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Offensive Expectations: Analyzing the Canadiens' scoring slump

Will this finally be the week that the Habs break out of their scoring slump?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

I did this recap every week because I was expecting that the Canadiens would eventually run into a slump.Despite having the best shot differential in the league, they have had some serious trouble putting pucks in the net lately.

Let's take a look at the numbers:

Shots

Goals

Average before

31.5

3.03

Average this week

30.3

1

Average now

31.4

2.84

82-game pace

2575

232

Here are the numbers for the entire roster. You can click a column's heading to sort it.

Player

Position

GP

Exp. S

Actual S

Pace S

Exp. G

Actual G

Pace G

Exp. P

Actual P

Pace P

Sh%

Andrighetto, Sven

F

12

110

15

103

10

4

27

25

4

27

26.67

Beaulieu, Nathan

D

36

144

45

103

6

2

5

20

11

25

4.44

Byron, Paul

F

25

131

17

56

12

5

16

25

7

23

29.41

Carr, Daniel

F

10

110

19

156

8

4

33

20

5

41

21.05

Desharnais, David

F

37

109

53

117

10

7

16

45

18

40

13.21

Eller, Lars

F

37

108

59

131

12

7

16

27

12

27

11.86

Emelin, Alexei

D

30

74

22

60

3

0

0

14

2

5

0

Fleischmann, Tomas

F

37

131

72

160

12

8

18

25

17

38

11.11

Flynn, Brian

F

37

99

49

109

6

4

9

20

9

20

8.16

Galchenyuk, Alex

F

37

225

75

166

25

8

18

50

24

53

10.67

Gallagher, Brendan

F

22

208

70

261

25

9

34

50

19

71

12.86

Gilbert, Tom

D

36

49

31

71

2

0

0

12

1

2

0

Holloway, Georges

F

1

88

1

82

8

0

0

22

0

0

0

Hudon, Charles

F

2

78

1

41

7

0

0

30

2

82

0

Markov, Andrei

D

37

140

50

111

8

2

4

40

20

44

4

McCarron, Michael

F

2

78

4

164

7

0

0

20

0

0

0

Mitchell, Torrey

F

26

66

28

88

4

5

16

12

10

32

17.86

Pacioretty, Max

F

37

308

149

330

37

14

31

60

27

60

9.4

Pateryn, Greg

D

8

49

8

82

2

0

0

8

0

0

0

Petry, Jeff

D

35

192

70

164

8

4

9

25

12

28

5.71

Plekanec, Tomas

F

37

167

82

182

20

7

16

50

27

60

8.54

Smith-Pelly, Devante

F

28

115

32

94

7

3

9

19

8

23

9.38

Subban, P.K.

D

37

211

98

217

12

1

2

50

24

53

1.02

Tinordi, Jarred

D

3

49

0

2

0

9

0

NA

Weise, Dale

F

37

88

88

195

8

10

22

18

18

40

11.36

Let's be honest here. Who was expecting Tomas Fleischmann or Dale Weise to score 40 goals this year? Or that Torrey Mitchell would score every two shots? Who thought that Byron would solve our deficiencies on the right wing? I thought that Alexander Semin would do better, but other than that, the team is pretty much performing as expected.

So what's going on with the drought? Most of the shooters have come back down to earth, while Byron, Mitchell, Sven Andrighetto, and Daniel Carr still have unsustainable shooting percentages. These players are likely to regress, but the change in scoring may not be so drastic.

Carr, for example, has been producing scoring chances at a ridiculous rate, with 15 high danger scoring chances in as many games. He's not quite on the level of Brendan Gallagher, who had 49 in 22 games, but he's a very serviceable replacement. When you consider that David Desharnais only had 29 in 37 games, and Tomas Plekanec only had 24 in 37 games, it becomes clear that Carr has earned a spot in the top six.

The defensemen haven't been particularly lucky either. P.K. Subban is shooting at an abysmal rate just over 1%, and the only two who are around the league average are Nathan Beaulieu and Jeff Petry. Expectations are low for guys like Tom Gilbert, Alexei Emelin, and Jarred Tinordi, but it stands to reason that nearly all of them are due for an increase.

In terms of expected point totals, half of the team is behind pace, with most players at least a goal back of where they should be. You can blame the coach, the system, or the players, but it's clear that the team is goal starved right now. What they need is another game breaker, and thankfully one named Brendan Gallagher will soon be available again.

Perhaps the earlier loss against Boston cursed the Habs, and hopefully they can break it by hammering them at the Winter Classic.

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