February 14 2013 08:46PM
Phil Cornet's shooting percentage refuses to cooperate. He keeps scoring goals at an exceptional rate in the AHL. At what point do we take this from "unsustainable" and "luck" to something resembling "skill"?
I don't want to get into a Jordan Eberle level discussion about Cornet's scoring percentages, but he's back for a second year in a row to amaze us and I'm beginning to wonder when we start thinking about this being an actual ability, like juggling, yodeling or lifting heavy things.
CORNET IN THE AHL
- age 20: 7 goals on 86 shots (8.13%)
- age 21: 24 goals on 135 shots (17.78%)
- age 22: 6 goals on 24 shots (25%)
Cornet's ECHL numbers (9 goals on 53 shots, 16.98%) also give the impression that this fellow can score goals at an impressive clip. All told, his AHL shooting percentage is an outstanding 15.1% over most of three seasons now.
WHAT ABOUT JUNIOR?
- age 16: 7 goals on 82 shots (8.5%)
- age 17: 23 goals on 156 shots (14.7%)
- age 18: 29 goals on 242 shots (12%)
- age 19: 28 goals on 237 shots (11.8%)
For his junior career--and a hat tip to the QMJHL for keeping track of shots--Cornet's shooting percentage was 12.1%. That's an interesting total, but not earth shattering and doesn't suggest we're looking at some kind of magician in the scoring zones.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Well, random luck is still the likely answer, but we're (early) in year two of this little curio and I'm beginning to wonder if Cornet might have found a way to cheat the house.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Hell if I know. I'm asking you. I'd like to know the answer to this question, and it could apply to Eberle although it appears he's seeing a market correction as we speak:
At what point does a lucky streak begin to look like a skill? Is a player with Cornet's junior resume always doomed to be what we thought he was? How many times a decade does a sniper emerge from the land of normal?