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Lets take a look at the teams that were the least dominant on the offensive end of the ice in the 2021-2022 regular season. If you want to see the most dominant 5v5 teams, click here. We will be looking at three specific stats, a teams expected goals for, which is how many goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of chances they create, Corsi %, higher Corsi means the team is creating more chances than their opponents, and the third stat is high danger shots. We will only be looking at 5v5 data, to see who was the least dominant when they face an opponent at even strength. Data via MoneyPuck.com.
1. Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks struggled more than anyone else in the league in the offensive end of the ice during 5v5 play. With players like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and others, you wouldn’t expect them to be the worst offensive 5v5 team in the league, but here we are. The Blackhawks finished second to last in the Central Division, only in front of the Arizona Coyotes. The Blackhawks won only 28 of 82 games. During 5v5 play, the Blackhawks had an expected goals for of 133.99, the lowest in the league by a decent amount. They had the second lowest amount of high danger shots for, with 102, and the lowest amount of medium danger shots for, with 414. The Blackhawks also had the third worst Corsi % in the league, sitting at 45.59%. Definitely a terrible season for the Blackhawks, who this off season traded away a lot of their forwards, or let them walk in free agency.
2. Arizona Coyotes
This one should come as a surprise to no one, the Coyotes are in the depths of a rebuild, and currently sit with minimal firepower up front. They finished the season with only 25 wins in the 82 games, finishing last in the Central Division. They had the second worst expected goals for, with 138.34, only in front of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Coyotes and Blackhawks were substantially worse than anyone else, with the Coyotes having a 9 lower expected goals for than anyone else, and the Blackhawks being 14 lower than anyone else. The Coyotes were a little better at creating high danger shots, coming in at the 4th lowest total in the league with 112. They also struggled to create medium danger shots, having the second worst total in the league at 448. The Coyotes continue to rebuild, this result was expected and they are far from being a playoff team.
3. Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres are certainly an interesting organization. They finished 5th in the Atlantic division with 32 wins out of 82 games, but struggled heavily on the offensive end of the ice, despite finishing above 9 other teams in the full league standings. The Sabres had the fifth lowest expected goals for during 5v5 play, with 147.94. They really struggled at creating high danger shots, having the lowest total in the league at 97. They were substantially better at creating medium danger shots, having the 8th lowest total at 496. They also had a decent Corsi %, with the 13th worst in the league at 48.48%. They are certainly improving from past years despite trading away Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights, but their lack of ability to create high danger shots is a big reason they scored one of the lowest total goals at 5v5 play this season.
4. New York Islanders
From making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020-2021 season, to finishing 5th in the Metropolitan Division and not even making playoffs in the 2021-2022 season. The Islanders were very close to making the Stanley Cup Finals in that 2021 run as well, losing in game 7 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Things have fallen apart of the island, the Islanders had the 6th lowest expected goals for in the league, at 150.94. They did create a lot of high danger shots, the 16th lowest total in the league at 139, notable teams they were ahead of were the Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning in this stat. When it came to medium danger shots, they dropped all the way to third worst in the league, with only 454, 42 less than the Buffalo Sabres. Certainly a weird stat combination for the Islanders, they created a lot of good chances, but when it came to creating regular scoring opportunities, they struggled. The Islanders overall struggled, with the 4th worst Corsi % in the league, sitting at 46.04%. The Islanders are certainly in a weird time, and with no notable free agency signings, no one really knows what their plan is.
5. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers, no one expected to see the Eastern Conference Finalists in the top 5 of the worst 5v5 offenses in the league. In the final 4 games of their series vs the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Rangers only managed to score 5 goals. In the regular season, the Rangers finished second in the Metropolitan Division, winning 52 of 82 games, but heavily relied on their top tier goaltending, and the powerplay it seems. The Rangers had the third worst expected goals for at 5v5 this season, with 147.24, only ahead of the Coyotes and Blackhawks. They had the 7th lowest total of high danger shots, with 121, substantially lower than the Islanders, who didn’t even make playoffs. The Rangers had the 5th lowest total for medium danger shots, with 486. Based on these stats, offensive chance creation was a major struggle for the rangers, they even had the 8th worst Corsi % in the league, sitting at 47.12%. The Rangers saving grace? Igor Shesterkin, in 53 games played, Shesterkin had a 2.07 GAA and a SV% of .935. The Rangers also had a dominant powerplay, the fourth best in the league at 25.23%, but at 5v5, the Rangers were one of the worst offensive teams.
A couple close teams that could have made the list include the Seattle Kraken, who had the fourth lowest expected goals for at 147.82, and the St. Louis Blues, who had the 5th lowest high danger shots for, sitting at 118, they also had the 9th worst Corsi %, sitting at 47.07%.
Overall this is certainly a list you don’t want to be on, 5v5 is the most important aspect of hockey, because if your team can’t draw a penalty, or your goalie isn’t having a great night, you are essentially doomed if your 5v5 numbers are some of the worst in the League. Just look at the Rangers vs Penguins in the playoffs, that one game went to triple overtime, the Penguins had third string goaltender Louis Domingue in net, and the Rangers managed to never score, the entire overtime being played at 5v5.