Who else was floored that Joel Armia made it this high up the list? Let’s put it this way: Jesperi Kotkaniemi would not have had a poster of Armia in his bedroom growing up if last year’s performance from the elder Pori native was an average year for him.
Before I go on to slander Armia too much, I do think he’s a good player with decent talent, but if last year’s Habs went from bad to worse, Armia was the face of that, deserved or not.
As we’re about to see, it might not have been as deserved as you would think at first blush. He did exceptionally well in the advanced stats of this model. And that’s not an exaggeration, getting 13/16 points for Corsi-for percentage (weighted to 19.5 total points). But, after getting 10/16 (weighted to 12.5) for xG%, his numbers fall off astonishingly.
He had the third-worst goals-for percentage on the team, the worst points per 60, and the third-fewest defensive-zone faceoffs per 60 on the team.
When the disparity is this big, one really has to wonder how much is luck and how much is talent and effort. Certainly a lack of grit and looking downright disengaged was a huge talking point about Armia’s year.
I look forward to hearing what you all have to say about how you felt about Armia’s year, and what you expect to see when the new season begins.
For more info on the model I used, check out the introduction to this series.