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2017-18 Player Review: Radko Gudas posted solid numbers, but struggled down the stretch

Was there too much Badko this season?

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Radko Gudas has been a surprising fancy stat wizard since his first season in Philadelphia in 2015-16. Although he once again posted great underlying numbers, his play towards the end of the season skewed many opinions of Gudas’ season. Let’s take a deeper look at the lone right-handed blueliner on the team and if he’s still producing at a high rate.

By The Numbers

Kicking things off with the basic stats, there is a glaring number and that’s the number two. Just two goals for Gudas this season, which, in all fairness, is not a big deal. He is a defenseman after all and not necessarily the most offensively gifted one either. However, compared to last season — in which he scored six goals (five the year before) — it does stick out just a little bit.

Basic Stats

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM Shots on Goal Shooting Percentage
Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM Shots on Goal Shooting Percentage
70 2 14 16 83 142 1.4

Another glaring number is the 1.4 shooting percentage. We all know Radko Gudas has one thing on his mind when he gets the puck in the offensive zone: shoot the puck. Gudas’ 142 shots on goal are the second most of his career, yet his shooting percentage was an all-time low for the 28 year old. He also averaged two minutes less ATOI compared to last season, coming in at just over 17 minutes.

So we can clearly see a dip in basic production from Gudas. He’s still shooting quite a bit, but the puck isn’t finding the back of the net. He’s never had a world-beating shot, but it is a bit curious he wasn’t able to hang around his typical 3-5 shooting percentage.

5v5 Individual Stats

Points/60 Primary Points/60 Shot Attempts/60 Expected Goals/60
Points/60 Primary Points/60 Shot Attempts/60 Expected Goals/60
0.82 0.64 14.11 0.22

Out of these four statistics, only Gudas’ ixGF/60 increased from the 2016-17 season. Even then, it only went up by 0.01. So, not only are his basic stats taking a dip, but his metrics are as well. The expected goals staying relatively even is at least a positive sign, and considering PDO can most likely be the reason for his P and P1/60 decreasing, it may not be all that important. What really should tell the story is his on-ice numbers, was this just a bad luck year, or is Gudas showing signs of regressing?

5v5 on-ice stats

Score-Adjusted Corsi For % SA-Corsi Relative Corsi For % RelTM Score Adjusted-Expected Goals For SA-Expected Goals Relative Goals For % PDO
Score-Adjusted Corsi For % SA-Corsi Relative Corsi For % RelTM Score Adjusted-Expected Goals For SA-Expected Goals Relative Goals For % PDO
52.22 2.67 3.43 51.67 1.05 46.67 97.08

The two main numbers that stick out here are the GF%, and PDO. Gudas posted positive relatives and solid possession numbers yet again this season, proving to be one of the better territorial defenseman on the team. Gudas did post better numbers than this in 2016-17, but by no means does this look bad or look like a defenseman that can’t be trusted to drive play. Although the main concern with Gudas from an eye test perspective is his over willingness to shoot the puck as soon as he receives it, it doesn’t seem to be hurting his xGF numbers.

Three Burning Questions

1. Did Gudas live up to our expectations this season?

I’m leaning towards no. Although Gudas was solid for most of the season, I think there was just a little something missing from his season. It also doesn’t help that he (obviously unintentionally) tore Sean Couturier’s MCL during the playoff series vs. Pittsburgh. I think if Gudas gets some better luck this past year, we’re feeling a lot different about his season. There’s also the issue of Gudas’ discipline. We all remember the infamous slash to the back of the head of Mathieu Perreault of the Winnipeg Jets, and this is something that just can’t be happening. Gudas isn’t just another Nicklas Grossmann who’s entire purpose is to lay the body, he’s a solid play-driving defenseman and we need him on the ice for that exact reason.

2. What do we expect from Gudas next season?

I expect a bounce back season from Gudas. He definitely ran into a good amount of bad luck this past season and if he can improve his play in the offensive zone, it could do wonders for him. If Gudas puts together a 20 point season or somewhere around there, with his typically solid underlying numbers, that’s a very successful season for him. I think we all know Gudas should be able to reach those levels because he’s done it before, and he’s only 28, he’s better than how he played last season.

Sidenote: Should also expect him to not tear Couturier’s MCL again because that would be less than ideal, thx Radko.

3. What would we like to see Gudas improve on?

Creativity in the offensive zone is definitely the main thing Gudas should work to improve on this upcoming season. I don’t expect Gudas to become an offensive dynamo, but if he could at the very least just take smarter shots, that would be nice to see. Gudas has the tendency to take too many unscreened point shots, which typically results in diminished chances of rebounds and deflections. We know how Dave Hakstol likes to run the offense from the point, but players like Gudas who take ill-advised shots too much are not helping the cause.

Something that I liked a lot last season from Travis Sanheim’s game, was his willingness to chip the puck into the corners for his forwards. No screened shot available from the point? Go get the puck, forwards. At the very least it bides the offense more time in the offensive zone which only wears down the defense. If Gudas could even do more of that, I’d be perfectly happy. I just need to see fewer unscreened point shots, and more of the solid play-driving numbers that we’re used to from Gudas.

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