Key Stat: Oshie scored 21 points in 24 playoff games (72 per 82), an increase of over a third from his regular season rate (52 per 82).
Interesting Stat: Oshie’s 0.24 goals per game during the regular season was pretty typical for him – he has scored between 0.23 and 0.27 goals per game in eight of his 10 NHL seasons. His 0.64 points per game was also pretty typical – he’s scored between 0.63 and 0.69 in seven of ten seasons.
The Good: Last thing’s first -- Oshie had a terrific postseason. He finished third on the team in goals and fourth in points, tied for the postseason lead in power-play goals (with Steven Stamkos and you-know-who), and was noticeably the team’s standout forward for parts of the Stanley Cup Final. Oshie made big plays throughout the postseason, including:
- An empty-net goal in game 5 against Pittsburgh (which involved a terrific poke-check of Phil Kessel)
- The opening goal in Game 6 versus Tampa Bay (a game which the Capitals to that point had dominated but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard)
- The opening goal in Game 4 versus Vegas (which Vegas had dominated to that point)
Oshie started the regular season with 10-12-22 in his first 26 games, and in general, on the ice, Oshie delivered what the Caps wanted from him. He played with skill, good hockey sense in all areas of the rink, a great work ethic, and willingness and ability to dominate in the “dirty” areas (though perhaps not quite as much as he has in the past, when he was a bit younger). He was also again a key part of the Caps’ strong power play, scoring from the middle regularly and winning about half his faceoffs.
After his midseason slump (more on that in a minute), he posted 6-6-12 in 16 GP to close the regular season and had this memorable celebration at the bench.
The Bad: Oshie was noticeably less effective on the ice in the middle of the season. He posted just 2-11-13 in 32 GP over December, January, and February, going 19 games without a goal in February and March. Part of the decrease in production was likely randomness -- he shot just 4% after shooting 21% in October and November. Part could also have been not feeling quite right after getting hit in the head by Joe Thornton in early December.
The result by the end of the year was 18 goals – good, but a far cry from the 33 in 2016-17 or the 26 he scored in 2015-16. Oshie’s 5-on-5 goals rate dropped by two-thirds. Although he maintained good numbers on the power play – scoring twice more this year than last, and scoring a similar number of goals-per-60 at 5-on-4 – Oshie likely benefited from good bounces. He was getting scoring opportunities around 25% less often in 2017-18 than 2016-17, but shot 24% (compared to 17%) to make up for it.
His five-on-four secondary assist rate also quadrupled – probably a sign of some good fortune, which is possibly a sign of a drop-off to come (though perhaps modest, given that his secondary assist rate in 2016-17 was abnormally low). If any player has intangibles, Oshie does, but this season raises the risk that he brings far fewer tangibles in the coming years.
TJ Oshie drinking beer through his jersey pic.twitter.com/kNRf2urjSE— Born Salty (@cjzero) June 12, 2018
Oshie’s Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Oshie and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Oshie’s 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Oshie’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Oshie’s With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Oshie’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Oshie’s Player Traits and Performance (chart by @RK_Stimp, data by @ShutdownLine, Tableau here):
The Vote: Rate Oshie 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 year 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 year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: How much should we read into Oshie’s midseason slump – can the Caps expect Oshie to produce more like the player he was over the season as a whole, or the player he was in October, November, and March-June? Should Oshie play opposite Ovechkin or away from Ovechkin? Can Oshie be a regular penalty-killer moving forward? How concerned should the Caps be about his age and style of play? What would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?
Other Oshie Season Reviews: Peerless, RMNB
How do you rate T.J. Oshie’s 2017-18 season?
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