Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right? Breaking Down Yandle, Nyquist and Schwartz

Rick Roos


Goldipucks and the Three Skaters: Which player is too hot, which one is too cold…and which player just right?


Welcome back to another Goldipucks and the Three Skaters column! This will be the third and final installment for 2016-17, unless I decide to do a playoff edition. But either way, chances are it will return for 2017-18, so be sure to look for it! Today’s three skaters are Keith Yandle, Gustav Nyquist, and Jaden Schwartz. Can you predict which of the three is too hot, too cold, and just right? Lock in your guesses and read on!

For first time readers, or those of you who might need a refresher, here's a link to the initial column for a full explanation of how this works. But briefly, the idea is a play on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, except instead of three bowls of porridge I’m covering three skaters and declaring one too hot (i.e., doing unsustainably better than he should), another too cold (i.e., doing unsustainably worse), and a third “just right” (producing where he should). Each skater will also receive a 1-10 rating to indicate, on a relative scale, how hot (rated 7-10, where 10 is the most unsustainably hot), cold (rated 1-3, where 1 is the most unsustainably cold), or ”just right” (rated 4-6, where 5 is the most “just right”) he is.


Player #1 –Keith Yandle

Poolies (not to mention Panthers brass) expected more from Yandle this season. After all, he’s only 30; and from 2010-11 through 2014-15 he had the second most total points among all NHL defensemen. Yet this season he tallied just 41 points, landing him 21st in rearguard scoring. Can he no longer be counted upon for top production? Let’s see what the data tells us.

For 2016-17, Yandle tallied a point on only 37% of goals scored while on the ice at 5×5, which is very low considering only once in the previous seven seasons had he been below 40% and in more than half he was above 46%. Also, he fell victim to particularly bad luck in 5×5 team shooting %, where his rate was a dismal 6.19%, which pales in comparison to his 8%+ rate in four of the past eight seasons and 7.4-7.9% in two of the other four.

Moreover, Yandle’s bread and butter has always been the power play, where this season he was victimized by unsustainably bad luck as well. His 5×4 team shooting % was only 10.29%, or well below the 12.6%+ rate he h