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Dubinsky’s Absurd Shooting Percentage

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Note: This post does not include the 11/9 game against Washington.

Brandon Dubinsky has been the subject of many a debate amongst Ranger fans. Some believed that he should have been packaged for a top line center (for various reasons), and others believed that he should be retained because of his potential. This season, Dubinsky is proving the believers right, as he has 14 points (10-4-14) and 24 hits in 14 games thus far this season. What is surprising about Dubinsky is the ten goals, as his career high was set last season at 20 goals. What is even more surprising is that his ten goals have come off just 36 shots, leaving his shooting percentage at a whopping 27.8%.

To put these numbers in perspective, Dubinsky is on pace for 200 shots this season, up from his career high of 188 during his rookie season, and 165 last season. If Dubinsky were to continue this pace, he would finish with 55 goals on the year, almost tripling his career high from last season. Dubinsky’s increased production is likely due to a dramatic increase in powerplay time, and powerplay production. Last season, Dubinsky had ten points (6-4-10) on the man advantage, this year he already has six points (3-3-6) while on the powerplay. However, with all these projections, regression to the mean is more likely than Dubinsky keeping up this torrid pace.

Regression to the mean for Dubinsky, assuming he reaches 200 shots, would be about a 15% shooting percentage. I pick 15% as an arbitrary number, because he jumped from 6% to 12% last season. It’s unfair to ask him to double that percentage again, so a modest increase, considering the continued use on the powerplay (which generates better scoring chances), isn’t out of the realm of possibility. At that pace (15% of 200 shots), Dubinsky will net the 30 goals we all thought and hoped was possible for him.

Regression to the mean also means that Dubinsky’s shot totals can come down. Assuming his powerplay time gets cut a little when Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal return, he will likely finish under the 200 shot mark. Of course, he may be facing less skilled defensemen once Gaborik and Prospal returns, which may open the ice for him and his linemates at even strength and on the powerplay. It’s tough to project out how many shots Dubinsky will finish with, but for the purpose of this post, let’s say 190 shots is a fair barometer.

At the 190 shot/15% projection, Dubinsky would finish with a little less than 30 goals (the exact number is 28.5, but I’m unsure how a half a goal would work). That’s much more realistic, as somewhere between 25-30 goals would fit in with Dubinsky’s career progression thus far. Reaching 30 goals would be a bit of a stretch for Dubinsky, who is in just his fourth season as a Ranger. Scoring 25-30 goals would be a good improvement for Dubinsky, as he would still be trending upward as he starts entering the prime of his career. While Dubinsky has been the subject of contention among fans, it’s good to see that he’s proving the believers right, and the nay-sayers wrong thus far.