Happy September everybody!!!!! Our long August nightmare is over!!!!!
Alex Tanguay was on fire last season. His 22 goals and 33 assists were both the most since his hilaaarious 69-point season with Calgary (2010-11) and his 80 games played were the most since a year earlier than that, the disastrous season he had with Tampa Bay. I don't think it's far off base to say a lot of the fans had their breath held for Tanguay to take a step backward in 2014 given he was coming off multiple injuries, but boy, did he deliver, so let's look at what may have driven his success.
21.2% - shooting percentage in all situations. Before you choke on your coffee, Tanguay is actually a career 18.9% shooter who has broken 20% eight different times (almost all of them full seasons). You shouldn't just expect it but he's clearly capable of doing it.
10.7% - on-ice shooting percentage in all situations. Same story as his personal SH% too: the dude has a 10.6% career on-ice SH% which is stupid high. Very few NHLers elevate the SH% of their linemates consistently over seasons, but Tanguay is one of them. In fact, among forwards with 2000+ minutes since 2007, he ranks 13th in the NHL in on-ice SH%. Guys ahead of him on this list include bums like Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Ryan Getzlaf, and Martin St. Louis.
42.58% - yeah, that's 5v5 CF. Tanguay got owned at possession. Given how standard those numbers above are for him, imagine if his line had the puck! He also had the lowest on-ice shots for/60 of his career.
What does it mean for 2015?
Keep in mind that this will be Alex Tanguay's 36-year-old season. He could fall off a cliff at any minute. But as of right now, there's nothing about last season that shrieks UNSUSTAINABLE given his career production. If he sees similar ice time, with similar injury luck and similar linemates, maybe he doesn't score 22 again, but 50 points is definitely not crazy-talk, especially if the team around him is better at having the puck. The aging development curve tells us that isn't super-likely--but I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE DAMMIT.