Breaking Down Jack Campbell's 21/22 Season
Jack Campbell is the Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender for this season. Over his career, the 30 year old netminder has been a reliable goalie. Over the past four seasons, Campbell has averaged a 0.918SV% at even strength, ranking him roughly in the middle of the pack among starters; in the same category as the likes of Jordan Binnington, Elvis Merzlikins, Robin Lehner, and ironically Mike Smith over the same period of time. He is not an elite netminder but I would argue there are only four names in the NHL that fit that category. Campbell is a good starter and will help the team more than he will hurt them.
I've said this a couple of times already so today we are going to look a bit closer at his numbers, specifically his last season in Toronto. What was good, what was bad, and what might the Oilers expect from him?
For starters, here are some of the basic numbers. Last season Jack Campbell had 47 starts, recording a 31-9-6 record. He posted a 0.914SV% and a 2.64GAA as well as 5 shutouts. Here is his month by month breakdown:
October: 7GP: 3-2-1 - 0.918SV% 2.31GAA
November: 11GP: 9-2-0 0.959SV% 1.27GAA
These are the numbers the Oilers are obviously hoping for. Over the first two months of the season, Campbell had a whooping 0.947SV%. Only Jacob Markstrom posted better numbers in the first two months, with much of that due to his incredible run of shutouts.
December: 5GP: 3-1-1 - 0.909SV% 2.97GAA
December saw Campbell's overall save percentage take a dip, but his 5 on 5 numbers were still very impressive. While part of it was riding on his early season start, at the end of December, no goalie had a better 5 on 5 SV% than Jack Campbell. Campbell's 0.944SV% at 5 on 5 was higher than Quick (0.943%), Vasilevskiy (0.939%), Markstrom (0.936%), and Shesterkin (0.933%).
January: 8GP: 5-1-1 0.880SV% 3.57GAA
February: 7GP: 3-2-1 0.894SV% 3.42GAA
March: 2GP: 1-1 0.845SV% 4.60GAA
Here are the concerning numbers. Campbell through the first three months of the season was an elite netminder and in the conversation for a Vezina nomination. Campbell through the next two months was simply trying to keep his head above water. Where through the first three months of the season, the Leafs were a top 10 team in preventing 5 on 5 goals against, they were the third worst team in that regard over the next two months.
The Leafs themselves were still very good over this period, in terms of goal scoring and possession. They were the top team in the league over this period in 5 on 5 goals for and were among the best in being a positive possession team so it cannot be said that it was the team letting Campbell down for the most part.
Campbell was placed on the IR on March 10th with a rib injury and from this we received some conflicting reports. Coach Sheldon Keefe stated that it was not something that was causing the netminder issues beforehand while both Campbell and other teammates seemed to state otherwise. It would provide at least some reasoning for his February struggles but cannot be used as an excuse for this entire time. The biggest concern here would be that Campbell had a difficult time adapting to having that many starts.
April: 9GP: 7-0-2 0.915SV% 2.59GAA
After receiving a break from his injury, Campbell bounced back in a big way to close out the regular season for the Leafs.
Overall, we have four very strong months posted by the goalie and two months of below average play. Almost every goalie in the NHL will go on a cold streak for at least some length of time every season. Toronto was a very good team last year and even while their netminder struggled, the team was still able to secure wins in many of Campbell's bad games. The Edmonton Oilers this year should be a very deep and skilled team and if Campbell does run cold, this team should be able to cover as his former team did last season.
Ultimately there is some risk with this deal but the majority of Campbell's work has been favorable and a positive. If I was to take a guess at what to expect from Campbell this season it would be 52 starts, 36 wins, a 0.918SV% on the season and somewhere around a goals-against average of 2.55. Fair?
As far as the playoffs go, that is anyone's guess. Any goalie can get hot at the right time or the wrong time. Not to pick on Calgary but Markstrom was one of the best goalies all year before running into the Oilers in the playoffs. Goalies are voodoo and the best teams can do is have a solid option and hope they flourish at the right time. With Campbell that isn't a bad bet.
Thanks for reading