by PuckStopsHere on 02/14/12 at 07:39 PM ET
For much of the season Eric Staal has had the worst +/- rating in the league. He no longer is the league worst. He appears to be going in the right direction finally. This leaves behind Milan Jurcina of the New York Islanders with the worst +/- in the league. He is stuck at -23.
Jurcina is not an offensive power. He has only six points so far this season. He has never scored more than 17 points in a single season. He is mostly used in a defensive role. He plays one of the tougher defensive roles on the lowly Islanders. This is a situation where a player would be unlikely to get a good +/- rating, but it does not explain why Jurcina is the league worst.
Jurcina’s problem is essentially luck. He has a .885 PDO. The sum of the shooting percentage and saves percentage for the Islanders is well below the league average (1.000 by definition). Jurcina has little control in either the team shooting percentage when he is on the ice or its saves percentage. In time they should regress to the league average. Last season Jurcina was at 1.023. This season is a significant change from expectation.
Milan Jurcina is not a great NHL player. He isn’t a key member of the New York Islanders core. He is, however, a good enough player that he shouldn’t be in the running for the worst +/- rating in the league. His team isn’t scoring when he is on the ice. His team does not stop pucks when he is on the ice. Both of these problems are not too strongly tied to Jurcina’s play, but they give him a poor +/-. It is a sizeable fluke that Jurcina has a +/- as poor as he currently does.
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