Eastern Edge: Expected Goals from Atlantic Centers

Cam Metz


The Atlantic produced some excellent seasons from the center position.  They may not have been true breakouts but the seasons put together by Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck led to some fantasy owners finding gold down the middle this year.

Here is how to interpret the below graph:

The X-axis is expected goals for centers minus their actual goal totals for the year, so a positive number would indicate that they left some goals out of the net and that we can reasonably expect them to improve on their goal total next year (Data source: Corsica Hockey).  Additionally I subtracted their previous two season average shooting percentage from this year’s shooting percentage.  A positive number on the Y-axis indicates that their shooting percentage should increase next year as well.  This makes players in the upper right more likely to positively regress next year in the goal scoring department.


Patrice Bergeron when healthy was a beast this year, but here’s the bad news: his numbers at 5v5 were slightly higher than his career.  Perhaps we can explain this deviation as a result of the explosive chemistry he and Brad Marchand have been able to put together.  However his PDO was almost 10 points higher than his last 3 seasons.  An area we tend to see as a predictor for future goal scoring in 5v5 sh% was about a whole percentage point higher as well.  We’ll see what he can string together next year, just be wary of his injury history. Does he get dinged a little for Marchand’s suspension risk based on chemistry too?



Jack Eichel shifts towards the “lucky” territory but given his skill level I wouldn’t put too much stock in where his data points are falling. As we’ve seen with other super stars his ability to convert and the sheer volume of shots can propel him towards the season we’ve all been waiting to see out of Buffalo.  More to come.



Henrik Zetterberg wasn’t able to put up the 68 points he produced in 2016-2017, instead he closed out the season with 56 points.  He was unfortunately not able to pot many goals as he barely passed 10 goals with 11 on the season.  At this point it’s more likely to expect less than 20 goals from Z moving forward.



What a season Vincent Trocheck was able to produce:

He found himself very close to scoring what his expected goal totals predicted and his shooting percentage in all situation