say that Kessel’s offensive decline subsequent season may have little to do along with his personal capacity and way more to do along with his atmosphere.
As a lot as Kessel is a pure offensive participant and positive to be the chief in Arizona, he’s heading to a Coyotes group that was within the backside half of the league in pictures final season and prides itself on limiting opponents as a lot as creating offense of its personal. No Coyote scored greater than 19 objectives final season – Alex Galchenyuk, who was despatched to the Pittsburgh Penguins within the Kessel commerce – and Clayton Keller’s 47 factors was the team-high mark. Kessel’s not going to collapse, however he gained’t be the 82-point participant he was in 2018-19.
Mark Giordano, Calgary FlamesFine wines solely want they may age like Giordano, who has performed among the greatest hockey of his complete profession previous his 30th birthday and is recent off of his first Norris Trophy victory – to not point out his first journey to the banquet as a finalist – on the ripe previous age of 35. He’s going to stay the highest defender for the Flames, a real No. 1 on the blueline. However it’s a secure guess to recommend he gained’t be replicating his 74-point output.
First, final season’s level complete noticed him almost double his offensive efficiency from the marketing campaign prior and the marketing campaign earlier than that, each of which have been sub-40-point seasons. Second, his help complete was 20 away from the place it had been throughout his earlier career-best campaigns. And eventually, greater than half of his helpers and greater than 40 p.c of his level complete got here by the use of secondary assists, of which he racked up 1.02 per 60 minutes of ice time. That’s one-quarter of a secondary help greater than his earlier profession excessive. It’s unlikely that holds.
Mats Zuccarello, Minnesota WildFrom an total level complete perspective, Zuccarello won’t be a first-choice for this group. His 40 factors final season tied him for 167th in scoring final season and it was, by season’s finish, the second-lowest level complete of his profession. Nonetheless, Zuccarello solely performed in 48 video games, and measured on a per sport foundation, he’s by no means been extra prolific. His .25 objectives per sport matched the second-best mark of his profession, his .58 assists per sport was his career-best fee and his .83 factors per sport was the primary time he had cracked the .80 plateau.
So, why does he take a step again? Like Kessel, it comes all the way down to group success. Not solely are the Wild projected to complete exterior of the playoff image this coming season, in addition they completed the previous marketing campaign with an anticipated objectives fee that was one of many 10-lowest within the NHL. They’re not an offensively flashy bunch and that might make for powerful sledding for Zuccarello throughout his debut marketing campaign within the State of Hockey.
Erik Gustafsson, Chicago BlackhawksThe solely defensemen who completed with extra factors than Gustafsson final season have been Giordano, Brent Burns, Morgan Rielly, John Carlson and Keith Yandle. That’s the entire listing. The Blackhawks rearguard had a dream season, scoring 17 objectives, the third-most of any rearguard, and ending with 60 factors. That noticed him surpass his earlier profession bests by a dozen objectives and a whopping 44 factors. Name this one a hunch, although, because it appears unlikely he’s about to spend two consecutive seasons as one of many league’s highest-scoring defensemen.
Working towards Gustafsson as a lot as something is the inflow of defenders in Chicago. The Blackhawks introduced in Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan this summer season, and the 2 rearguards are going to battle for spots within the high 4, although the previous is slated to overlook the primary month of the season. If Gustafsson loses a few of his minutes – he was second with 22:35 per sport in Chicago final season – his offense will undergo.
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue JacketsLosing Artemi Panarin goes to have an effect on particular person gamers, and there could also be no participant who feels the lack of the skillful winger as a lot as Atkinson. The 2 have been largely inseparable final season, to the extent that Atkinson performed 1,119 minutes with Panarin and solely 377 with out. And what influence did which have on Atkinson? Nicely, Panarin had the first help on 13 of Atkinson’s 41 objectives final season or 32 p.c of his total objective complete. Panarin had an help of both selection on 19 of the 41 tallies, too, which is flirting with half.
We’ve seen Atkinson have his ups and downs earlier than, as nicely. After his breakout 35-goal marketing campaign in 2016-17, he struggled and posted simply 24 objectives the next season with a objectives per sport fee that was notably decrease than the marketing campaign prior. Within the wake of a season during which he set career-best objective and level totals, Atkinson will want time to regulate to life with out his wingman. He’ll get there, nevertheless it’s not going to occur in a single day.
(All superior statistics through NaturalStatTrick)
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Tags: arizona coyotes, calgary flames, chicago blackhawks, columbus blue jackets, lists, minnesota wildConnect: In regards to the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and internet editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the group since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he could be discovered lacking the web on out of doors rinks throughout city.