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Shayne Gostibehere became a huge fan favorite during his rookie season in Philadelphia as his call up from the American Hockey League literally turned the Flyers entire season around.  After finishing third in Calder Trophy voting for being the league’s top rookie, Gostisbehere’s sophomore season was filled with inconsistency and overall bad luck.

Despite playing in 12 more games, Gostisbehere finished his second season with 10 less goals and seven fewer points than we saw in his first year.  His goal differential went from a +8 to a -21 while his Corsi for percentage jumped up to 53.7 from 50.6.

The biggest explanation for Gostisbehere’s drop in offensive production was his horrible shooting luck.  While nobody expected him to keep up the 11.2 shooting percentage, a 3.5 shooting percentage was quite the major drop off.

Gostisbehere shot the puck more this season, but scored less.  He averaged 2.6 shots per game in 2016-17 after averaging 2.3 the previous year.  It is doubtful that he will continue to score at such a low frequency so there is plenty of reasons to believe that his offensive production will go up in 2017-18.

Looking at Gostisbehere’s -21 goal differential will make many think he had an awful defensive year.  He was on the ice for 28 5 v 5 goals for and 46 against, but +/- is too vague of category to rate a player’s overall induvial performance.  A +/- rating is effected by too many factors outside of the player’s control.  Gostisbehere’s goal differential could look much different with some more clutch goal scoring from the offense and a couple more big saves from the goaltenders.

While “bad luck” could be a major reason for Gostisbehere’s disappointing season, head coach Dave Hakstol wasn’t buying that line of thinking.  Gostisbehere started the season playing top pairing minutes and assignments, but his ice time gradually decreased as the season went on.  Hakstol even scratched Gostisbehere five times during the season, including three straight games in early February.  As you can imagine, this did not sit well with Flyers fans who had to watch Andrew MacDonald on the ice while Gostisbehere ate popcorn in the press box.

Gostisbehere started to look more like the dynamic player from 2015-16 during the final month of the season.  Some might say that Hakstol’s message sending actually worked, while others will say that he was finally at 100% after offseason surgery for a sports hernia.  Chances are, both of those theories are correct.

How would you rate Shayne Gostisbehere’s 2016-17 performance?

Source: stats via Hockey Reference
Image Credit: Getty Images