Will fantasy owners still be searching for Bobby Ryan again like they were at the end of last season?

Occasionally, a season ends poorly for a player without much of an explanation, and it leaves doubts in the minds of people. We have such a case with Bobby Ryan – the guy who was taken after Sidney Crosby.

TSN’s Travis Yost searches for the answers and comes to this final conclusion: “I think it’s reasonable to bet that some of last year’s poor performance by simple goal-scoring analysis was tied to luck, but I also think there were other drivers – specifically, the type and location of shots he took last year, and how that directly impacted his goal-scoring output.”

Yost comes to that summation by examining two things: Ryan’s shot totals and the quality of those shots, where the closer a shot is the better it is.

In terms of producing shots, Yost remarks that Ryan has been “extremely consistent” with his career average. However, his shooting percentage dropped so he looks into the quality of the shots taken.

“Thankfully, this second-level analysis is very easy to do. We can simply take all of Ryan’s shots from dangerous scoring areas and divide them over the total shots he took for every season,” indicates Yost. Sure it’s easy to measure… if you have access to the data, but that is another story.

Was the quality of Ryan’s shots better, worse, or about the same as their historical levels?

The answer, according to Yost, is that they were worse off by his calculations about 50 percent of Ryan’s shots last year were from a good scoring area. This is in comparison to his career average of 60 percent. It is a difference of 10 percent.

Well how much is that, though? From a guy who gets around 200 shots, that would equate to having about 20 shots that were taken in less than good scoring opportunities. Is that honestly why Ryan did not do as well, though?

It can partially explain why his goal total of 18 was much lower than we had hoped for, but it cannot be the whole story.

Even Yost ponders: “[It] raises a big enough question for Ottawa’s hockey operations department to investigate further. How much of Ryan shooting from the perimeter was a result of his individual play, and how much of Ryan shooting from the perimeter was a result of the play of his teammates? That likely requires many hours of video analysis and the like, but it’s a value-added exercise for a team that’s committed to this player long-term.”

Lucky for us we’ve got some answers, and it comes in the form of another TSN article by Pierre LeBrun.

Ryan took matters into his own hands this summer and viewed his games, more specifically his last 25 games. In his words: ”I chose to use it as a learning experience this summer. I watched it over and over again, you could see my face on the ice and on the bench and the emotions. It’s something I want to forget. This is an opportunity for me to write the next chapter."

What did the tapes reveal?

“I think you started to see a player that was cheating offensively,” and, “what I saw is that I did a lot of swinging, I got out of the hard areas and played a lot on the perimeter. That’s kind of the cause of it,” explains Ryan to LeBrun.

Ryan added: “Late last year Bobby Clarke told me to kind of abandon the game that I was playing and get mean, get to the hard areas, do the dirty work, get the net and whack away. That’s what I’m going to try and do. His philosophy and approach is so simple and old-school and you can relate to it.”

When discussing his summer to Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen, Ryan said: “I just wanted to get back to feeling good about getting back to the rink. It was great (last spring) because we were winning, but at the same time, it was miserable, because you felt like you were letting your buddies down,” and, “I just decided this year to come in and try to get back to where Mika (Zibanejad) and I were in January.”

Other than watching game tape, he also worked on strengthening his core. At the end of the 2013-14 season, he required surgery for a sports hernia.

He detailed his training to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, “(Strength coach Chris Schwarz) worked with (trainers in Idaho), gave them guidelines, and told them what we needed,” and, “I felt like it was a very productive summer in that regard. I know Schwarz was happy with our first day back together today and there was a lot of positive signs."

One note to keep in mind about last year: “I didn't get a whole lot of time to do (strengthen my core). By the time I recovered, we were starting the year."

While Travis Yost is doing his mathematical computations, we pretty much get the same information from three anecdotal stories.

From those articles though we obtain more information and an understanding that Ryan simply was not going to write his previous season off as just having had some “bad luck.”

If numbers are what you want, though, here are my numbers:

 

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Season

2007-08

2

0

7

2

0

8

2

21

2008-09

0

7

13

14

12

13

5

64

2009-10

12

13

15

15

7

13

6

81

2010-11

12

14

15

11

11

14

5

82

2011-12

11

13

13

12

15

14

4

82

2012-13

0

0

0

5

13

7

11

36

2013-14

12

14

15

12

6

10

0

69

2014-15

9

12

12

12

11

16

6

78

Total Games

58

73

90

83

75

105

39

523

 

 

 

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Season

2014-15

6

7

12

12

8

8

1

54

2013-14

10

15

11

6

2

4

 

48

2012-13

0

0

0

2

12

11

5

30

2011-12

5

7

9

10

8

12

6

57

2010-11

9

13

6

11

13

14

5

71

2009-10

7

11

16

9

6

7

8

64

2008-09

0

6

12

16

7

10

6

57

2007-08

0

0

4

0

0

2

3

9

Total Points

37

59

70

66

56

68

34

390

 

 

 

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Season

Career PPG

0.64

0.81

0.78

0.80

0.75

0.65

0.87

0.75

2014-15 PPG

0.67

0.58

1.00

1.00

0.73

0.50

0.17

0.69

 

 

Table 1: The number of games played per season, per month.

Table 2: The number of points earned per season, per month.

Table 3: His career and 2014-15 season point per game (PPG) values, per month.

What it shows is that he was not too far off his career point expectations until the last 22 games of the season. Funny how Ryan indicated that he reviewed the last 25 games of footage over the course of the summer.

What could have happened? Many people speculated that he was injured. If he was, then the core training should help with that problem.

However, I would like to point out that he did get married in June as per his Twitter account. Things like that do not get planned and organized without the groom’s involvement. I am sure that the wedding plans were being handled but one can understand if his mind was not fully focused on hockey.

What do I think about this season?

 I’ll use Ryan’s own words, “I feel good, I feel confident about the season I individually could have.”

You will not need to search for him this year. He will be buzzing around the opposition’s net all year long. Put him down for 70.

Have a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!