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Jeff Petry's season review: How did the Habs blue-liner fare in 2017-18?

Jeff Petry saw his role change as the season went along, and posted career highs in goals and points.

Detroit Red Wings v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

In a season where injuries to defencemen hit early and often, Jeff Petry became the glue that held together the Montreal Canadiens’ blue line.

At first glance, it does seem like it was a year of extremes for Petry, between the career high in points, and the colossal plus/minus plunge, but as we've discussed over the course of the week, there are perfectly reasonable and explanations for both of these factors which show that the defenseman is what he is: a very strong player playing in rather extraordinary circumstances.

Because of Shea Weber's injury, Petry became the Habs’ biggest power-play weapon on the back end, and this deployment led to his career-high point total.

All of this offense put him in some really good company, both with the Habs, and around the league, and saw him score some really sweet goals.

Not everything was sunshine and roses, however — after all, how could it be on an injury-depleted, and extraordinarily unlucky team who struggled all season?

These struggles made themselves felt on an individual level for Petry, who ended the season with a painful -30. Even for detractors of the stat, that kind of number makes one pause. But even this circumstance was not as dire as it seemed once carefully examined.

Petry's possession took a little bit of a tumble as well, though he remained above 50%, so perhaps not terribly concerning in the grand scheme of things.

Petry’s possession metrics

Statistic 2015-16 (NHL Rank) 2016-17 (NHL Rank) 2017-18 (NHL Rank)
Statistic 2015-16 (NHL Rank) 2016-17 (NHL Rank) 2017-18 (NHL Rank)
CF% 54.6 (22) 54.4 (15) 52.0 (65)
SCF% 53.5 (45) 53.0 (48) 52.4 (64)
OZS% 46.4 (57) 47.3 (73) 47.8 (92)
CF% = Corsi-for percentage; SCF% = scoring-chances-for percentage; OZS% = offensive zone start percentage Stats via Natural Stat Trick

Whatever Petry's faults were last season, he was one of the more impressive members of a fairly lacklustre team, and considering that we know Weber will be out until December, the Habs could definitely use another performance like that this season.


Grade Petry's 2017-18 season

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