David Clarkson was one of 30 NHL players who scored 30 or more goals in the 2011-12 season. Clarkson tied Jason Pominville, Daniel Sedin, Patrick Marleau, Evander Kane, and Rick Nash in goal production. Clarkson reached career highs in goals, points, and shots on net after a brutal 2010-11 season where he only scored nine goals. In addition to the 30 he scored in the regular season, he put up three more in the playoffs for a total of 33 goals in his 2011-12 campaign.
As the New Jersey Devils head into the 2012-13 season, there will be a lot of eyes on Clarkson. He'll be looked at as a source of scoring to some degree. Perhaps more so now that Zach Parise is now on Minnesota. The Devils and their fans won't be the only one interested in how he produces. Clarkson will be in the last season of his current contract and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. How he does will help determine what kind of deal he gets in the future. User kaworus_lover suggested a closer look at the goals Clarkson scored this season back in March. To that end, the user had a good idea. I think there's value in looking at the goals Clarkson scored.
I began this closer look last Saturday by looking at the first 11 goals Clarkson scored in 2011-12. This post is the second part, where I look at the second 11 goals he scored. This set represents all the goals Clarkson scored from the end of December to a little past halfway through February. To learn about what kind of goals he scored, whether they were off scoring chances, and how many flukes did he benefit from among other observations, please set your viewing to wide and continue on after the jump.
About the Review
This is the first time in a while I've exclusively looked at a Devil scoring goals, so this will be different from the reviews of the goals allowed by the goaltenders. As with those reviews, I have included a link to the NHL.com video of each goal as well as the date of the goal, a running count of what goal it was for Clarkson, and a description.
I also decided to record what kind of shot and goal it was. I'll tabulate it after the third post to see how many of each type did Clarkson score. How many were off just one-touches, where Clarkson just got his stick on the puck? How many came on just shots, where Clarkson had possession for a brief time before firing a wrist shot? How many breakaway goals, goals off rebounds, etc.? I also included the situation to highlight whether it was 5-on-5, 4-on-4, 6-on-5, or whatever. Additionally, I also noted whether the shot came on a scoring chance. Jonathan Willis has a good explanation of what a chance is in the Edmonton Journal. Lastly, I noted whether the goal came off a fluke. This doesn't mean the goal came off an error by the goaltender. I counted a goal as a fluke if it came off an incredibly fortunate bounce (e.g. off a glass support) or some strange angle. The general idea of this is to get a better of understanding of how Clarkson scored his 30 regular season goals and 3 playoff goals from this past season. If you have any suggestions, of course, please feel free to add them.
The Second 11 Goals David Clarkson Scored in 2011-12: A Chart
|Date||GF||Link||Shot Type||Goal Type||Situation||Chance?||GF Description||Fluke?|
|12/26/2011||12||Link||Snap shot||Shot||5-on-5||No||Volchenkov gets free behind the net and passes it to Clarkson above the left circle. Clarkson unleashes a shot through traffic and past Ward.||No|
|12/31/2011||13||Link||One-touch||Rebound||5-on-3||Yes||Kovalchuk passes it to Elias on the right flank, Elias' shot hits the left post. Clarkson bangs in the loose puck for the goal behind Fleury.||No|
|1/2/2012||14||Link||One-touch||Rebound||5-on-5||Yes||Anderson only got a piece of Zajac's backhander in the slot. It trickled behind him, Clarkson came from the left side and slammed it in.||No|
|1/4/2012||15||Link||Forehand||Shot||5-on-4||No||Parise beats his man to start a 2-on-1. He passes it to Clarkson, who picks the top right corner on a hard wrister.||No|
|1/17/2012||16||Link||Forehand||Shot||5-on-5||No||Elias passes it to Clarkson below the right dot. Clarkson drags the puck and unleashes a wrist shot that surprised Mason.||Yes|
|1/31/2012||17||Link||Forehand||Shot||6-on-5||Yes||Greene takes a long shot that hits a glass stantion and bounces to the slot. A rushing Clarkson takes it and shoots it right through Biron's legs.||Yes|
|2/2/2012||18||Link||One-touch||Deflection||5-on-4||No||Kovalchuk takes a slapshot from the left point, Clarkson deflects it past Price's left pad.||No|
|2/2/2012||19||Link||Forehand||Empty Net||5-on-6||No||Ponikarovsky keeps puck moving, plays it out for Clarkson. He skates to the blueline and wrists in an ENG.||No|
|2/5/2012||20||Link||Forehand||Empty Net||5-on-6||No||Brodeur lifts the puck out to the neutral zone. Clarkson gets past O'Reilly and wrists in an ENG.||No|
|2/7/2012||21||Link||One-touch||One-timer||5-on-4||Yes||Parise gets past his man, passes to Clarkson in the slot, and Clarkson's one-timer goes over Lundqvist's glove and in.||No|
|2/19/2012||22||Link||One-touch||Deflection||5-on-5||No||Elias wheels around to the blueline, fires a wrister, and Clarkson deflects it up and over the glove.||No|
Whereas the first 11 goals Clarkson scored were mostly scoring chances and almost fluke-free, this second set of 11 goals are more varied. In this group, most of the goals were not from scoring chances, which surprised me when I put this chart together. Only GFs #13, 14, 17, and 21 were shots in that slot-to-crease area in this set. While they were great shots, Clarkson was outside of that area on GFs #12 and 15. Clarkson had scored on two deflections, GFs #18 and 22, which don't count despite his location because all Clarkson did was get a piece of someone else's shot. I didn't count the two empty net goals, GFs #19 and 20, as scoring chances as there was no goaltender to shoot on. Lastly, there was GF #16, one of the two fluke goals he had in this set that wasn't a chance. I watched that goal multiple times and I'm still a little baffled as to how that got in from such a tight angle.
As for the other fluke, GF #17, that was the only time where I called it that when the goal itself wasn't a fluke. Clarkson won the puck with a near-perfect zone entry to chase it down while staying onside. Clarkson fired the puck pretty cleanly through Martin Biron's legs. It was an awesome late equalizer against Our Hated Rivals. The fluky part of it was how the puck got to where it was. Andy Greene just dumped the puck in from the red line and it bounced off a glass support right into the slot area. From there, Clarkson took, gripped, and ripped it in. I know it was a home game, but I highly doubt that was designed to work that way. I don't think the puck bounces to where it went a second time even if Greene had 100 chances at it. That's why I called it a fluke goal even though the goal itself wasn't a fluke.
The other three goals off scoring chances in this set were more like the goals we think Clarkson scores: rebounds and one-timers. GF# 13 was a rebound off a post that Patrik Elias hit. GF #14 was really a puck hitting Craig Anderson but not stopped, so it's technically a rebound that Clarkson cleaned up in the crease. GF #21 was a slick one-timer that not only beat Henrik Lundqvist but stood as the only goal of the whole game.
As for the kind of goals, again, they're all over the place. Standard forehand shots represent a plurality of this set as only four of the eleven were scored this way. Forehanded shots in general were also a plurality of five goals, including the two empty net goals included. So it went for this set.
Overall, I'd say this set better showcases some of the good luck Clarkson had in 2011-12. There were a couple of deflections he got fortunate bounces on and a couple of rebound opportunities where he was able to turn into a goal. He got two empty net opportunities and as great as he was to convert on both, particularly on GF# 20, they were still empty netters. This isn't to say that this set is proof that Clarkson didn't display any skills or just got 100% lucky. It's just that he had some good fortune so he could help himself.
What did you make of these eleven goals that Clarkson scored in this set? Which of these goals did you remember the best? Which one do you think Clarkson was the most fortunate in scoring? Would you agree with what has been called a fluke? How about the scoring chances? Please leave your answers and other thoughts on these eleven goals by Clarkson in the comments. Next week will conclude the review with the final eleven goals he scored in 2011-12. Thank you for reading.