Matt Hendricks: Goal Scorer?

Matt Hendricks

(Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

Matt Hendricks did a lot of the “dirty work” for the Capitals last season. He led Washington with 14 fights- four more than Matt Bradley and only six fewer than the entire team had during the 2009-10 season. His 169 hits were second on the team only to Alex Ovechkin.

So where does he want to improve his game? Scoring, naturally.

“I had nine goals goals my first year in the NHL with Colorado,” Matt Hendricks told Tarik El-Bashir. “I played 56 games that year. Last year, I played in 77 games and had nine goals. I need to figure out a way to get over that hump.”

Is that a “hump” or are you just happy to see me the apex of his scoring ability?

As Hendricks said, he has never had more than 9 goals in either of his two full NHL seasons. During the 2009-10 season he needed an above average shooting percentage (14.3%) to get there and last year he needed almost twice the amount of shots. He can “fine tune his accuracy” and work on “hunting down and putting back rebounds” all he wants, but on a line that generates approximately four to five even-strength shots per game it is unlikely there will be much to work with.

Hendricks also doesn’t get any power-play time. Sure, something could happen during his 18 seconds per game with the man advantage, but I doubt it will be significant.

Since the lockout there have been 544 skaters who have played 40 games or more but averaged less than 12 min per night. Almost three-fourths of those scored less than 14 points for the season.

Over the past five years the average fourth liner has scored 11 points, plus or minus 7. Hendricks scored 25 points last year, putting him in the 96th percentile of fourth liners.

The truth is we have most likely seen Hendricks produce the most that could reasonably be expected out of a fourth line player.

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  • Peter

    Big time sigh on the “happy to see me” line. Jeez, Greenberg.

  • Sonja Andrews

    Soooo if he could bust out of the 4th line, he could improve his scoring chances?  Then we just have to hope he can do that … 🙂

  • Boyder

    I really liked all facets of hendricks’ game last season, offense included. he had a few flashes of talent here or there. i wouldn’t put it past him to one day move to the 3rd line. id be amazed if he didn’t get at least a few games there this season. obviously he’s a bottom six player, but right now he’s one of my favorite bottom sixer’s in the league. can’t wait to see the new fourth line in action. Caps are going to be a real 4 line team this year (even though i’ve claimed we’ve been for the last 3 years, i really mean it now!)

  • As long as Hendy’s bashing people in the face and scoring on 50% of his shootout attempts, I’m totally fine with 10 goals a year! Pwning Steve Downie doesn’t hurt either.

  • By “big time sigh” do you mean “big time high-five?”

  • hendricks deserves more credit than hes given. if for nothing else, determination

  • Recinosej

    Just curious, does anybody know who had the most points of any 4th liner in the NHL last season? Previous season?

  • Salty

    For 2010-11 those that meet the 4th liner definition above (>40 games, <12 min /game) were:
    Benoit PouliotMTL30Mathieu DarcheMTL26Kyle TurrisPHX25Matt HendricksWSH25Sean AveryNYR24Viktor StalbergCHI24Derek MacKenzieCBJ23Tim JackmanCGY23Jake DowellCHI21Matt CalvertCBJ20Tim BrentTOR20Shawn ThorntonBOS20Cody McCormickBUF20

  • Salty

    For 2009-2010 those that meet the 4th liner definition above (>40 games, <12 min /game) were:Scott Parse/LAK/24;
    Arron Asham/PHI/24;  
    Matt Bradley/WSH/24; 
    Chris Neil/OTT/22; 
    Daniel Carcillo/PHI/22; 
    Jon Sim/NYI/22; 
    Kris Draper/DET/22; 
    Tomas Kopecky/CHI/21; 
    Chris Clark/WSH, CBJ/20; 
    Colin Fraser/CHI/19; 
    Jed Ortmeyer/SJS/19; 
    Mike Rupp/PIT/19; 
    Jordin Tootoo/NSH/16; 
    Evgeny Artyukhin/ANA, ATL/16; 
    Shawn Matthias/FLA/16; 
    Matt Hendricks/COL/16; 
    Ben Eager/CHI/16