No, they aren't over-exaggerated. He was truly terrible on the top line for most of the time.
It seems like this perception is entirely Sh%-driven. Hartnell's on-ice 5v5 Corsi events have been remarkably consistent over the year, whether broken up by regular intervals or major changes in line combos.
Here, looking at every 10 games, starting from game 1:
Games 1-10: 144-108 (57.1%)
Games 11-20: 145-122 (54.3%)
Games 21-30: 143-106 (57.4%)
Games 31-38: 94-82 (53.4%)
Now, looking at every 10 games, with intervals going back from game 38 (mitigates some end-point bias):
Games 1-8: 109-83 (56.8%)
Games 9-18: 150-126 (54.3%)
Games 19-28: 152-111 (57.8%)
Games 29-38: 115-98 (53.9%)
And by line combo (his current stretch on the 2nd line started 12/12 vs MTL, his 28th game of the year):
1st line (games 1-27): 393-310 (55.9%)
2nd line (games 28-38): 133-108 (55.2%)
The underlying shot events actually show a level of consistency that is almost eerie.
I agree with Jtown on that. The on-ice Sh% variance feeds into a narrative about a Jekyll/Hyde season, but examination of Corsi events doesn't support it.
I'm fine with keeping Hartnell on the 2nd line for balance in the top-6, though, as long as they find another legitimate 1LW.
Last edited by Damaged Goods: 01-05-2014 at 08:16 PM.