Twenty-four players are on pace to put 250+ shots on net this season. All but one are on pace to score at least 20 goals. That one is Tyler Seguin.
Mired in a 14-game goal drought, Seguin is on pace to score just 17 goals. That would be the fewest he’s scored in a season as a member of the Dallas Stars. Not ideal, no matter how you slice it but with 29 games to go in the regular season, don’t be surprised if Seguin starts filling the net down the stretch.
I predicted he would a year ago and he did – here’s why he’ll do it again.
Seguin is getting his chances. He ranks top-50 in shot attempts from the slot, shots on net from the slot and 1-timers from the slot, one of the highest goal probability shots you can take.
Yet, he’s scored just 11 times. That’s not normal for a player with an average shot and average offensive instincts let alone a five-time, 30-goal scorer like Seguin.
While the number of shots Seguin is on pace for (297) is down from last season (334), he’s still getting plenty of good looks from the prime scoring areas on the ice. When you factor in the quality and quantity of the shots he’s taken this season, his expected goal count sits at 19.4. In simple terms, based on the shots Seguin has produced to this point, he should have closer to 20 goals.
The differential between his expected goals (19.4) and his actual goal total (11) is the 3rd largest out of 850 players.
Now, If Seguin had 11 goals and his expected goal total was around that number, there would be legitimate cause for concern. However, like last season when Seguin had 11 goals through 38 games, all signs point to a breakout happening sooner than later. After the slow start last season, Seguin and teammate Jamie Benn were criticized by team president Jim Lites for their lack of production. However, a deep dive into Seguin’s shooting metrics showed there was little, if any difference, in the types of scoring chances he was generating compared to the season prior – a 40 goal season. My analysis at the time was, expect Seguin to light it up the rest of the way. He went on to score 22 goals in his final 44 games, tied for 9th most in the NHL, and finished the season with 33 goals.
That said, unlike last season, Seguin’s lack of finish has extended well beyond 38 games this season. After a similar start to last season…
…Seguin hasn’t flipped the switch the same way he did when the calendar flipped to 2019. This season, Seguin scored in his 39th game but hasn’t scored since and has zero goals in 2020.
Looking specifically at the current goal drought, again, Seguin has had plenty of chances, good chances but no goals. Seguin has taken 50 shot attempts from the slot during the drought, 13th in the NHL and has an expected goal count of 5.5, 36th in that time and yet, no tucks.
At some point, the player has to be held accountable for his production, or lack thereof – I get that. And it is somewhat concerning that, in consecutive seasons, despite generating lots of chances, Seguin is struggling to bury them. However, I’m betting Seguin starts finishing on his chances soon and that’s all Dallas Stars fans should really care about. With the team firmly entrenched in a top-3 spot in the Central division, thanks in large part to great goaltending and solid team defense, an offensive surge by Seguin down the stretch, and more importantly into the playoffs, will erase any memories of a lack of goals to this point.
I bet on Tyler Seguin a year ago and I’m betting on him again today. Stars fans should, too.
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)