2014 -2015 Season Stats
2014-15 Anaheim Ducks - (22G-10A-32P) in 65 regular games played
2014-15 Anaheim Ducks - (8G -1A-9P) in 19 playoff games played
Actually, a lot happened for #39 of the Anaheim Ducks. Talk about having a surprise career year.
Matt Beleskey was never what you call a great player. In fact, throughout this previous 4-year career with the Ducks, he was seen as somewhat mediocre. Nothing terrible, nothing too fantastic. Sure he had a gritty and nasty side of him that would often bring him to drop gloves and give it a go, but by no means was it to the point of calling him an enforcer. He was typically perceived to always be a bottom-six forward.
But come 2014-2015 season--something must have clicked. All his already-existing skills were amplified.
As you can see from the below chart, you can tell what I mean by 'amplified' in the 14-15 season.
Sure, since we are only technically solely reviewing the 14-15 season, I guess he had a fantastic season. I mean a career high of 22 goals and 10 assists isn't too shabby for a guy that mostly spent his past four seasons switching between third and fourth lines. In fact, his performance stood out so much that it had Coach Bruce Boudreau switching Beleskey up and and down the line throughout the season--up as in playing alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf and splitting time playing alongside Ryan Kesler and Kyle Palmieri.
If we are looking at the career in perspective and looking at this past summer's free agency talks, one could very well argue that despite is career high of a performance this year, he must have certainly been asking too much. This past season's stats looked like the climatic point in his otherwise decent career. He has only scored 10+ goals once more during his past seasons in the NHL. His recent peak in performance may very well be do to his 15% shooting percentage, which stands out against his average 8% career shooting percentage going into the 14-15 season.
How Did He Do?
By this time, you are all rolling your eyes thinking, alright, we already went through this conversation and analysis during the prime of free agency. He rejected the Ducks' $16 million offer over four years and went with a five-year $19 million contract instead with the Bruins. Enough with the free agency sort of analysis...how did he really do?
Well I think the fact that there was even some talk and pre-FA rumors circling about before he was picked up by the Bruins speaks for his 14-15 performance in itself.
He did extremely well.
I think what was most impressive was his production at the time of Corey Perry's absence (damn you mumps and damn you Keith Ballard). Sure Getzlaf did his best to display a pretty impressive Hart Trophy-type leadership, but this was with the help of the likes of Beleskey.
Matt is only 27 and maybe this was the year in which he reached his peak potential. Or maybe it was just plainly the fact that his good nights intensified the very confidence that brought out these enhanced skills. I will definitely say that i did see a great difference in his demeanor seeing him play this past season versus seeing him play the past four seasons.
Beleskey had a career year in 14-15. He showed the height of his potential as a left wing. Personally, I really like Beleskey--he worked hard every time he got on the ice, and played with an admirable fearlessness of physicality.
All the talks of why he rejected the Ducks' offer and why he decided to leave....That is all in the past. I wish you the best of luck Matty. We will look forward to seeing you back in the HC this coming season.