Mike Hoffman: The Hot Streak is a Mirage

Mike Hoffman: The Hot Streak is a Mirage

It’s easy to fall into the trap. Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman lures you right in.

Scoring pedigree? Check.

Extensive professional experience? Check.

Beautiful release that makes you dream of his 30-goal potential?




With 11 goals already this season, Mike Hoffman appears to be breaking out. At this pace, Hoffman will score 27 goals this season, 44 points, and a +37 plus-minus rating.

So, what’s the problem?

Sadly for fans of the Ottawa Senators, Mike Hoffman’s level of play is unsustainable. There are three reasons why.


Mike Hoffman’s Inflated PDO


PDO is an analytic that measures how much luck is involved in a skater’s performance. For a detailed explanation of PDO, check Cam Charron’s article here.

So far this season, Mike Hoffman’s been very lucky. His PDO score of 103.4 is the highest on the Senators roster. Hoffman’s mark is the 16th highest in the NHL and 11th highest in the NHL among forwards.

Though an inflated PDO for an entire season is possible, ranking near the top ten in the NHL for luck isn’t a great foundation for a breakout season.

When Hoffman’s luck dries up, his scoring level will dry up as well.


Mike Hoffman’s Inflated Shooting Percentage

Mike Hoffman Ottawa Senators PDO
The Senators flag will fly at City Hall to start the season/Photo – Andrew Rodger

A skater’s shooting percentage factors into their PDO score. However, it is still useful to examine Mike Hoffman’s shooting percentage on its own.

This season, Hoffman’s shooting percentage is a lofty 13.3 percent. The NHL average shooting percentage has hovered around nine percent for the past eight seasons.

Though Hoffman is clearly performing above league average in shooting percentage, that’s not strange for a sniper. Hockey’s Future calls Hoffman’s shot “great” and notes that Hoffman’s junior coach compared his shot to Brett Hull’s.

Despite the stunning comparison, Mike Hoffman hasn’t yet demonstrated that his shot is exceptional at the NHL level.

In his first full NHL season last year, Hoffman posted a shooting percentage of just 4.9.

However, Hoffman’s production in the AHL has been solid. In 168 games with the Binghamton Senators, Hoffman registered a 12.7% shooting percentage.

Though the correlation is low, Kent Wilson has shown that AHL graduates tend to maintain about about 79 percent of their shooting percentage when they graduate to the NHL.

For Hoffman, Sens fans can expect a shooting percentage of about ten percent. This is considerably lower than his current percentage and suggests that fans should prepare for some deflation in Mike Hoffman’s production.


Mike Hoffman’s Offensive Zone Starts

Finally, Hoffman’s offensive zone starts have created production inflation.

So far this season, Hoffman is the clear leader in offensive zone start percentage (OZFO%) for the Sens, posting an OZFO% of 38.7 percent.

For regular NHL skaters (more than 20 games played so far this season) Hoffman’s OZFO% is 48th highest in the NHL. Though new Head Coach Dave Cameron has yet to even out Hoffman’s zone starts, any shift towards less starts in the offensive zone will likely deflate Hoffman’s hot start to the season.



In Conclusion…

Mike Hoffman has impressive offensive skills. As he continues to develop in the NHL, fans of the Ottawa Senators have reason to expect solid offense from the young sniper.

For now, Sens fans are best to view Hoffman’s great start as a mirage. He has benefited from a strong PDO, inflated shooting percentage, and high percentage of offensive zone starts. As these analytics even out over the course of the season, Mike Hoffman’s rate of production can be expected to slow.

What do you think, Ottawa Senators fans? Can Mike Hoffman continue to ride this hot streak or do you expect his production to slow down?

7 thoughts on “Mike Hoffman: The Hot Streak is a Mirage”

  1. this is how you don’t use advanced stats.

    1) A high PDO could allow you to argue his +- is higher than it should be but thats about it
    2) A 13.3% isn’t that high for a goal scorer
    3) 48th highest in the NHL that is hardly unsustainable and why would it not continue he is having success?

    Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

  2. Also, why have a picture of Mark Stone instead of Mike Hoffman in the article above the conclusion? Interested to know if you have actually watched him play or are just relying on statistics?

  3. You should have noted somewhere that Hoffman has the leagues highest individual scoring chance rate which suggests that his production isn’t as unsustainable as you think.

  4. Hoffman will be a force to reckon with. He may not be a first round draft pick but we will show up to every game and play hard to prove he is NHL caliber. Just look at Marty St. Louis. He wasn’t even drafted and is a small player like Hoffman yet he is one of the league best snipers.

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