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Tyler Pitlick's Bad Luck

Tyler Pitlick needs a run of good luck. Someone get him a rabbit's foot.

Dale MacMillan

When we reported on Tyler Pitlick's knee injury, I quoted Alan saying

...I feel very comfortable saying that the ship has likely sailed on either one of these to ever become a consistent offensive player at the NHL level. Both however do possess skills that could prove valuable as role players if they can begin to realize the potential they showed in their draft years. Pitlick, likely the more offensively gifted of the two, has been completely snake bitten from a scoring standpoint, registering 1g-2a-3p in 28 games.

Snakebitten doesn't begin to describe what's happened to Tyler Pitlick since turning pro:

Year League GP G A P S S% S/G
2009-10 NCAA 38 11 8 19 72 15.28% 1.89
2010-11 CHL 56 27 35 62 150* 18.00%* 2.68*
2011-12 AHL 62 7 16 23 130 5.38% 2.10
2012-13 AHL 32 1 4 5 52 1.92% 1.63


I've estimated Pitlick's shot totals in Medicine Hat in 2010-11 using the math-driven method of closing one eye and guessing, so anyone with some knowledge of that season who might be in a better position to estimate is welcome to chime in.

The obvious takeaway from this table is Pitlick's brutal 4.4% shooting percentage on 182 shots in Oklahoma City. I'm not concerned with the fall-off in shots per game this year - his playing time was suppressed by the presence of the Oilers in the lineup. What I am concerned about is the shooting percentage.

Pitlick is either suffering an incredible run of luck or his shot is as threatening as the average defenseman, and that doesn't make much sense. Pitlick has a heavy shot, and by most accounts an accurate shot. But if it's a plus shot, which scouting reports say it is, and Pitlick were a true talent 9% shooter, the odds of him scoring 8 or less goals on 182 shots are less than 2%. If he's a true talent 8% shooter, the odds are approximately 4%. So Pitlick is either a forward with a plus shot suffering through an abnormal amount of bad luck, or the shot that we believe is superior is actually inferior to the average forward, and not even as effective as Colten Teubert.

Beyond the luck vs. talent problem, there is also the problem of health. This is Pitlick's second signifcant leg injury in three years. Pitlick was a healthy player from his developmental years through his time at Mankato, but has run into some very bad luck since. In more ways than one.

Special thanks to Paul Allan, Associate Director of Athletics at Minnesota State University, Mankato for restoring the Mavericks' historical stats tables