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Josh Anderson: The counter is at zero, but also advanced offensive stats are falling all over the place

Josh Anderson: The counter is at zero, but also advanced offensive stats are falling all over the place

“Josh is back.” Martin St. Louis made the statement following the Canadiens’ 5-1 loss on Thursday to the Florida Panthers.

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“Josh is reclaiming his identity, he’s lost himself in wanting to score that goal (that didn’t come). He gets heavy and heavy. But I think he’s past that stage. At some point, you turn the page and go for it. That’s where he’s at.”

On Saturday morning, before the Red Wings visit the Bell Center, St. Louis hit the nail on the head again with Josh Anderson.

In that 5-4 overtime loss to the Wings, Andersson didn’t end his endless drought, but he did get an assist on Gustav Lindstrom’s third-period equalizer. He recovered a loose puck in the slot and then spotted a teammate instead of turning and trying to shoot. It was the right play.

For those who have the glass-half-full theory, we’ll talk about a step in the right direction. But as for the glass half empty, Anderson is yet to score his first goal of the season.

After 24 games, there is zero in the goals column for the winger. This is his worst drought since his NHL debut. In the 2019-2020 season, his last season with the Blue Jackets, he did not score any goals in his last 21 games. But that year he played despite a shoulder injury.

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Accuracy issue

Anderson did not lose his scoring talent overnight. Bad luck explains this desert production, but it’s not just bad luck.

In terms of expected goals, Anderson should have scored five goals (5.10) after 24 matches. This time last year (December 3), he had scored just five goals, but in 22 matches. After 24 matches, he scored seven goals.



Photo by Agence France-Presse

In San Jose on November 23, Anderson dissected part of his slumber in the following way.

“I’m not satisfied with the way I’m placing the puck now and the accuracy of my shots,” he explained. Throughout my career I’ve always been good at hitting the goals I aim for and putting the puck exactly where I want it. It’s a matter of inches in this league. For some of the scoring opportunities I had, I couldn’t get the puck where I wanted it to be and it’s just a matter of missing your shot.

Anderson finds himself a bit like a pitcher in baseball who can no longer hit the corners of the plate with his fastball.

Of all NHL forwards who have played at least 75 minutes this season, Anderson (0.21) ranks fourth among those with the best expected goals rate without having scored yet.

He is ahead of Rickard Rakell (0.31), Nicklas Backstrom (0.26) and Jordan Martinok (0.22). Rakell, of the Penguins, and Backstrom, of the Capitals, are now out with long-term injuries, while Martinuk remains without a goal after 23 games. But Martinuk is not a top scorer like Andersson with 15 goals, a personal high (2018-19).

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Exciting statistics

With the help of Sportslogiq, Newspaper Comparing Anderson’s advanced stats from this season to last year. There is a note. All of his advanced offensive stats are down compared to last year (see table).

In terms of effort, work and effort, No. 17 remains essentially the same player. Although he recovered more pucks and won a few one-on-one battles.

Josh Anderson by the numbers

(Averages per game, all positions, ranking among CH forwards and ranking among NHL forwards)

Comparison between the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons

Expected goals: 0.30 2H (73) | 0.21 6H (198H)

Scoring opportunities: 2.57 2H (66H) | 2.04 e-3e (124H)

Shots from the opening: 1.64 2H (52H) | 1.38 2H (90H)

Shots from the bottom of the hatch: 0.86 4H (54H) | 0.75 third (82H)

Opportunities to enter the region: 0.80 4H (48H) | 0.54 5H (144H)

Offensive cycle possibilities: 0.84 3H (150H) | 0.58 7H (206H)

Preview opportunities: 0.32 1any (35H) | 0.17E-3E(197H)

Free pucks recovered: 11.8 9H (224H) 12.0 5H (202H)

Individual battles won: 1.42 10H (214H) | 1.67 e-6e (161H)