Michael Raffl has been moved around the lineup this season and yet is still putting up goals. If the Flyers want to get back into the playoffs next season, consistently using Raffl in a top-6 role is key.
First, let’s start with his last 10 games played;
Raffl has played over ten minutes in seven of the last ten games, meanwhile he has only seen over ten minutes at even strength in six of these games. The only game where Raffl received ten or more minutes of ice time and didn’t record a point was our 3-2 OT loss to the Bruins. In 4 of these games he was top 3 in forwards for CorsiFor (also called “SAT for”).
Petr Straka had a great 3 games, but let’s look past him to the next 6 players on the list. First, take a look at ZSO%Rel (fraction of offensive zone vs defensive zone starts, relative). Michael Raffl is getting more defensive starts than anyone except Ryan White, who has played surprisingly well since joining the team in late January. From the above chart, you can also see he is tied with Wayne Simmonds with 1.3 goals per 60 minutes, which is the best on the team. He also has the lowest PDO of that group with 98.1 so if anything, he’s been unlucky this season and should have better numbers. Now let’s take a look at how Raffl scored his 17 goals this season.
Raffl’s 12 goals at even strength lead the team, and his goals per 60 minutes is at 1.0 (also the best on the team). Yet somehow, he’s seen barely any powerplay time this season. How does your leading scorer at even strength not get on the powerplay? And once again, his PDO is one of the lowest on the team at even strength.
Next season we should not see any games where Raffl sees under ten minutes of ice time and should be seeing him used on the powerplay. If both of those things happen, he can become a 30-goal scorer for us which is desperately needed.