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Ducks Stat-urday: Oh Perry, Where Art Thou?

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Anaheim's former Hart Trophy winner has seemingly disappeared. What the hell happened?

Anyone know where this guy's been?
Anyone know where this guy's been?
Jeff Gross

The depth scoring that we all thought would be key in the playoffs has shown up so far. Through the first two games of the Detroit series, 12 different Ducks have picked up at least a point, with eight players having picked up two. So the upside is that only six Ducks are pointless so far in the playoffs. The bad news is that one of these players is Corey Perry.

Perry got off to a great start this season before taking an unscheduled four-game break for his hit on Jason Zucker. While he was serving that suspension, Perry followed buddy Ryan Getzlaf’s lead and signed an 8-year extension worth $69 million. With Perry back in the lineup, the Ducks expected to continue their torrid start. Instead, the scoring dried up, and Perry in particular seemed to struggle under the weight of the new contract. Anecdotally, it feels like the extension has affected Perry’s play this season. Let’s see if it has.
























* Includes playoffs

There’s a lot to go through here, so let’s boil this down into some key thoughts:

  • The sample sizes are pretty close so I feel confident in comparing these without having to really account for that 4-game difference. That said, the fact that Perry’s point production fell by 50% after the extension is eye-popping. His goals fell slightly, but his assists absolutely fell off the planet.
  • There’s no question that Perry was exceedingly lucky in the first half and dramatically less so in the second. Perry shot 14.8% before his extension, but has only shot 8% since then. While Perry was unlikely to maintain that pre-extension shooting percentage, the 8% since isn’t encouraging.
  • I know that +/- has its flaws, but good lord, a 17-point swing? And in terms of my observation, this has been the source of a lot of my concern with Perry. Not only has he seen his offensive touch dry up, but he seems to be turning pucks over more and generally looking a mess in his own end. The numbers do seem to be bearing that out.
  • One area where my eyes have deceived me is Perry’s shot rates. It felt like Perry was trying to skate through too many guys and deke, rather than taking smart shots, but he’s shooting a full shot per game more after the extension. I’m not aware of any resource that lists shot distance by game, but my suspicion is that he’s shooting from farther out after his extension than he did before it. But I was wrong about his number of shots, so who knows.The numbers certainly seem to indicate that something has happened to Perry since his extension. It might not be fair to pick the extension as the cutoff point, but the game log shows this pretty clearly. Perry was pointless in just 7 games before the extension, but was pointless in 11 games afterward. We can speculate until we’re blue in the face what the cause is (and unfortunately, there’s no statistic that measures or crap decision-making), but something happened.

I wanted to also take a moment here to stress the need for Perry to get it going in the playoffs. In his career, Perry’s never been a goal-scoring machine in the second season (he has only 18 goals in 56 games), but he’s racked up points at a respectable rate (43, good for an average of 0.77 points per game). Amongst the Ducks’ big four, only Getzlaf (0.86) has a higher career point per game average in the playoffs. The Ducks absolutely need Corey Perry to find the scoresheet if they’re going to have much success in the playoffs. And for a guy who’s making $4.8 million this season and is slated to make an average of $8.625 million per year moving forward, this simply doesn’t cut it.