Photo Credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Photo Credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Bouncing Back: Matt Read

Photo Credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Photo Credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

After having the lowest goal output of his career, including the lockout shortened 2013 campaign, Matt Read is likely to bounce back in 2015-16. Coming into this past season, Read averaged 0.29 goals per game, which dropped to .1 goals per game due to playing most of the season on an injured ankle. Had he just matched his career goals per game output, Read would have scored 23 goals in the 80 games he played in. He also shot a career low 5.6% this past season after shooting 15.1% in the previous 3 seasons. Assuming he maintained his shooting percentage from the previous 3 seasons, Read would have scored 21 goals this past season. Basically this means the injuries cost Read 13-15 goals this past season.

Given Read’s career output is in the low to mid 20s for goals/82 games played prior to this season, it’s safe to assume this past season will be looked at as an outlier. Because it was an outlier, it should be possible to extrapolate just what can be expected of him next year.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

One very positive thing for Matt Read as shown above is that he has a positive impact on puck possession both offensively and defensively. Most fans are aware that Couturier-Read is one hell of a penalty killing duo so this shouldn’t be surprising.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Read’s HERO chart shows that he gets second line minutes, scores goals at a second line rate and helps his teammates score at a second line rate. While his possession comes in at a third line rate, remember, this numbers are impacted negatively by his injury plagued 14-15 season which accounts for nearly 30% of his career.

Given that before this season, Matt Read’s raw goal totals were at first line values, it is safe to assume he’ll return close to that level. Given Read’s performed as a low end wing in the past, he’ll likely jump back to around 20-24 goals and 20-25 assists. The biggest help will hopefully come from having Sam Gagner instead of Rinaldo or Lecavalier as his third linemate with Couturier.

The other place where Read will hopefully bounce back is on the Penalty Kill, in 2013-14, the Flyers were 7th in the NHL with 84.8% before dropping to 27th at 77.1% in 14-15. A healthy Read will hopefully lead to the PK bounceback.

The good news is, Read’s 14-15 season is likely an outlier and not the sign of premature age related decline.