We made it through the defense, everyone. I know, it wasn’t pretty, but we did it. Now onto the forwards where the situation is…better? It’s better, right? Yes, it couldn’t be worse than the defense, so yes.
When Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome came over in the Schmaltz trade, Perlini was actually the more known quantity and Strome was the question mark who hadn’t really realized his potential. That’s not how the narrative played out once they got here, though, as Strome found his groove and ended up being one of the Hawks’ best players (and a rare pleasant surprise in a season of mostly unpleasant ones). Perlini, on the other hand, was a bit of an enigma with the Hawks, having one burst of scoring and playing decently on the second line, sandwiched by benchings and periodic irrelevance. Let’s dig in:
(With the Hawks): 46 GP – 12 G – 3 A – 15 P
45.4 CF% – 40.4 xGF% [5v5]
It Comes With a Free Frogurt!
Brendan Perlini had basically one really good week. OK, that’s not entirely fair, it was like two really good weeks. Between March 2nd and March 16th, he scored eight goals in seven games, including his first-ever hat trick against his erstwhile team, the Coyotes. And all of that was extremely fun and when you’re scoring, everything is great.
Aside from that stretch, Perlini was a serviceable linemate for Strome and Top Cat on the second line. As a line, their possession at 5-on-5 wasn’t exactly stellar, especially considering that these guys weren’t taking dungeon shifts (49.5 CF% with 68% oZS). Still, he was able to be in the right places at mostly the right times and proved he can play well when on a line with other good players…I know, what an accomplishment, right? But this is where we’re at, and we’ll take it. His shooting percentage jumped from a sickly 5% with Arizona in the first part of the season to 15.6 with the Hawks, showing that Perlini can be effective given the right tools to work with.
The Frogurt is Also Cursed
Perlini seems like kind of a character, and to me that’s not a bad thing. The dull facelessness of hockey players, which is an all-too-common occurrence when the majority of your athlete population consists of rural Canadian white kids with a seventh-grade education, is irritating and tiresome. So I’m cool with players actually speaking their minds and having a personality, and so much the better when they have perspective on life and playing a professional sport. However, it seems that Perlini’s outlook may just be fucking with his give-a-shit meter, which hovered dangerously low at times this season for a guy still proving he’s a top-six player.
If you’re Patrick Kane and you’re being lazy and it leads to a dumb turnover, you’re going to get away with it. If you’re Brendan Perlini, clearly you won’t, as his benching and scratching shortly after his scoring streak showed. He was particularly lazy against the Sharks in March when the Hawks ostensibly were still shooting for a playoff spot, and Beto O’Colliton stapled his ass to the bench and then made him sit in the corner and think about what he did for a little while.
Now, was that totally deserved? Eh, maybe Colliton was making sort of an example of him, but again, you’re Brendan fucking Perlini, you better act like a try-hard. None of his numbers—possession, scoring, high-danger chances, nor that shooting percentage—were good enough to justify him not at least trying his damndest to win puck battles consistently. This team is also slow, so as a younger guy on the second line, he needs to bust his ass to push the play, and besides, Dylan Strome isn’t fast either so it’s really not asking all that much effort-wise.
Can I Go Now?
Perlini deserves another chance next season, and even if he doesn’t stay with Strome and DeBrincat he can probably be a decent bottom-sixer. Let’s say he ends up being “a guy”…at least he’s a 22-year-old guy and not Artem Anisimov, an older and even slower guy. He’ll also be a cheap signing, maybe around 1 mildo or so. And who knows, maybe he’ll do some peyote in the desert or something and have a revelation about working his ass off.
Previous Player Reviews