How Lars Eller scored his goals in 2013 - Part 2 - Analysis

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This season was a breakout campaign for Lars Eller, as he produced at a first line scoring rate, but he didn't have great luck with goal scoring.

Let's get into it.

Goals by situation
Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual efforts
8 4 4 2
Goals by shot type
Wrist Slap Snap One-timer Tip Backhand
1 0 4 0 2 1

Right away we have to point out that with just 8 goals to look at, there's not much information to be gleaned. Lars Eller had a balanced season from a goal scoring perspective, doing damage both on zone plays and off the rush. With the rate he was scoring on the powerplay, he likely would have had a strong shift towards zone plays if he was actually given ice time there.

What we can see though, even in this limited sample, is that Eller prefers to use his snap shot over other shots. Eller hasn't yet fully developed his scoring touch, but part of the reason we don't see that is because unlike most of the goalscorers on this list, the percentages didn't roll the right way for him this season. He scored on just 9.52% of his shots after being over 12% last season.

2011-12 Goals by situation
Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual efforts
16 8 8 8
2011-12 Goals by shot type
Wrist Slap Snap One-timer Tip Backhand
7 1 4 2 2 2

How weird is that? The exact same split between zone plays and goals off the rush. I'm not sure exactly what it means that Eller performed essentially the same way under Martin/Cunneyworth and Therrien as goal scoring goes, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on going forward.

Unlike this season where Eller favoured his snap shot, last year he preferred to go for the wrist shot. Perhaps the difference this season was that Eller wasn't scoring on his attempted wrist shots.

The most glaring difference between the two seasons though is the drop from 50% of Eller's goals being on individual efforts to just 25%. In most cases I would think that this drop is a bad sign, but knowing that Eller couldn't buy a goal for most of the year, and that for the first time in his entire NHL career he actually had good linemates, it makes sense.

Coming into the season Eller had a bit of a reputation as a guy who didn't pass enough, and I think there's a strong possibility that it's because of the generally weak linemates that he's had up until this point that cause this. Now that he has Alex Galchenyuk, and sometimes Brendan Gallagher, he's free to make plays and rely less on doing it all on his own.

It's going to be very interesting to see how Eller changes his game next year, as the Habs have 6 wingers capable of scoring, which essentially guarantees that he can continue to have good linemates.


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