clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Caniac Classroom: Who’s been the Canes’ “clutchest” players?

New, comments

The Carolina Hurricanes are getting goal scoring from all throughout the lineup, but who’s scoring when the team really needs it?

Brock McGinn, Andrei Svechnikov, Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho, and Jordan Staal during the 2020-2021 NHL season.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Carolina Hurricanes score goals. Like a lot of them. With an average of 3.35 goals per game, Carolina is one of the top offensive teams in the league. And it’s no longer the one-trick pony show that it was last year.

Highlighted by the emergence of Vincent Trocheck and resurgence of Nino Niederreiter, the Canes have added a lot of scoring threats to the lineup on top of their usual suspects.

But who in fact are the Canes’ clutchest players?

My first idea for this piece was to see which Hurricanes players were scoring the majority of their points while games were close. I then saw and remembered that the Canes live for “the drama,” and that there were in fact no real easy wins out there.

So I had to take a different approach.

For this article, we will be quantifying data based on what I consider a close-game scenario: down by a goal, tied, or up by a goal.

I collected the data on all of the Hurricanes’ goals this year when scored while the games were within these one-goal margins and broke the data down in these three categories.

Make your predictions now, because here’s what I found:


Down by a Goal

Down by a Goal

Player EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Player EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Aho 0 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3/20 15%
Svechnikov 2 0 1 3 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 6 6/19 31.58%
Teravainen 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/9 11.11%
Trocheck 1 0 1 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 5 5/20 25%
Niederreiter 2 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4/15 26.67%
Necas 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/17 5.88%
Staal 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/20 10%
Foegele 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2/8 25%
Fast 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 3/9 33.33%
Lorentz 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0%
McGinn 5 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5/11 45.45%
Martinook 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4/6 66.67%
Paquette 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/3 0%
Hamilton 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 3/16 18.75%
Pesce 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/13 15.38%
Slavin 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2/6 33.33%
Skjei 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/3 33.33%
Gardiner 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/7 28.57%
Bean 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/7 28.57%
Fleury 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0%

Who should be the go-to guy when the Canes are in desperate need of a goal? Well, you might be surprised with who’s been the most consistent.

In terms of even-strength goals, “Big Goal” Brock McGinn, leads the team with five. Of all people, McGinn is the one who, more than anyone else, has brought the team back into the fold. Surging off his first-line promotion from earlier in the season and a distinct lack of striking iron, McGinn certainly made an impact.

That’s not to say that Brind’Amour should throw him out there whenever the team needs a goal to get back in it, because let’s be real, this is probably not a sustainable statistic, but the fact is, McGinn has been the guy more likely than not.

In terms of overall even-strength goal generation while down by one, as you all probably guessed it, it’s Jordan Martinook, who paces all skaters but McGinn with a total of four even-strength points.

If we add power plays into the equation, then all of a sudden Andrei Svechnikov and Trocheck are back in — actually leading now — the mix. The Hurricanes’ power play has been tremendous this season and when they are needing that goal, more likely than not, it’s Svechnikov or Trocheck finding the equalizer.

Tied (Score is tied before goal)

Tied

Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Aho 2 1 2 5 1 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 8 8/20 40%
Svechnikov 1 1 1 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 5 5/19 26.32%
Teravainen 2 1 0 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 4/9 44.44%
Trocheck 5 0 1 6 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 8 8/20 40%
Niederreiter 3 2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5/15 33.33%
Necas 2 4 1 7 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 9 9/17 52.94%
Staal 3 1 1 5 2 1 0 3 0 1 0 1 9 9/20 45%
Foegele 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3/8 37.5%
Fast 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3/9 33.33%
Lorentz 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/2 50%
McGinn 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 2/11 18.18%
Martinook 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/6 0%
Paquette 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/3 33%
Hamilton 0 2 3 5 0 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 9 9/16 56.25%
Pesce 1 2 2 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 6/13 46.15%
Slavin 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/6 16.67%
Skjei 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2/3 66.67%
Gardiner 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 3/7 42.86%
Bean 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/7 28.57%
Fleury 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0%

Whether it’s the first goal of the game or the last one to steal it away, scoring in tied situations is vital for your team. In that regard, it’s a three-way tie for the top spot between Martin Necas, Jordan Staal and Dougie Hamilton

All three pace the team with nine points from tied situations, with both Staal and Necas having a mixture of goals and assists, while all of Hamilton’s points in these situations have come from assists.

In terms of putting it in the net though, Trocheck is second to none. It makes sense when you think about it because he is the team’s leading scorer, but the fact that all of his goals are coming in these clutch situations is saying something.

Trocheck has six goals that have given his team a lead and generated eight total goals. Sebastian Aho and Brett Pesce — who’s just become an absolute dark horse offensive candidate — are also steady contributors with six points.

Honestly though, the Canes are getting a lot of balanced offense at even-strength while tied. Multiple lines are getting involved, but it drops off on the defensive end.

Pesce and Hamilton are really the only ones generating points from Carolina’s blueline. A bit concerning, but the balance up front it is making up for it.

Up by a Goal

Up by a Goal

Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Aho 4 1 0 5 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 6/20 30%
Svechnikov 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 4/19 21.05%
Teravainen 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/9 11.11%
Trocheck 1 1 0 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 5 5/20 25%
Niederreiter 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 4/15 26.67%
Necas 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 3 3/17 17.65%
Staal 0 2 2 4 1 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 7 7/20 35%
Foegele 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2/8 25%
Fast 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 3/9 33.33%
Lorentz 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0%
McGinn 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/11 9.09%
Martinook 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/6 0%
Paquette 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/3 0%
Hamilton 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 4 4/16 25%
Pesce 1 2 1 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 5/13 38.46%
Slavin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/6 0%
Skjei 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/3 0%
Gardiner 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/7 14.29%
Bean 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/7 0%
Fleury 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0%

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. The two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey. But extending your lead is never a bad idea. I think that outweighs the superstition and for the Hurricanes, it seems that the same group that breaks the tie also likes to pile ‘em on.

Staal paces all skaters in terms of points produced with seven and Aho leads the team in goals scored to extend leads with four netted. Niederreiter and Trocheck are right behind both of them in terms of production.

This is also the only category where Pesce has outpaced Hamilton’s point production.

This is a situation where it seems that the heavy lifting is more so in the favor of the top two lines, plus Staal, which holds some credence as a good chunk of these points come off of power plays.


Conclusions

Overall

Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Players EV Goals EV Assists EV Secondary Assists EV Points PP Goals PP Assists PP Secondary Assists PP Points SH Goals SH Assists SH Secondary Assists SH Points Total Close Points Point Percentage Point Percentage
Aho 6 3 3 12 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 16 16/20 80%
Svechnikov 3 4 2 9 2 3 1 6 0 0 0 0 15 15/19 78.95%
Teravainen 2 2 0 4 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 6 6/9 66.67%
Trocheck 7 1 2 10 5 1 2 8 0 0 0 0 18 18/20 90%
Niederreiter 6 4 1 11 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 13 13/15 86.67%
Necas 3 4 2 9 1 0 4 5 0 0 0 0 14 14/17 82.35%
Staal 3 4 3 10 3 1 3 7 0 0 1 1 18 18/20 90%
Foegele 4 3 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7/8 87.5%
Fast 2 2 2 6 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 9 9/9 100%
Lorentz 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/2 50%
McGinn 5 1 1 7 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 8/11 72.73%
Martinook 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4/6 66.67%
Paquette 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/3 33.33%
Hamilton 1 3 3 7 0 5 4 9 0 0 0 0 16 16/16 100%
Pesce 2 5 3 10 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 13 13/13 100%
Slavin 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3/6 50%
Skjei 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 3/3 100%
Gardiner 0 1 3 4 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 6 6/7 85.71%
Bean 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 4/7 57.14%
Fleury 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0%

Here are a few more takeaways from the data:

  1. Nearly all of the Hurricanes’ goals this season have come in close situations, so we can’t really be like, “Well, 100% of Hamilton’s points have come in ‘clutch’ situations, so he’s the best.”
  2. Trocheck has not stat stuffed at any point this season. It’s crazy to see how important all of his points have been.
  3. Pesce has emerged as a really efficient and important offensive presence.
  4. McGinn and Martinook getting this team back into the fight not just by being energy generators, but actually scoring, is kind of crazy.
  5. While Hamilton may not be at the level we expect to see him, you can’t argue that the points he is generating aren’t all important.
  6. The top scorers are still scoring, they’re just being outpaced a bit more by the secondary scoring in certain scenarios.