With 12 goals and 24 points, Tim Brent ended up being a steal for the $700k the Hurricanes were paying him this season. His hard work ethic, ability to be used on multiple areas on special teams and outgoing personality made him a fan favorite with the Hurricanes and it also helped that he had career highs in goals and points. Brent appeared to give the fourth line a much needed boost as he produced at a very high rate for a guy who regularly played less than 10 minutes a game, but what are the chances of Brent having another year like this?
One other area that Brent had a career high in was shooting percentage, as he scored on 16.9% of his shots which probably isn't sustainable in the long run. He also ended up being a regular on the powerplay while Joni Pitkanen was injured and he earned seven of his 24 points there. Brent will probably need to have more time on the powerplay and continue to get fortunate when it comes to shooting the puck if he wants to have another season like this.
Why am I so pessimistic? Because Brent's underlying numbers aren't very good at all. Goals and points speak a lot more than possession and scoring chance metrics do, so Brent had a great season overall. His chances of repeating it, however, are very low. After the jump, we'll take a look at said numbers.
Tim Brent 2011-12 Scoring Chances
Average TOI: 10:53
QualComp Rank: 16/18
OZ% Start: 49%
Chance% Forward Rank: 17/19
Chance Diff/60 Forward Rank: 17/19
Scoring Chances by Segment
|Game #||TCF||TCA||SCF||SCA||Segment%||Team %|
TC = total chances, SC = segment chances, Segment% = scoring chance percentage during segment, Team %= Hurricanes' scoring chance percentage during segment
Scoring Chance Line Graph
The red line is Brent's even strength scoring chance ratio, the black line is the Hurricanes'.
Brent had one good stretch during the 51-60 game mark where he performed above the team average and was on ice for over 50% of the Hurricanes even strength scoring chances. Aside from that, he was getting pinned hard into his own zone. He performed way below the team average for almost the entire season and that was with fourth line minutes against mostly other team's fourth liners. Brent starts more in the defensive zone than players like Anthony Stewart but that's still no excuse for his underlying numbers to be this brutal.
This is why I believe that luck and special teams played a huge role in Brent having the kind of season that he did. It's possible to maintain success if you put up strong counting numbers despite getting outchanced, but not when you're beaten this badly at even strength.
When it came to creating chances and driving the play forward, Brent was very successful when he was playing with someone who is already skilled in that category (LaRose, Skinner, Staal, Ponikarovsky), showing that he mainly a passenger on whichever line he played on. The only exception might be the fourth line with Anthony Stewart and those two were a nightmare defensively when they played together.
That being said, I think Brent's been a great addition to the team, especially for the $750k cap hit, but I have my doubts that he will have this kind of year again unless he can improve his possession numbers by a significant margin, or if he can shoot at almost 17% again. That would work, too.