Occasionally I get in a random stat scouring mode. Not really sure why this happens, but I end up looking at random stats for all sports for a couple hours. This morning happened to be one of those days.
I ran across something interesting while looking at PIM stats. For the most part, PIM guys tend to be on the minus end of +/-. There are a few players who do not fall in that classification though, and one of them is Steve Downie. Although Downie is 3rd in the league in PIMs with 202, out of the top 24 PIM guys, he has the highest +/- at +15. For that matter there are 5 guys in the top 23 with a + rating, and Downie is the only one over +7. To top that off, we are one of the worst teams in the league, and generally, +/- ends up being + for guys on good teams and – for guys on bad teams. He’s the only positive +/- player on the whole Lightning roster. Pretty impressive for a guy that until this season, had failed to live up to expectations. He is using his aggressiveness to his advantage and in my eyes, is one of the top 3 players we have on this team. To top it off, he’s clearly one of the most intense guys on the ice, and for a team looking to fill the seats, he is a player that fans enjoy watching, and I’m one of those fans.
He has contributed 21 goals and 24 assists on the teams top line, and to top it off, he’s shooting a ridiculous 19.4% on his shots. For players with over 20 goals in the league, Downie is second in shot percentage behind Jussi Jokinen, the guy we just inexplicably put on waivers last year.
The ability to maintain a fearsome persona on the ice and be a force offensively, which Downie is becoming is a tough thing to do, but something that Downie has clearly done this season. His progression coupled with Steven Stamkos becoming a superstar, should give weary Lightning fans something to look forward to in the future.