West: Goals vs. Expectation Pt.2 (Benn, Ritchie, Marchessault)

Chris Kane



In part one of this mini-series we took a look at players who were scoring above their expected goal rates. These, for the most part, were guys that we expect to be at their highest value right now. They have high shooting percentages and we can assume that their goal-scoring pace will slow down (article here).


This week we are taking the other side of the coin. These players have fewer goals than their expected numbers. We will look at a couple of them individually, but that generally means that these are players who are putting themselves in positions to score, but something just isn’t going right. We can assume that over the long haul these guys are likely to see an uptick in their scoring pace.


Our top ten in this category is listed below (viz courtesy of Sean Tierney.)



This is based on data as of Saturday 11/16, and the order here is flipped. Jamie Benn has the largest difference between his goals scored (1) and his expected goals (5.8). Cody Eakin as the 10th in our rank here has a difference of 2.37 goals.


(Updated after games played 11/16)


Jamie Benn:

We can’t do this list without talking about Benn. His two goals and nine points in 21 games played is an incredible disappointment. This metric at least gives us one ray of hope. Benn is playing like he deserves several more goals – and we don’t have to look far for confirmation. His shooting percentage is an abysmal 4.3%, when his recent career number is closer to 14%. That should rebound in a dramatic way. But let’s say all of that corrects and he had four or five additional goals. That still only puts him on pace for about 50 points. For comparison, by this time in 2017-18 Benn had 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points (an 86-point pace), and 68 shots to his name. His 47 shots in 2019-20 is a drop of 23 shots, which is more than a shot per game. He is also down more than three min