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Investigating Mark Stone’s Struggles

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Ottawa’s beloved winger has been slumping, and there may be a deeper reason why

NHL: Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Who doesn’t love Mark Stone? From his big goals, to his incredible stick work, to his over the top celebrations, he’s been one of Ottawa’s most entertaining players to watch throughout his three seasons in the capital.

There’s been some recent problems with Stone, however, that need to be discussed. In his last eighteen games, he’s had a total of only eight points, none of which are goals. The same Mark Stone who has scored 20+ goals for the last three seasons is on the longest goal drought of his career, and it’s become quite concerning.

Aside from goal totals, his other numbers have dropped as well. Since the drought began after February 19th, we’ll use that as the before/after date for Stone’s stats.

(All stats unadjusted at 5v5, from Corsica)

Mark Stone

Before Statistic After
Before Statistic After
55.52 CF% 49.85
9.84 Rel.CF% 0.95
55.47 FF% 51.25
9.94 Rel.FF% 1.84
56.09 SF% 54.65
9.56 Rel.SF% 3.21
53.54 xGF% 49.85
7.13 Rel.xGF% -1.7
1.27 Takeaways/GP 1.06

All of his underlying numbers, as well as takeaways, have been significantly down. Now the question arises, what happened to cause all this?

The date that I used as the cutoff for the above stats was February 19th, which may have rung a bell with some of you already. That wasn’t only the last game in which Mark Stone scored a goal, but it was also the game where Stone suffered a massive hit to the head from Jacob Trouba.

Trouba was suspended two games for that hit, with the NHL citing it as an “illegal check to the head”, and Stone left the game and didn’t return to the lineup until a week later on February 26th. The following injury was reported as being a problem with his neck, and maybe that is what’s still nagging him. Although, one has to worry about the possibility of a concussion, especially considering he suffered from one earlier in the season during training camp. As we saw recently with Clarke MacArthur, concussions have a way of never really leaving fully. I’m no medical expert by any means, but let’s hope that the Senators’ doctors are aware and 100% certain that Stone should be cleared to play.

Keep in mind this is purely speculation, and that this could be chalked up to coincidence. However, the timing of his drop in stats aligning with the injury is too close it’s worth discussing.

With the playoffs under full force, the Ottawa Senators need all the offensive firepower they can get. As Bobby Ryan heating’s up, getting Mark Stone back to full form would give Ottawa a deadly 1 - 2 punch on the right wing that they’ve been lacking all season. Stone is still looking for his first career playoff goal, so hopefully he can find it soon.