Monday Musings is my weekly platform to briefly touch on things in the Ducks’ and hockey world over the last seven days. I will talk about anything from a specific game to greater NHL issues and anything else that I feel I want to get my thoughts out on. Please feel free to discuss anything I bring up extensively in the comments, I look forward to hearing y’alls thoughts as well.
1 Hart trophy.
1 Stanley Cup.
Corey Perry is one of the greatest scorers to ever don the webbed-D (or even the vintage Mighty Ducks threads). A brilliant goal scorer whose amount of offensive talent is only matched by the physicality and edge he plays with. Perry has long been the cornerstone of the Anaheim attack alongside his longtime partner Ryan Getzlaf, but that role came into heavy question during the 2016-2017 NHL regular season.
Perry, a perennial 30-goal scorer (averages 32.4 goals for every 82 games played), really struggled out of the starting gate in 2016 and wasn’t able to find his stride until very late in the season. With only 11 goals through the first 66 games of the season, many people were questioning Perry’s position as a key contributor on the Anaheim Ducks roster. Add on the fact that #10 carries an $8.625 million cap hit and many felt it was time to ship the big winger out of Southern California. #TradePerry really gained traction in many of the Ducks circles online, including here on Anaheim Calling, as Corey continued to struggle throughout last season. And while Perry is due to regress in the near future considering his prime is certainly in the rear-view mirror at the age of 32, there is no reason for Ducks fans to panic and beg for Perry to be traded.
The sole detail that the #TradePerry crowd tunneled on throughout last season was Corey’s goal total. And that is certainly a very important statistical category for a man being paid upwards of $8 million dollars to be a goal scorer. Many felt that Perry had simply lost his touch and that it was time to let him go. But this is just simply not true and I can tell you why with just a quick statistical breakdown.
|Goals||19||32.4 per 82GP|
|Assists||34||34.1 per 82GP|
|Shots on Goal||215||244.5 per 82GP|
|Corsi For %||50.40%||52.10%|
Corey Perry isn’t a very high volume shooter, averaging just under 250 shots on goal for every 82 games he plays, but he is very efficient with the opportunities he receives (ranked 19th in shooting % among active players). And the stat that stands out for me the most in the above chart is in fact Perry’s shooting percentage. A whopping 4.5% below his career shooting percentage, Perry was just not putting away goals at with the same efficiency he had throughout his career. And his shot total wasn’t the issue here as Perry put the same amount of shots on net (215) in the year prior and ended up scoring 34 goals that season. This indicates to me that Perry was just having an extended streak of bad luck and pucks just weren’t going in.
This became even more evident at the end of the season and into the playoffs. In the last of the regular season, Perry seemed to find his touch again. In the last 16 games of the regular season, #10 scored 8 goals and 3 assists to nearly reach 20 goals after his abysmal start to the year. It also pushed the winger over 50 points in a season for the 9th time in his career. Also, despite the drop in goal scoring, Perry continued to contribute to the offensive effort with a solid 34 assists on the year. And then Perry carried that strong play into the playoffs where he scored 4 goals and 7 assists in 17 playoff games with some notably clutch play throughout the postseason.
And now, to start his 13th year as a pro, Perry kicked off the season with a pretty resounding statement. Two goals and an assist in the home opener without the help of his longtime center Ryan Getzlaf and Perry simply looked like his typical self. #10 was constantly crashing the net, being aggressive with the puck and playing on the edge like we love. Sure, it was against a notably weaker team and goaltender, but Perry did exactly what we would expect from him in that situation and produced. And I don’t expect that to change at all.
While Perry obviously won’t be able to continue at the torrid 82 goal pace he is on now, there is no reason to doubt that he can have another 30-goal campaign this season. The former Hart Trophy winner will regress in the future, sure. But, last season was just an off year, not Perry’s career taking a sharp nosedive. Now just sit back and enjoy the Perry show, folks.
There won’t be a Monday Musings article next week (October 16) as I will be moving this coming weekend. But, you can look forward to more of my writing in the weeks to come. Thanks for your continued support of myself and Anaheim Calling!