In what was a bit of a shocking move, the Winnipeg Jets have decided to assign Adam Lowry to the Manitoba Moose as reported by the Jets’ website.
This has come as a surprise to many, although we have previously noted that Lowry had been struggling relative to last year more than any other Jet.
Lowry has not put up nearly the same performance as the year prior, and this has shown up in his numbers.
Last year the 21-year-old center scored at a 1.2 points per sixty minute pace, which is slightly above average for a fourth-line player and below for a third-line player. His scoring though wasn’t was what made Lowry special.
Lowry’s biggest impact though was in shot differentials. Last season Lowry posted a 54.9 Corsi percentage after adjusting for score-effects, which was better than any Jet forward not named Mathieu Perreault or Michael Frolik. Lowry also posted a +2.58 relative Corsi, meaning the Jets control of shots (goals, saves, misses, and blocks) increased by 2.58 points with Lowry on the ice versus when he was on the bench.
The big forward was helping the Jets outshoot their opponents while effectively using his size to crush breaking out defenders while on the forecheck.
This year has been a bit different.
Lowry’s shot metrics have fallen, with carrying a 47.8 Corsi and -5.02 relative Corsi. This is a crash from third highest on the team to third lowest. Lowry is still pacing at a 1.2 poitn per sixty pace, although his goals pace appears to be a bit low while his assists a bit high, given his on-ice and personal shooting percentages.
So, why has been Lowry sent down?
Likely the answer is a combination of factors. The Jets probably hope that Lowry can re-find his confidence and his game that he carried last season. Another factor could be the Jets needing a change and Lowry is one of the few Jets that can clear waivers. One of the largest factors though may be that Lowry currently holds the Jets lowest PDO for forwards.
PDO is simply the combination of on-ice shooting percentages with the player on the ice. The Jets have scored on 4.17 per cent of shots on goal, while their opponents have scored on 8.77 per cent of shots on goal, with Lowry on the ice.
PDO was initially created by a blog commentator (with the username PDO) when they noticed General Managers and Coaches tended to be swayed by fluctuations in shooting percentages.
Currently the Jets have not called up an additional forward, meaning the Jets only have 11 forwards on their roster. Paul Maurice stated that Lowry would not be called back up for the Jets’ next game. It should be noted that both Thomas Raffl and JC Lipon are out with injuries.
Could we be seeing fourth line Adam Pardy once again?