From Alzner to Wideman, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2010-11 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2011-12. Next up, Eric Fehr.
#16 / Right Wing / Washington Capitals
3 full, 3 partial
$2,200,000 cap hit, RFA after 2011-12
Key Stat: Fehr's 8.3% shooting percentage was the lowest of his three full NHL seasons, and 43% lower than it was in 2009-10.
Interesting Stat: Fehr had 18 points (nine goals and nine assists) in 30 Washington wins and just two points (one goal and one assist) in 22 Caps losses.
The Good: Fehr's boxcar stats are decidedly mediocre, but his rate-based numbers were a bit better. His 0.77 goals per sixty minutes were fourth on the team behind Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Mike Knuble, beating out guys like Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, and Marcus Johansson. The powerplay told a similar story, with only Knuble besting Fehr in goals per minute among forwards who saw regular time with the man advantage, and also gave the right winger a chance to tally some assist - only Nicklas Backstrom had a primary assist more often in 5-on-4 situations then Fehr. Not too bad for a guy with middling quality of teammates ratings and who was used somewhat inconsistently. Fehr's defensive play wasn't half bad either, with his goals against per minute being better than the Caps' median and an overall very solid 1.97.
Not to be forgotten was Fehr's Winter Classic performance - two goals (including the game winner), three shots, a couple of blocks, and a major impact on the highest-profile game of the regular season, all in very Fehr-sian 9:55 of ice time.
The Bad: The aforementioned boxcar stats were way down for Fehr this season, and although the deeper statistics look a little better, the reality is that Fehr's numbers were down just about any way you slice it.
Just take a look:
While it's worth noting that many of these numbers put Fehr in elite company in 2009-10 - he was seventh among NHL forwards in goals scored per minute, for example - and that some decline was probably inevitable, there's not really any avoiding the fact that Fehr had a much worse season from a statistical standpoint.
And that, of course, is just the regular season. In the playoffs Fehr found himself a frequent spectator, playing in just five of the Capitals' nine postseason games, registering a lone point (pretty as it was), and finding himself called out by Bruce Boudreau for an ugly turnover that led to a Tampa Bay goal in game three.
The Vote: Rate Fehr below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best season that you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst season you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: Facing yet another offseason shoulder surgery, how do you see Fehr fitting into Washington's lineup next fall? How do you think he would be best utilized and, just as importantly, how do you think Bruce Boudreau will utilize him? Finally, what would it take for Fehr to get a '10' from you in 2011-12?