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A look at Ryan Getzlaf's goal scoring decline in 2011-12

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

On Thursday we played our latest game of "who would you rather have" and featured Anaheim Ducks linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

I went with Getzlaf in large part because I think good centers are more valuable and harder to find than good wingers. Also because he should be due for a bounce back performance this upcoming season when it comes to his goal scoring.

He's never been a huge goal scorer throughout his career, but he's better than what he showed last season. He usually produces at a pace that would see him score around 25 goals per 82 games played. That is until last season when he scored just 11 (the lowest total of his career) during what was a very disappointing season for the Ducks.

It was also a pretty rare season from a shooting perspective not just for him, but for any player that played in the NHL over the past two decades.

Getzlaf recorded 185 shots on goal for the Ducks but managed to score on just 5.9 percent of them, a success rate that was not only well below the league average (which was 8.9 percent last season) but also well below his career average of 11.6.

Obviously, that's bad.

I was curious as to how many recemt NHL players had that poor of a season when it comes to shooting (not many), and how well they were able to rebound the following season (almost all of them were able to, and in many cases significantly).

Since the start of the 1990 season there have been 23 players that recorded at least 185 shots and finished with a shooting percentage of less than 6 percent (this is the exact opposite of what we looked at last week with Michael Ryder in Dallas).

The table below shots the complete list, as well as what they did the following season.

Bouncing back from a poor shooting season
PlayerGoalsSh%Next season GoalsNext season sh%Sh% Dif
Scott Gomez165.9126.70.8
Bobby Holik115.81510.74.9
Patrick O'Sullivan115.824.0-1.8
John Madden125.7168.22.5
Cliff Ronning115.6207.82.2
Geoff Sanderson115.6127.72.1
Tyler Arnason105.654.6-1.0
Sergei Berezin115.52311.66.1
Steve Heinze105.5710.04.5
Robert Kron105.5169.13.6
Justin Williams115.43112.26.8
Scott Hartnell125.41811.76.3
Trent Hunter125.4149.13.7
P.J. Axelsson105.485.50.1
Sami Kapanen105.3128.12.8
Scott Gomez135.2166.61.4
Doug Brown95.01014.99.9
Jason Arnott105.02713.58.5
Nelson Emerson94.62110.35.7
Jason Blake154.5258.33.8
Chris Gratton84.4157.53.1
Mikael Samuelsson114.4197.43.0
Michael Frolik114.454.3-0.1

The only players that didn't see an improvement in their shooting the following season were Tyler Arnason, Patrick O'Sullivan and Michael Frolik.

It should also be pointed out that some the players that saw an improvement in their shooting but didn't see an increase in their goal-scoring did so because they played in fewer games the following season. Or in the case of Scott Gomez, the first name on the list, failed to generate more shots which is an entirely different problem, and one I wouldn't anticipate for Getzlaf. He's still an extremely talented player in what should be the prime of his career, so it's doubtful that he's completely lost his goal scoring ability.

As I argued on Thursday morning, last season looks like a simple outlier in his career, a down year where a lot of things went wrong for him and the Ducks.

So with all of that said, how many goals do you expect for Getzlaf in 2012-13?

(And "zero, because there won't be a season" isn't an option)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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