Wild West: The Most Disappointing Regular Season Players – Part Two

Grant Campbell

2021-07-05

Nashville – Matt Duchene

You could easily list Ryan Johansen and his seven goals and 22 points (0.46 pts/game) in 48 games or the recently traded Viktor Arvidsson and his 10 goals and 25 points (0.50) in 50 games but I'm going to go with Matt Duchene. Duchene was coming off of a pretty significant injury and only played 34 games this past season, so there is a level of diminished expectation for him. The problem is if he was healthy enough to dress for 34 games, it was still a disappointment for him to only post six goals and 13 points (0.38). There is an argument to be made that his PDO of 963 and his net expected goals of 2.61 indicate he played better than his production level. I don't think there is the danger that Duchene will be struggling to put up 30-35 points in the NHL but he will probably top out at 45-55. He has taken a step back, just not two at this point.

San Jose – Erik Karlsson

Other names on the Sharks could be Timo Meier or Brent Burns but Erik Karlsson had his least productive season in the NHL this past year with eight goals and 22 points (0.42) in 52 games and he was relatively healthy for the whole season.In 12 NHL seasons, Karlsson had never had below 0.43 pts/game and other than that season (his rookie year) he had never had less than 0.60 pts/game. His game is not trending in the right direction at 31-years of age to guarantee a bounce-back season as his power-play ice time is going down, his offensive zone deployment is only 50.9 and his expected goals this past season was minus 5.79. He has entered that dangerous area for offensive players that don't have a good defensive side to their game. When their offense diminishes their overall game is not worth having on the ice for top-four minutes. This season will be a real test to see if the Sharks still give him 22-23 minutes per game and trot him out on the power play over 50 percent of the time. His contract almost forces the issue but I don't see him rebounding to anything more than 0.60 pts/ game and Karlsson has never been one to play more than 70 games in a season.

St. Louis – Robert Thomas

There are quite a few Blues that could be listed here including Torey Krug, Zach Sanford, Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko or Jordan Binnington but we are electing to go with Robert Thomas. To be fair to Thomas he was injured for a good chunk o