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Olli Jokinen: Bounce Back or Hot Streak?



#13 has been anything but unlucky for Olli Jokinen lately. Up until about two months ago, he looked to be en route to another perfectly dreadful season with the Flames in the first year of his new contract. Jokinen was stuck at four goals and eleven points and had just gone fourteen games without a goal before scoring three points in a December 16th win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since then, he has been quietly operating at a point-per-game pace for nearly thirty games, and doing so against some fairly competent NHL competition (he currently ranks fourth amongst Flames forwards in terms of QualComp). Jokinen has scored 29 points in his past 28 games for the Flames, and is on pace for 56 points this season, which would be his highest total since his 71 points in 2007-08 with the Panthers.

Jokinen scored seven goals on 74 shots in the same period, boosting his shooting percentage to just under 11%. Despite these improved point totals, he's still on pace for just four more goals this season. His 150 shots is tied for 53rd overall in the NHL and he's on pace for just 211 this season–a far cry from the 341 he accumulated in his last 50+ point season and a fall from his totals in his two previous part seasons with the Flames.

So why the increased output? Jokinen's overall shooting percentage is up 1.2% from his 56 games played with Calgary last season, but his on-ice ES SH% is down from 8.74% at the end of last season to 8.17% with a .898 ES SV% behind him. It's difficult to make comparisons to last season because his time with the Rangers probably skewed the numbers to some degree (although they were likely at the same level as the Flames if not worse last season), and there is not yet a full 82-games on the books, but his PDO has gone down to below-average levels, sitting at 97.9 on the season compared to 100.9 last year. 

Presuming the injury Jokinen suffered in Monday's game isn't serious, are these numbers sustainable for the remainder of the season? Possibly; Jokinen was due for some bounces to start going his way after being plagued by hard luck earlier this season and parts of last, during which he earned the nickname Olli Post-again. He's certainly getting some help from the percentages but it's not an outrageous bump–if anything, it appears he could be"making his own luck," if you believe in that sort of thing. He's no world beater, but a potential 16 goals and 56 points at $3M is a hell of a lot better value than 50 points in 75 games over two seasons for $5M+, which is good news for a team lacking in value contracts, as the deal appeared doomed from the moment the ink dried. 

by Hayley Mutch