If you’re expecting Carl Hagelin to be an elite sniper, then the problem isn’t with Hagelin; the problem is you and your wacky expectations. Chill out, brah.
|14.3||time on ice per game|
|54.4||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|50.7||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|54.4||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A short description of each chart:
Yesterday I ate a lot of stuff for getting the Gudas-Niskanen trade wrong, so today I get to say that I called it with Carl Hagelin. Hags is a special player, but he’s no sniper. He never has been. He’s got a career 7.9 shooting percentage, barely half of two players he sorta replaced, Brett Connolly and Andre Burakovsky. But a lack of finishing skills isn’t a Hagelin problem; that’s a Caps problem. The front office and coaching staff (whoever they will be) need to deploy him with complementary players. Let Hagelin be excellent through neutral, which is already a mechanic the Caps should focus on next season. Then he can set up someone else to score the goals.
Because it’s clear he’s not up for the job. Even given his below average generation of shot attempts and quality, Hagelin underperformed his own individual expected goals figure. Compare his xG (using Natural Stat Trick’s model) and actual goals to other Caps and former Caps, and you’ll see why this season stung a bit.
Ex-Caps Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly continued their top-tier finishing, both of them doubling their expected-goals rate in actual goals. The elite-finishing forward still with the Caps, Evgeny Kuznetsov, kept his magic going as well. But while Hagelin generated more individual offense (measured by his personal shot quality and volume), he didn’t come close to those three in notching goals. Here’s individual shot locations for Hagelin, Panik, and Connolly all side-by-side.
That ended up generating 7 goals for Hagelin, 9 goals for Panik, and FIFTEEN for Connolly. We could consider Hagelin (and Panik) unlucky in this respect, but it really seems to be a durable thing with him. He’s just not that kind of player. He’s definitely got value, but for that value to manifest as goals and wins, he needs support.
So the Caps need a player with a good shot who maybe isn’t great in other zones. There was a guy who fit that bill, but he plays for the Avs now, so I guess Brian MacLellan has some homework to do.
Who would you like to see paired with Hagelin? What should Hags do to juice his scoring stats?
Read more: Japers Rink
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