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James Neal: The New Brian Savage?

After a tweet by NHL.com`s Brian Metzer about James Neal`s stats in October(s), I joked that perhaps Mr. Neal is the new Mr. Savage. Thus far, Neal has 5 points in 5 games to start the season.

Is there something to this comparison?

Let`s look at Neal`s career month-by-month splits (Apologies for the formatting)

                GP     G     A   Pts   PPG   +/-    Pct
October       40   19   16   35   0.875   7   0.178
November   29   12   10   22   0.759   1   0.146
December   42   16   11   27   0.643   -2   0.137
January       38   13     7   20   0.526   -7   0.143
February     31     7     7   14   0.452   -5   0.101
March         46     8   11   19   0.413   -6   0.075
April           13     2     3     5   0.385   2   0.067

Hmm, very good totals in October and November, and an obvious, steady, decline as the season wears on. This does look suspiciously like Brian Savage`s career, with a very clear trend.

Still, I think the reasons must be quite different. Neal plays a much more rambunctious style than Savage ever did, perhaps leading Neal to wear down as the season progresses. Also, Neal`s shots-per-game totals are consistent, while his shooting percentage declines. It`s not as if he`s not getting chances, he`s just not scoring.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brian+savage, james+neal

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