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Turns out Patrice Bergeron had a record-breaking season last year

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The reason might not be breaking news, but it’s still a cool little fact.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It seems harsh to say that Patrice Bergeron had an “off” year last season.

After all, the alternate captain won another Selke Trophy, scored 21 goals, had 50+ points and continued to be one of the best two-way forwards in the sport.

However, when you consider that scored 30+ goals and recorded nearly 70 points in 2015-2016, it’s OK to call this past season a bit disappointing.

All of that disappointment goes away when you learn he was playing with a sports hernia for most of last season, of course, but we’re talking solely from a stats perspective.

It may surprise you, then, to learn that Patrice Bergeron’s 2016-2017 was one for the record books. An obscure record, but a record nonetheless.

From the CrzyCanucklehed Files, via his digging around on Hockey-Reference.com:

Patrice Bergeron had the lowest shooting percentage of a player in the modern era to score more than 20 goals in a single season.

(View the table on Hockey-Reference.com)

Whoa.

To put it in perspective, the “modern era” goes back to the late 60’s, so we’re talking some five decades of hockey.

Bergeron, as we said above, scored 21 goals this season. He shot a mere 7% on the season. That 7% is the lowest in the modern era of any player who scored more than 20 goals.

If you decrease the goal threshold to 20+ goals, Bergeron is second to Andy Bathgate, who scored an even 20 while shooting just 6.8% in 1968.

However, this is a Bruins blog, and Patrice Bergeron should be #1 at all times, so we’re going with “more than 20.” Heck, if you wanna look at it from the perspective of the injury causing it, it took a sports hernia to finally impede the prowess of Patrice Bergeron.

The only players who really came close to Bergeron’s level of production mixed with bad luck:

  • Henrik Zetterberg shot 7.4% and scored 23 goals for Detroit in 2010
  • Greg Polis shot 7.7% and scored 22 for multiple teams in 1974
  • Zetterberg did it again, shooting 7.8% and scoring 23 goals for the Red Wings in 2011
  • Patrik Elias shot 7.9% and scored 21 goals for the Devils in 2007
  • Patric Hornqvist shot 7.9% and scored 21 goals for Nashville in 2011

There are others, but those are the guys who stand out.

Bergeron shoots 9.9% on his career, and that includes the 7% last year. If he shot at his average last season, he would have ended up with just about 30 goals.

Prior to his dip to 7% last season, Bergeron’s career shooting percentage was 10.3%; if he’d shot at that level last season, he would have ended up with 31 goals.

Of course, this is all “what if,” and an exercise in summertime musings.

However, it’s pretty impressive that Bergeron was able to net 21 goals while shooting at just 7%. It’s a testament to his ability to get the puck on net and his line’s ability to maintain possession.

Patrice Bergeron: setting records, even when he’s dealing with a sports hernia.

Thanks to Chris for the weird stat. Follow him on Twitter @CrzyCanucklehed for more weird stats and great boat pictures.