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

by chriskane on November 18, 2019
  • The Wild West
  • West: Goals vs. Expectation Pt.2 (Benn, Ritchie, Marchessault)


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 minutes of total time on ice since 2017-18, almost 30 seconds of that is power-play time.


Moral of the story here is Benn’s stats don’t match his play – and that should rebound. Unfortunately, his play is indicating we should expect a 50-55 point pace, which is bad news for all of us hoping for a rebound in 2019-20.


Nick Ritchie:

Ritchie’s two goals and eight points so far in 2019-20 aren’t much to write home about. He has made an excellent streamer on several occasions as Anaheim often has a decent schedule, and he has been lining up with Ryan Getzlaf and Ondrej Kase. With reasonable power-play time and a low shooting percentage, it looks like Ritchie should be in line for a solid 45 point season, which could improve if he can get back above 16 or 17 minutes a night as has been the case the last few games.


Jonathan Marchessault:

Marchessault has eight points in his last nine games and 14 over his first 21 games. His line with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith from the last couple of seasons has remained mostly intact, though it has not produced the same magic it did in 2017-18. He has spent some time recently with Mark Stone as well. He is currently on pace for about 55 points but given some of his underlying numbers that is likely low. His IPP is high, but team five on five, and personal shooting percentages are all low. Assuming all correct to closer to recent averages Marchessault could bump to a 60-65 point pace. 


Wild West Weekly Streamers:

All but three teams (and they are all in the East) play on Saturday, and the vast majority play on Tuesday and Thursday as well so we are a little bit limited in players who might be able to give us an extra game over the course of the week.


Conor Garland: Clayton Keller is available in about 50% of Yahoo leagues so give him a try first, but otherwise go for Garland. Arizona plays four times with a couple of off nights. Garland has been playing with Nick Schmaltz and Christian Dvorak, and seeing a bit of time on the power-play.


Joonas Donskoi/Andre Burakovsky:

With Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog on IR, these two are stepping in to play with Nathan MacKinnon. They are 20% owned in Yahoo and definitely have a good shot at a a point in any game as long as they are with MacKinnon.


Last Week’s Streamers

Nick Schmaltz:

Schmaltz had the deployment, but not the results. He averaged over 17 minutes of ice time, with three minutes and 40 seconds on the power play. Somehow over this four-game stretch he only managed an assist and six shots. Definitely not what we were hoping for.


Denis Gurianov:

Gurianov gave you an assist and two shots if you played him over those first two games. About an average haul in general if his two games replaced one from the bottom of your roster. Unfortunately, if you kept him for the third game of the week he didn’t help out at all. 


Drop or Not:

Mark Stone:

(As of Sunday)

Stone started the season with 18 points in his first 15 games. He has now gone pointless in six. Overall that puts him on a 70-point pace, which is down slightly from his 78-point pace from 2018-19. First thing’s first we aren’t dropping or selling. The only real question is are we downgrading his point potential from between 78 and 88 (his paces from 2017-18 and 2018-19) or is this just a lull?


The first bit of good news is that even with this five-game pointless stretch he is currently on a 70-point pace, so he isn’t far off the mark. He is still getting his ice time, both at even strength and on the power play, though Vegas has shaken the lines up a bit. Consider this a bit of a market correction from his torrid start to the year. At this point his personal shooting percentage and his team five on five shooting percentages are now too low so it appears that regression may have taken him a little too far. That all implies that a 75-80-point pace is still well within reach.


Thanks for reading, see you next week.