Contract Status: UFA this summer
2013-14 Stats (FLA & PIT Combined)
|Offensive Zone Start %
Forward Partners (PIT only)
|5v5 Time on Ice
Goc centered the fourth line during his time with the Penguins, so his partners (sans Gibbons) were generally at the bottom of the barrel. Though his goal-based metrics were fine, you can see that he was riding some good goaltending along the way since he was hemmed in his own zone a ton of the time. The encouraging part, though, is that when he had Gibbons (i.e. a competent NHL player) his numbers were north of 40%. That's still really bad, but it shows that he wasn't a total drag when surrounded by guys who could skate.
Additionally, the time on ice numbers really highlight how little time he spent here. I didn't want to dig into his Florida numbers since we are reviewing his season in Pittsburgh, but you'd need to look at those to see how he really did.
Thrust into Uncomfortable Circumstances
Goc had a tough assignment while he was here. He was generally paired with bad players and asked to start nearly all of his time in the defensive zone. Looking at the partial seasons data on extra skater, we can see that with the Penguins, Goc had a 20.3% offensive zone start. That is insanity. It was great for Crosby and Malkin because it meant that they could eat all of the offensive minutes they could handle. But of course, it's also critical context we need to remember in interpreting Goc's numbers. Goc's Corsi numbers with the Penguins weren't good (only 37%). But I can forgive that given his brutal deployment and the fact that he had glorified trash cans on either side of his line.
But nevertheless, I didn't see Goc doing a ton to make life easier on himself. He didn't skate that well through the neutral zone and he didn't win a lot of board battles. And the most disappointing thing is that he was a dud in terms of points--only 3 assists in 21 games from the regular season and the playoffs. But I'd be hesitant to proclaim that he was as bad as Tanner Glass. He got few minutes, tough assignments, and no help. Yet he didn't inspire a ton of confidence in me as far as being the helpful fourth-line center we'll need going forward. And now that we're nearing free agency, that's the only question that should be on everyone's mind. I'd like to see the Penguins make a push for Goc, but I'd be very, very, very cautious investing any more than $1.5M a year for two years in him.
GIF of the Year
This team was so damn unlucky this year.
It's tough to talk about preseason expectations with Goc because he wasn't even on the team to start the year. So I'll try to write this as if we're measuring our expectations at the trade deadline instead. In that case, I think most fans were hoping for anyone who was an upgrade to our bottom six depth, especially someone who didn't suck on the penalty kill and could take some draws when needed. At the time, we were also in need of players who could take defensive assignments and not get crushed in order to allow Crosby and Malkin to eat up more of the offensive zone starts. And of course, the one wrinkle in this was that we weren't sure how Ryan Kesler would (if at all) fit into this. Would we play Kesler on Crosby's wing and make Goc the 3C, or try to roll with Crosby-Malkin-Kesler-Goc down the middle?
Overall, Goc only played 21 games in a Penguins uniform, so any evaluation of his time here is going to come with the caveat that we don't have a lot of data to work with. In one sense, folks can be unhappy with him because he scored so little while he was here; indeed, he has yet to score a goal in a Penguins uniform. On the other hand, I think he was a clear upgrade over Taylor Pyatt, Chris Conner, and Tanner Glass, which is all we could ask for in March. The price we paid was a bit steep (Goc was worth a 4th rounder, not 3rd and 5th), but it's not the biggest loss given that those picks likely won't pan out. The upshot is that Goc delivered basically what we thought we were getting: an upgrade to the "depth" we had before the trade deadline. If the price is right, I'd like to see him return next year.