No preamble, we need to jump to the meat of this: Mike Hoffman was on the ice for the fifth-most defensive-zone draws of any forward on the Montreal Canadiens. I just had to get that off of my chest before saying anything else.
Hoffman got 6/16 points (weighted to 9 total) for Corsi for. He had 5/16 (6.25) for expected-goals-for percentage. Surprisingly, he had a goals-for percentage in the top half of the team — barely, but it’s there. Then he had the third-worst points per 60.
All of that is almost exactly what one would expect with Mike Hoffman. He puts up goals, not a ton of assists. He’ll outscore his situation and doesn’t drive play at all.
If there’s one thing that Hoffman is not, it’s a Swiss Army knife. He’s about as opposite to a multi-use tool as one could be. I Googled “most specific cutlery” and I think I'm going to stick with “banana slicer.” Mike Hoffman is the banana slicer of hockey players.
He has a great shot, but a steadfast defender he is not. I don’t like giving away my list too much, but he started in the defensive zone way more than Artturi Lehkonen. Talk about using everyone to their strengths.
In the previous article about Joel Armia, I went back and forth as to whether or not the criticism about him was earned or not. In this case, I have no such consternation: I think Hoffman was treated badly this year.
As I mentioned before, he has one skill and was not put in a good position to use that skill. Despite this, I felt he gave an honest effort; he backchecked and tried. He’s just not very good defensively and that’s not about to change at this point in his career.
In other words: If you’re using a banana slicer to adjust your carburetor, whose fault is that?
For more info on the model I used, check out the introduction to this series.