There was a post on SBN Philly the other day regarding Claude Giroux's goal-scoring drought, which as of the All Star break sits at 11 games. The article pretty much confirms what I've been seeing during the games, but it made me wonder just how unlikely it would be for a player of our Ginger Jesus' caliber to go 11 straight without lighting the lamp based purely on bad luck.
My quick and dirty analysis is based on three assumptions. The first is that Giroux's career shooting percentage of 13.307 reflects his true talent (even though it has been over 14% for the last year and a half). The second is that the 2.91 shots per game G has generated this season are indicative of his future performance if he continues to get first line minutes. The last, for simplicity (since I am by no means a statistician), is that there are no factors other than Giroux's shooting skill and luck involved. Using these numbers, I calculated that Giroux is likely to score in over 99.5% of all 11 game stretches, which thankfully should make this kind of slump a rare occasion.
Unfortunately, each 82 game season contains 72 such stretches (games 1-11, 2-12, 3-13, etc), meaning that there is only about a 72% chance of G scoring at least once in every 11 game stretch during any given season. So 28% of the time, or slightly more often than once every four years, one of these 11 game or longer droughts should happen just by tough luck and bad bounces. That's not particularly often, but it does make for a very significant chance that nothing out of the ordinary is going on here. FYI, if my numbers are correct it would take a 15 game streak to put the odds of this all being bad breaks under 5%.
I'm not saying Giroux is nothing more than a random number generator, just trying to figure out the chances of this happening if that were the case. I definitely see the factors mentioned in the article as playing a part in this slump, how large a role each factor plays is anyone's guess. What do you think?