Lars Eller had a down year. Well, until the, ya know –- until he scored the game-winning goal to win the Stanley Cup. It was a down year except for that.
|15.3||time on ice per game|
|48.2||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|42.2||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the season. A short description of each chart:
Lars Eller’s boxcars were fine. He hit career highs in goals and points, but the magic that animated the Caps third line in 2016-17 was missing in 2017-18. The Caps were outscored 45 to 33 during Eller’s shifts, a low among Caps forwards. A lot of that was due to Eller’s low PDO (mediocre 7.5 percent shooting, abysmal 91.1 percent saving), but the goals lined up with high-danger chances, just 42 percent of them belonging to the Caps. All those are dramatic downturns from what was considered one of the better third lines in hockey one season prior.
What’s behind the downturn is an open-ended question. The unreliability of Eller’s wings – especially in the wake of Burakovsky’s injuries and Vrana’s varying usage – didn’t make Eller’s job easier, and he was more likely to spend time with Washington’s more struggling defensemen than his fellow forwards in the top six. But it’s undeniable that Eller personally faltered too. He scored just two goals and five assists between games 15 and 40 and generated fewer high-danger chances than any forward who didn’t clock time on the Beagle line.
So while we’re forever be happy about his championship-clinching performance against Vegas or his stepping up when Backstrom was hurt earlier in the playoffs, I admit to having some unease about Eller going forward. I hope that stabilizing the defense and providing him with more consistent wingers will help, but if Eller’s going to become a 20-goal scorer, it’s ultimately up to him to make it happen.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 8, 2018
Do you have an expectation for Lars Eller to produce and drive play like a top-sixer? If yes, what does he have to do to become that?
Read more: Japers’ Rink
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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