It appears as if Jason Pominville of the Buffalo Sabres built a time machine this off-season.
At this very point in the season, Pominville has been nothing but outstanding. After 21 games played, he has 9 goals and 8 assists. It’s worth noting that most of Pominville’s success has been when the Buffalo Sabres have been playing 5v5 and not 5v4. In fact, Pominville only has two power-play points to date. His last power-play point was registered on October 27th against the Calgary Flames. The 35 year old native of Repentigny, Quebec helped set up a power-play goal for his teammate, Casey Mittelstadt. Since the 27th, Pominville has posted 8 points.
Additionally, Pominville’s shooting percentage (S%) is off the charts. Currently, he owns an 18.4 S% and 49 shots on goal. While, Pominville is unlikely to keep his S% this high, it’s still very impressive to see. The last time that Pominville owned a S% over 10% was back in the 2013-2014 regular season when he was playing with the Minnesota Wild. It is interesting to see that after the 2013-2014 season that Pominville’s performance in the offensive zone tailed off. In the 2013-2014 regular season, he had 30 goals, 30 assists, 7 power-play goals, 10 power-play assists and a 13.3 S%.
In Pominville’s 2014-2015 campaign, his offensive numbers took a bit of a hit. Pominville played in 82 games and registered 18 goals, 36 assists, 3 power-play goals, 11 power-play assists and a 7.1 S%. Each season after his 2014-2015 campaign, Pominville hadn’t been able to rebound and get his offensive skill-set to how dynamic it was back in his 2013-2014 season.
Oddly enough, he is finally playing like his old self. Perhaps, he was able to build his own DeLorean.
While it’s too early to tell if Pominville will stay at this pace, it’s still great to see that he is lighting up the lamp at a consistent rate. I’m sure that a lot of Buffalo Sabres fans will make the argument that Pominville is only finding this much success because he is playing alongside Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner, but isn’t that pretty obvious. You’d have to figure that if Pominville was playing on the Sabres’ third line with Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson at his side that he’d be far less successful. Sobotka and Thompson are solid hockey players, but their playmaking abilities aren’t at the same of level as Eichel and Skinner’s.
If Pominville is paired with Eichel and Skinner for the forseeable future, you can expect him to be successful in the offensive zone. Eichel has been a play-making machine. At this very moment, Eichel has a Total Assist/60 rate of 2.66 assists. His Total Assist/60 rate is one of the best in the NHL. So, it’s evident that as long as head coach of the Sabres, Phil Housley doesn’t make changes to his first line, Sabres fans can expect both Skinner and Pominville to have outstanding seasons.
stats from naturalstattrick.com, hockey-reference.com