Tyler Seguin is off to a slow start in the 2019-20 season and it’s becoming alarming. After being left off the scoresheet in a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery publicly acknowledged his frustration with his top players, including his No. 1 center.
Seguin has been mostly quiet with just 3 goals and 11 points in 18 games. Although he’s tied for the team lead in points (shout-out to Roope Hintz), being 125th in the league is not ideal for your $9.85 million sniper.
Seguin’s shooting percentage is also quite low at 5.45% for the season, when his career shooting percentage is 11%.
There is room for improvement.
However, the underlying numbers and the time it’s taking Seguin to find his groove is more and more concerning as the Stars desperately need their No. 1 center to help them crack the Central Division standings.
Analyzing the Underlying Numbers
Seguin, through 18 games, is posting many career-worst per-60 rates. It’d be one thing if only his shooting percentage was down, but many other on-ice and individual rates have also tanked. Specifically, his expected goals per hour is ranked sixth on the team below third-liner Radek Faksa. In his career in Dallas, he has never ranked below third on the team in expected goals.
Below we’ll analyze his 5-on-5 rates (per hour) and how they compare to the rest of his 10-year career:
As the table shows, he is posting worst or second-to-worst per hour rates in six of the eight metrics. The only category where Seguin is playing above-normal in is in expected goal share. This is in large because he is on the ice for really solid defensive play and it is a testament to his growth as a two-way player. But offense is mainly what the Stars signed him for, and right now, they are not getting that from him.
Positive Regression Is Coming
Seguin, and his counterpart Jamie Benn, went through this last season, which led to the public lashing from upper management who called the two top players’ performance “horse—-” (from ‘ Stars ownership, management go on expletive-laden tirade over poor performance from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin’, The AthleticNHL – 12/28/2018).
The situation this season is similar, with both players having extremely low shooting percentages. Last season, Seguin was shooting less than 5% when his career average hovers around 11%.
By the end of the season, the Stars found themselves in a playoff position with their No. 1 center ending the season at a 10% clip. A correction to the mean for Seguin is coming, it’s more just a matter of when. He isn’t going to shoot 5.5% for the entirety of the 2019-20 season, and that should make Stars fans excited for when the pucks start going in.
The Stars have managed to fight their way back to a .500 record, which is joyous for those who saw the team start the season with eight losses in their first nine games. They’ve managed to find a good balance between playing conservatively while also taking chances and attacking the offensive zone which has led to a 7-2-1 record over their last 10 games. They’ve done so with Seguin posting career-worst rates which speaks to the potential of the team once one of the best forwards in the league finds his game, which hopefully will be soon.