Failing to find the back of the net through the first 16 games of a season is tough.
So imagine doing it in consecutive years.
Amazingly, that’s what Anaheim forward Jakob Silfverberg has, um, “accomplished” — following Wednesday’s 4-3 OT defeat to the Oilers, the Ducks’ 16th game of the year, Silfverberg remained goalless, just like he did last year before busting out in game No. 17.
(In ’14-15, he bumped the slump with a goal and assist in a 6-5 OT win over the Kings.)
“Right now it’s just a matter of getting that first goal,” Silfverberg said, per the OC Register. “I just got to make sure to get that first one, and once I get that one, I hopefully can keep building on that.”
So, same plan as before… only there are some serious differences between this year and the last.
The first is that, as has been well-documented, all the Ducks have struggled to score in ’15-16 and, subsequently, have been a major disappointment.
Last year, Anaheim was 10-3-3 through its first 16 games. This year, they’re 5-7-4.
Silfverberg’s drought is also exacerbated by his shiny new contract. Last year, he was playing on a cost-effective $850,000 deal and, after scoring 18 points in 16 playoff games, was considered one of the league’s best bargains.
Now? He’s in the first of a four-year, $15 million deal with a $3.75M annual cap hit — and his lack of production is a lot more noticeable.
The 25-year-old Swede has just two assists thus far, though metrics suggest he’s due for a breakout. He has some of the best possession/shot-driving metrics on the team and, in just six games this month, has already matched his shots on goal (20) output from the entire month of October.
So just like everybody else in Anaheim, he’s hopeful the goals will come soon.