Coming in at number 10 is the Powerhorse himself, Josh Anderson. A lot was asked of our favourite Golden Retriever this season and he finished with a mark of 54.6% according to this model. So how did he respond to the call?
Firstly, I want to say that Anderson bought himself a lot of respect from me last year. He’s another specialist-type player, but he tried so hard to do so much. He grinded behind the net, he was trying to set up assists, but most impressive were his post-game interviews.
Several times last year he sat in front of the gaggle of Montreal media and took personal accountability for a loss — and there were a lot of them. He talked about how the team had a system and he needed to be better in it. He defended his coach and teammates beyond all logic. Truly fulfilling the loyal aspect of his moniker: Golden Retriever.
Anderson got 9/16 points (weighted to 13.5) in Corsi-for percentage. His expected-goals-for percentage was even better at 11/16 (weighted to 13.75). Those are fairly impressive numbers when you realize he had the seventh-highest defensive-zone draws per 60. That’s a lot of putting the puck in the right direction for a guy getting a decent bite of D-zone starts.
The things that kept him from being higher on the list were his goals-for percentage (seventh-worst) and points per 60 (eighth-worst).
As I mentioned off of the top, he’s a specialist and scores his goals in a very specific way. Something to do with “rush” attempts. I feel fairly confident to say that, if he had more opportunities off of the rush he could have outscored his xG, but deployed the way he was he wasn’t able to do that.
For more info on the model I used, check out the introduction to this series.