This was a pivotal year for Gabriel Bourque's young NHL career, and as the stats show, he pivoted in the wrong direction.
|5v5 P/60||5v5 SAT%||5v5 SAT% Rel||5v5 SCF%||5v5 GF%||5v5 PDO||5v5 TOI/Gm|
As you ponder those terrible numbers, also consider that he played in 69 games and averaged 12:01 TOI. While guys like Taylor Beck, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, and Victor Arvidsson either played less or frittered away in Milwaukee. Not to mention Kevin Fiala. Hell, he got more minutes than Viktor Stalberg, who was at least a better possession player. Even though Bourque managed a cameo on the 1st line (remember that?), his season was a big disappointment.
Here was the "worst case scenario" from his season preview:
His possession numbers drop, he scores a pedestrian single digit goal total, and he loses ice-time to playmakers like Jarnkrok or proven vets like Cullen. Lost in the log jam of youth, he doesn't make a significant enough difference on the team and the Predators don't bother with a qualifying offer at the end of the season. He then signs with some dumb team like Calgary or something.
Yeah, pretty much. Although I doubt Calgary wants any part of Bourque. The guy under-performed in almost every statistical category, churning out career lows in possession, goals, assists, scoring chances, shots, shot percentage... you name it. Pretty disappointing.
Preds vs. Blues, December 30th. About 3 seconds after Filip Forsberg had a goal taken off the board, Gabby answers with an emphatic slam-dunk-spin-a-rama-flying-corkscrew rebound goal to tie the game:
A timely goal, for sure, and his aggressiveness off the face-off dot put him in the right place for the goal. But it was only the 2nd of his 3 goals for the whole year.
Fox. Sharp claws, sneaky quick, aggressive.
You know how you almost never see a fox? And then when you see one, you take a picture or you tell your friends "Hey, I saw a fox today!" Then later, you go about your day, forgetting that foxes exist. Well, sometimes I saw Bourque on the ice and I thought, "Hey! He did something!"... and then I got distracted by other things, like Shea Weber's angry face or Mike Fisher punching guys or Filip Forsberg doing things with the puck. And I totally forgot that Bourque existed.
The only thing fox-like about Bourque this season was his ability to hibernate during the winter months.
The Road Ahead
Being an RFA, and with all the heavy hitters that DP has to consider this off-season, it is hard to imagine Bourque in the plans for next year. A qualifying offer sheet, even at less than $1 million, won't happen. He is as replaceable as he was forgettable.