Travis Moen had an undeniably tough year in 2013. Returning from a serious concussion that caused him to miss roughly a third of the season in 2011-12, Moen was one of the few players who didn't experience a buoying effect of the team being substantially better. Sometimes it looked like Moen didn't really want to be play, but that's almost certainly fan disappointment in his play being pushed into analysis of body language, confirmation bias if you will.
Part of Moen's struggles was adapting to a new role. He used to be the first guy to get the opportunity to play in the top-six if someone was injured, but now that's Brandon Prust. He used to be solidly situated on the third line, but the third line is now a scoring line, and he's stuck on the fourth.
Moen was also used in a more defensive role overall than he's had to deal with since 2009-10, and he didn't do the greatest job handling it. He was still solid on the penalty kill, but that really wasn't enough to justify his spot in the lineup over others, and especially not his brand-new, four-year contract worth $1.85M per season. Can he turn that around and be worth his contract this year?
In the following graph, the blue line is Moen's even-strength Fenwick percentage from 2007 to 2013, the red line is his team's even-strength Fenwick percentage without him on the ice, and the green line is Moen's offensive zone start percentage, giving us insight into his usage and role. All statistics are at even strength, and all are rolling 10-game averages. What this means is that aside from the first 10 points in the graph, every point represents a 10-game sample, giving us a better grasp of trends.
With all that information on one graph, it can look a little messy and be tough to decipher, so I've included trend lines for each statistic. To understand the trend lines, blue turns into black, red turns into yellow, and green turns into purple. The x-axis is simply the games to represent time, and the y-axis is the percentage in decimal form, and the placement of the y-axis is the beginning of the 2013 season.
When you watch Moen play, it's pretty obvious that he's not the player that he was two years ago, but at the same time, his possession numbers don't really reflect that. Once again we have a player who is logically in decline, just like Briere, but he's actually still looking solid.
This is one of those areas where, because Montreal has become a contending team, Moen is looking a little out of place, but he's still an NHL player. That works out well for Montreal if they're healthy around deadline time and Michael Bournival has won his spot in the NHL.
Don't expect much offense out of Moen at all, we're talking in the five goals, five assists range, but he should still be an effective penalty killer and a good fourth liner.