Frozen Tools Forensics: Cold Starts from the Defense

Grant Campbell

2019-12-06


Perhaps looking at defensemen this week will provide some of these players with the Campbell bump like it did for a few forwards from last week’s article. Dobber’s Frozen Tools has an excellent report under Recent Trends that shows the coldest players currently by position and/or team. I am focusing on some notable defensemen who I consider cold for the season so far.

Mark Giordano is not surprising to see listed, as he had 74 points last season after two seasons of 38 and 39 points before that. Most of us assumed there would be some reversion, but I still thought he’d be well over 50 points, and he might very well be by the end of the year. Unfortunately, he is on pace for 10 goals and 38 points after his first 30 games this year. Most of his metrics have decreased, which was bound to happen at the age of 36. His 5-on-5 shooting percentage is 7.03, which is more than three percent lower than last year and second lowest of his career. His overall shooting percentage is down to 5.3, which is not low for defensemen but it is low for Giordano. The big three on Calgary should get it together and improve and this should help Giordano get into the 45-50-point range by the season’s end.

Tyson Barrie was showing signs of coming out of his season-long funk when Mike Babcock was fired. Sheldon Keefe was hired and put Barrie up on the first power play unit. Barrie responded with four points in his first two games, and his season was looking like it was well on the way to recovery. Four games later, in which Barrie had no points and was a minus-5, there are some concerns again. His power play time is decreasing slowly once more and he is now on pace for eight goals and 33 points after his first 30 games. His PDO of 94.7 and 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 5.06 are still very low and should indicate that Barrie was on the right path and should at least get up to 40-45 points this year.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson is on pace for six goals and 30 points after his first 30 games this year. His points per 60 minutes is 0.9, which he hasn’t been down to since his rookie season in 2010-2011. He has been one of the most consist