On Tyler Myers "Sophomore Slump"

We’re just a month into the season and last year’s run away Calder trophy winner is coming under some scrutiny for his league worst plus minus rating (-10). Frankly, any kid playing the kind of tough minutes Myers does in Buffalo is going to go through rough stretches, but more is expected of the 6’8″ rearguard after he blew the doors off as a rookie last year.

Matt Reitz has some interesting theories about Meyers’ current struggles here. Amongst them, he suggests the loss of his previous partner Henrik Tallinder has something to do with it. And maybe it does.

However, there’s a good chance that Myers has just been flat out unlucky so far. Twelve games seems like a large enough sample size to start making judgments, but in the grand scheme of things it’s tiny. Like, say, the first 12 hands at a poker night. The sway of fortune and flip of the cards would have as much to say about the success or failure of the guys at the table as much as their skill.

When we look at Myers’ PDO (on-ice SV% + on-ice SH% at even strength), that’s exactly what we find: the kid has suffered from horrendous fortune thus far. The team has shot at just 3.64% with him on the ice and Ryan Miller has a .880 SV% behind the kid. That’s a PDO of 91.3 and so unsustainably low that it can’t possibly continue indefinitely. To extend the poker allusion, he’s not going to be dealt sevens and twos all night.

We can’t say for certain how long lady luck will continue to snicker at the kid, but it’s unlikely his plus/minus is truly reflective of his abilities or any sort of sophomore slump. Look for him to climb out of the basement eventually.