Steven Stamkos, currently representing Canada at the World Championships, had a phenomenal season. A year after a respectable rookie campaign that failed to live up to the hype generated by Tampa Bay’s marketing machine, Stamkos scored 51 times and recorded 95 points to lead the Lightning in scoring and tie Sidney Crosby for the NHL goal-scoring lead.
The frightening thing is that it could have been even better.
According to stats guru Gabriel Desjardins and the NHL play-by-play sheets, Stamkos led the league in posts hit with 16, meaning that had he had just a little more luck in the post department he would have led the league in goal-scoring and put up some incredibly remarkable numbers.
That’s not to say Stamkos should be pencilled in for 60+ goals next season; his 17.2 shooting percentage is a high number that probably isn’t repeatable and will likely slide a bit next season, but the slide is probably going to be a lot less than I was expecting since he’d be incredibly unlucky to lead the league in goalposts in consecutive seasons.
Other players who might have achieved something brilliant with a little more post luck:
- Since starting his professional career, Minnesota’s Antti Miettinen has gotten by as a utility player who can handle any role. He had his best goal-scoring mark this year with 20 goals, but according to Desjardins he also hit 11-posts, meaning that the Finn might have been a 30-goal scorer. That would represent double his previous career high (15) and eclipse his best mark even in Finland (he scored 25 there in 2002-03).
- Alex Tanguay’s career low 10-goal output would have been better had he hit a few less posts; Desjardins’ list has him as one of the league’s unluckiest shooters with five.
- Mike Fisher’s career-best 25 goals might even have been better; Desjardins credits him with 12 posts. It’s tough to imagine the Ottawa grinder challenging the 40-goal mark, even with the season he just had.
For the larger list, check out Behind The Net Hockey.