Yesterday we brought you the first in a series of articles that assess the Capitals youngsters performance during last season and identified key stats to watch for each of the players this coming season. The stats are intended to be key indicators for each of the players and how their performances are progressing (or regressing) during the 2022-23 season.
Today we continue the series with key stats to watch for Martin Fehervary and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby. For Capitals young-gunners Fehervary and Jonsson-Fjallby, there are two specific stats that I’ll be watching during the opening months of the season. The stats will give me a good idea of how the player is performing, and if the player has improved from last season.
Martin Fehervary – (xGF% After January 1)
Fehervary got off to an excellent start last season, with all key metrics well into the positive range. Then he hit a wall mid-season. Some have surmised the demarcation point was around the same time that he had his bout with Covid in late December, and that could have been a part of the issue. But I tend to think it was a combination of several key factors, most importantly his new workload as an NHL rookie.
Fehervary played a total of 90 games last season (Capitals and Team Slovakia) which was 25 or so more games than his previous season high. He recorded an expected goals for percentage of 52.53% on December 19, but was on a steady decline for the remainder of the season. He dipped to a season low on March 15 and then showed some improvement, but began to decline again on April 6.
I’m fairly confident Fehervary will start the season strong once again, but for me, I’ll be watching his expected goals for percentage (xGF%) starting around the first of the year.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – (Finishing)
Yesterday we noted the issues with Connor McMichael and his ability to “finish” (GF – xGF). While McMichael had the team’s worst finishing rate last season, Axel Jonason-Fjallby was not far behind.
“Finishing” is not a major issue for Jonason-Fjallby, but a concern. The reason being, Axel has always been excellent at finishing prior to last season. It’s not been an issue. He’s strong around the net and has an excellent, accurate shot as well.
It should be noted that linemate Garnet Hathaway was excellent at finishing last season, while center Nic Dowd was in the middle of the pack, further placing the poor finishing rate squarely on Jonsson-Fjallby’s shoulders. I’m confident he will rebound this season, if given consistent playing time.
I think the two areas to watch listed above will help paint the picture as far as how Martin Fehervary and Axel Johansson-Fjallby are performing at the start of the 2022-23 season, and could potentially be key indicators for how things may be proceeding in their overall developments.
We’ll take a look at a few of the other players and key stats to watch at the start of the season in the remaining run-up to the start of the 2022-23 season.
By Jon Sorensen