Key Stat: How about 26 games played (and another four tagged on in the playoffs)? Normally that would be scarcely worth comment, but any time your 22-year-old second rounder can get up into the bigs and he acquits himself well enough to earn a sweater during crunch time is a good look. And about that “acquitting himself well” piece...
The Good: During his modest regular season run, Siegenthaler squeaked out an above-even shot share of 50.88%, but the team sure made those shots count. Seigs scoring chance share represented a significant jump up to 55.89%, his high-danger chance share higher yet at 60%, all leading up to his team-leading five-on-five goalshare of 63.64%. Granted, much of that owes to relatively small sample size, good fortune, and he did it without benefitting from the sheltered zone deployments often gifted to greenhorns — only Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen started a lesser percentage of their shifts in the offensive zone than did Siegenthaler. He also led blueliners in shot blocking rate. Take a look at the shots/for and shots/against heatmaps below and you’ll divine that the Caps generated more shots from high danger areas when Siegenthaler was on the ice compared to when he was not, and allowed fewer shots from high danger areas by the same qualifier. Although twenty-six games isn’t a whole lot to hang your hat on, Siegs did well with his opportunity, and has certainly positioned himself as a viable every-night blueliner heading into next season. And with the uncertain futures of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, the timing is auspicious for the young Swede. Tough to ask for a whole lot more juice from the kind of squeeze this kid got.
The Bad: Siegenthaler’s first foray into the bigs didn’t leave him without his bumps or bruises. He had the puck taken away from him at a higher rate than any other blueliner on the squad, and only Brooks Orpik contributed to the other side of that coin — taking the puck away from the opponent — at a lesser rate. It’s also worth noting that when Siegenthaler was on the ice the team generated only 26 SF/60 at five on five, and allowed only 25 SF/60 — both were easily the laziest such rates on the team, which isn’t an inherently bad thing, but it does raise some questions about Siegenthaler’s impact on the pace of the game, and whether or not that slots in comfortably with coaching preference and overall team style. But so long as the performance is good, that remains a line of inquiry rather than criticism, lest we begin looking gift horses in their mouths.
The Discussion: Did Jonas Sieganthaler make the most of his limited opportunity? Is he a sure bet for an opening night sweater in the upcoming season? Based on what you’ve seen, what’s his upside? What could Siegenthaler’s apparerent NHL readiness mean for his peers on the blueline? What would it take for you to give him a ‘10’ next season?
Other Siegenthaler Season Reviews: RMNB
The Vote: Rate Siegenthaler 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.
How do you rate Jonas Siegenthaler’s 2018-19 season?
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