Tommy Wingels is on the verge of advancing to a Conference finals series for the second time in as many seasons. He’s wearing red instead of teal, of course, as Wingels was traded to the Ottawa Senators on January 24th.
Wingels’ Senators find themselves up 3-2 in their second round series against the New York Rangers, but have played without Wingels for each of the last three games. A year after playing in all but two postseason games for San Jose, Wingels has been scratched for six of Ottawa’s 11 postseason games.
Since arriving in Canada’s capital, Wingels has struggled. He did not record a point in any of the Senators’ final 14 regular season games, and his possession numbers cratered around the beginning of April, as his rolling 25-game average CF%, adjusted for score, zone, and venue, demonstrates in the chart below from Corsica.
Wingels has been noticeably better in the playoffs. Although he’s been in and out of the lineup this postseason, his relative CF% and FF% (10.54% and 9.63%), adjusted for score, zone, and venue are first and second on Ottawa, respectively.
Yes, Wingels has better relative possession numbers when adjusting for zone, score, and venue than even Erik Karlsson does for Ottawa this postseason, despite seeing the third fewest offensive zone starts of any Senator that’s played at least 50 minutes.
Wingels is even generating individual shots (12.62 iSF/60), attempts (17.21 iCF/60), and scoring chances (4.59 iSCF/60) at a higher rate than anyone else on Ottawa. Yet, Wingels has not scored a point in the playoffs.
Luck likely has something to do with it, as Wingels’ 106.45 PDO is driven entirely by the fact that the Senators have not allowed a goal with him on the ice (it helps when you have the puck, huh?). The Senators have only converted on 6.45% of the shots they’ve taken with Wingels on the ice, which is the seventh lowest on the team.
It remains to be seen whether or not Wingels will draw into Ottawa’s lineup tonight. But if Wingels can continue to play as well as he has so far when given his next chance, the zeroes in the goals, assists, and points columns next to his name will fill sooner rather than later.