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Bet the House on Nate Guenin

Allow me to point you toward a summer series taking a look at what the next season holds, one player at a time. We're running it down numerically, and today is Nate Guenin's turn.

I think I found a pic of Guenin pointing at the puck, friends.
I think I found a pic of Guenin pointing at the puck, friends.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Last Season


This, if you haven't seen one before, is a HERO chart. It's a very simple and elegant overview of basic rate stats compared with the overall NHL. We see that Nate Guenin received ice time typical of a bottom pairing guy, had primary points typical of a bottom pairing guy, had shot suppression numbers typical of a bottom pairing guy but had black-hole enough generation to make his overall shot differential below replacement-level, and yet his on-ice goal stats were at the second pairing level. Why?

The answer, as it often is with these glorified plusminus stats, lies in the percentages. Nate Guenin was the beneficiary of an on-ice shooting percentage even better than Tyson Barrie's, 11.39%. That's the highest on the Avalanche blueline, and the same is true of his on-ice save percentage, which was 94.22%, combining for a stupid-high season-long PDO in excess of 103.7.

He received almost no time on the power play, which is unlikely to change next season. He was Roy's 4th defenseman killing penalties, averaging 2:20 per game 4-on-5; that may not change either as Zadorov gets sheltered and Beauchemin replaces Jan Hejda's minutes.

What does it mean for 2015?

The question for our other players so far has been "How will he play?" For Guenin it's probably more appropriate to ask "How much will he play?" The addition of General Zad pushes him down the depth chart, as could the potential emergence of prospects like Duncan Siemens.

It's reasonable to expect Guenin to suit up on opening night. Not for that to be correct, but for that to be what happens, given the history. But barring disaster seasons or injuries, he should see less and less ice as the year goes on, hopefully seeing him eventually banished to the press box or lower.

I, for one, hope so, because if he isn't the results on ice should be even worse than in 2014-15.