|5v5 P/60||5v5 SAT%||5v5 SAT% Rel||5v5 SCF%||5v5 ZSO%||5v5 PDO||5v5 TOI/Gm|
Paul Gaustad's all situations faceoff win percentage was 56.2%. That's pretty much the only positive. Unfortunately, faceoffs in aggregate tend not to be that important. They are important for individual situations. For example, Gaustad winning 9 of 14 faceoffs in a game doesn't have much context. Now, if you say Gaustad won a defensive zone faceoff with three minutes left in a tie game, that's a little more important.
Even so, it's not a good sign if your only positive is your faceoff ability. He did face some tough zone starts, but much like faceoffs, zone starts tend to be a bad indicator of context. We could make the argument that Gaustad was playing with poor teammates, but his linemates could easily say the same of him.
When it comes down to it, Gaustad is a faceoff specialist. Which is what you say when you can't find anything else positive about a player. Gaustad ranked dead last on the team at 5v5 in SAT% and SAT% Rel. He ranked second to last at 5v5 in SCF% and SCF% Rel.
If possession metrics aren't enough, Gaustad put up 14 points in 73 games played; a modest, yet almost insignificant total. Altogether, this came to 1.1 points per 60 minutes at 5v5. All of this came with a 5v5 PDO of 103.8, indicating luck may have been on his side.
Despite his report card, he did sometimes score. In fact, Caroline wrote a fantastic frame by frame analysis of the following highlight earlier in the year.
I suppose the perfect animal here would be a goose. Aside from the nickname, they both always seem to be around, but you tend to not notice them much unless they are trying to pick a fight.
The Road Ahead
I've found that players like Gaustad tend to be rated higher despite their numbers. Perhaps it's because we expect less from these players so any success is magnified. Perhaps it's us succumbing to the veteran leadership narrative.
At 33 years old, Gaustad isn't likely to improve on last season's numbers. Goose isn't dead weight yet, but he is surely expendable. He only has one year left remaining on his contract, but it seems unlikely GM David Poile will be unable to move him.
In the end, it won't be terrible if Gaustad is on the roster next season. He can contribute at the faceoff dot, and eat up 9-10 minutes a night. There's not much he can contribute beyond that point, but the Predators showed this year with how they handled Viktor Stalberg that they are not afraid to bury a contract.