Elias Pettersson continues to struggle
Speaking of broken records – what is going on with Elias Pettersson?
The young Swede has had an extremely underwhelming start to his season, and doesn’t appear to be breaking out of this funk anytime soon.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly the smoothest transition for Pettersson this year, something that fans and media have been taking into consideration. The 23-year-old centre missed the majority of training camp and exhibition play due to his ongoing contract negotiations, and was only able to suit up for one preseason game as a result.
However, given his hefty new raise, as well as his previous point production and extremely high standards that he set for himself, it’s no longer acceptable for Pettersson to be performing at such a mediocre pace, especially now that we’re already just under 20% into the 2021-22 campaign.
The former Calder Trophy winner has provided subpar offensive support so far, having only notched three goals and six assists in 14 games, including nine straight games without a goal. Pettersson has yet to find strong chemistry with any of his linemates, particularly the Lotto Line in J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser, which seems to be drastically affecting his overall ability to make a dent on the scoresheet.
Pettersson’s overall gameplay has also been an area of high concern.
The former 2017 first round selection hasn’t been creative or confident with the puck, both at 5-on-5 and on the powerplay. In particular, Pettersson has struggled to establish quality scoring chances in the offensive zone, while also lacking the ability to control the play in the neutral zone.
This was particularly evident during several occasions on Thursday night, including when Pettersson tried to pull off a simple dangle to create space at his own blueline, but just ended up losing the puck en route to Colorado’s third goal of the period.
Pettersson finished the contest with zero points, zero SOG and a minus one rating over 17:18 of ice time, marking the second time in three games that Pettersson has logged less than 20 minutes TOI.
Yes, you can’t put all of the blame of this disastrous defeat on Pettersson. The rest of the top-six forwards didn’t perform nearly as well as they should’ve, and it was painfully evident all night.
However, in a game where your top players needed to step up and be your top players, especially when they don’t have to go up against world-class talents like Nathan MacKinnon, Pettersson once again fell short of the mark.
This will need to change soon if the team wants to escape their current downward spiral.