Lars Eller is a wonderful player who just had a miserable year.
|16.4||time on ice per game|
|55.6||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|57.5||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|47.7||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:
About this visualization: At three times during the season (end of January, end of March, and end of May), RMNB shared an open survey with fans, asking the following question for each player:
On a scale from 1 to 5, how HAPPY are you to have this player on the team?
1 means VERY UNHAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
2 means UNHAPPY
3 means NEITHER HAPPY NOR UNHAPPY
4 means HAPPY
5 means VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
The numbers above show the average score for the player in each survey period.
Lars Eller is awesome. Let’s start there. At $3.5 million a season, he fulfills offense-driving center obligations like literally no one else on the Caps roster — my apologies to Nicklas Backstrom and to the subject of the review on Friday, June 18. HockeyViz loves the guy — noting he increases offense (measured in expected goals per hour) 11 percent with only a plus-1 percent tradeoff at the other end of the ice. Despite a reputation for being one of those finesse Europeans, he’s also Washington’s most net-crashy forward in the top nine, generating 4 individual high-danger chances per hour and 7.3 more for his teammates– highest on the team outside of the transition-attack-focused fourth line.
And yet, despite all those virtues, 2020-21 was tough one for Eller. He suffered injuries in January, March, and May; he had to play up and down an unstable lineup; and he experienced the worst from Washington’s spotty goaltending — an on-ice save percentage of 89.5. While the fella we’ll discuss on Friday had the Washington equivalent of Andrei Vasilevskiy behind him, the quality of goaltending behind Eller was more Carter Hart territory. That turned Eller’s team-best on-ice stats for shot attempts and expected goals into team-worst stats in actual goals. That sucks, and it’s not his fault at all.
I’m not sure it’s anyone’s fault. There are a lot of lessons to be taken from the Weird Year, but maybe in Eller’s case we should just move on. Water under the bridge. He got banged up and played his best in wretched circumstances. Tough beat, good luck next time. Eller’s got a summer to recover and two more years on a good deal that may yet see him become a top-six forward.
What is the ceiling for Lars Eller? At 32, how confident are you he’ll be able to bounce back from injury?
Read more: Japers Rink
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.