Dallas Stars 2015-2016 Player Grades: Tyler Seguin
It's hard to find fault with another superb season from #91. Hard, but not impossible. For all of his majesty, Seguin spent the playoffs as a victim of unfortunate circumstance. Before that, he was awesome. The only question is how awesome. Step inside my parlor.
Sometimes the when and how of something are just as important as the what. Nowhere is that more evident than in Tyler Seguin's 2015-2016 season. For reasons we will touch on below, it was another banner year, unquestionably a success. However, his great works were blighted by a late season injury, again, leaving Stars fans stuck on "what if" as a capstone.
Let's start big. This past Season was Seguin's third in Dallas, and his third as an elite offensive force. Tyler torched the league to the tune of 33 goals and 40 assists (73 points) in 72 games. In broader context he was 14th in the league in points and 10th in goals. More tellingly, Seguin was 7th in terms of points-per-game (6th, if we ignore Pavel Zacha). His contemporaries are Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson, and Jamie Benn.
There are strong reasons to believe things could have been even better. Among the top twenty scorers, only Kris LeTang did his damage in fewer games (71 vs. 72). If we look at the league's top 10 goal-scorers, Seguin's 11.9% shooting percentage was dead last, and only Brad Marchand scored fewer goals on the power play (7 vs. 6). He is also currently locked in a three-way tie with Phil Kessel and Joe Thornton for "most embarrassing decision by the Boston Bruins," which is maybe my favorite category ever.
If you don't like data, feel free to skip to the next paragraph. For the rest of us, bask in the underlying metrics of an otherworldly talent. Is Corsi your go-to? How about 61.1% CF? If you prefer Fenwick, the number is 60.9%. Seguin produced a +106 high-danger scoring chance differential, saw his lines out-score the opposition by 43 goals, and even won 55.6% of his faceoffs.
So then what's the problem?
I alluded to it earlier, but allow me to close with two numbers: 10 and 1. The first is the number of games Seguin missed during the regular season, the second is the number of games he played during the playoffs. I'm speaking, of course, about the torn Achilles tendon he could not quite overcome. Last season it was 11 games and a knee injury.
They weren't related. It's not like last season's stumble contributed to this season's pain. Nor is it fair to label Seguin as "injury prone" at this point during his career. He's been submarined by a Panther and slashed by a Lightning Bolt. It's hard to lay blame on the player for truly, epically bad timing. It's also hard to blame fans of the Stars for wondering how last season's tense playoff run or this season's nail-biting seven game series against St. Louis might have gone with the big gun in the lineup.
Maybe next season a few owed breaks will come right. It's possible Seguin's power play goals tick back up from an uncharacteristic low, and it's fair to dream about how he's still growing into his powers, how the team around him continues to improve, and what the future might hold.
Just be careful in March and April, kiddo.
How you would grade Tyler Seguin's season?