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Nick Perbix Goal of the Year

Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via Twitter (go check out the second picture from that tweet!) :)

We’re finally getting around to reviewing the 2022-23 season. Instead of assigning grades or any of that nonsense, we’ll start by looking at the player’s best goal from the season and go from there. For some it’ll be easy, others have way more to choose from.

Player:

Nick Perbix

Stat Line:

Reg Season – 69 games played, 5 goals, 15 assists, 22 PIM, 111 shots, 4.44 iXG, 73 hits

Playoffs – 6 games played, 0 goals, 3 assist, 0 PIM, 7 shots, 0.33 iXG, 14 hits

Goal of the Year Video:

Perbix nets 3rd career goal
Nick Perbix launches a wrister from outside the circle and it gets deflected in by Erik Gustafsson to increase Tampa’s lead to 3-0 in the 1st

Goal of the Year Description:

Oh there were a couple goals to choose from here. Perbix’s first career NHL goal that turned out to be the game-winner against Buffalo early in the season, or his big one-timer to go five hole on the Capitals a week later, or even his rebound goal in the second last game of the regular season against the Leafs.

Despite all those great contenders, I chose a goal that shows the value Perbix brings to the Lightning every shift through his ability to move the puck, use his body, and throw pucks into good areas.

This goal in the first period against the Capitals started with a breakout from Killorn in the defensive zone that Perbix quickly used to push up the ice past the first two forecheckers. He kept going once he realized he had forced the third forward to turn right and chase him.

His skating got the puck across the blue line and towards the half wall where Perbix made a quick button hook for some space and threw the puck towards the front of the net where his forwards were supposed to be. The puck never reached Paul on the short side or Killorn in the mid-slot, but it bounced off a Capitals player and into the net. Not the most flashy finish, but a lot of positive plays made to get to that point.

My runner up was this goal where he anticipated the rebound and wired a shot past the Leafs.

Perbix ties it up in the 2nd
Nick Perbix rips the puck from the circle and scores, tying the game at 2-2 in the 2nd period

How did the 2022-23 season go for them?

The 6’4″ puck moving defenseman was a revelation for the Lightning in his first year onto the scene out of college. The former sixth round pick developed like a fine wine in college and really turned into a useful player at a position and with a style the Lightning were desperate to have. Not only did Perbix bring the Lightning a capable top-four defenseman, he also gave the Lightning speed and mobility up the ice with his passing and footwork.

Perbix’s ability to take on some of Sergachev’s old role in the bottom half of the defense corps helped the aging Bolts keep up with the pace of play. With Perbix on the ice, the Lightning managed 52% of the shots and chances, and 56% of the goals. Relative to the team average, shots and chances went up, and the goal differential widened.

Oh, and he kept it up in the playoffs with positive rates across the board in his six games.

2023-24 Contract Status:

Perbix signed a very team-friendly two-year extension early into his rookie year worth $1.125 million per. This will help the Lightning fill out their top-four with Perbix behind the three highly-paid team staples. We’ll see how he moves around the lineup in his sophomore year (always tricky) with Bogosian and Raddysh also around on the right side. Perbix has likely earned priority, though.

When Perbix’s two-year contract is over he will be a UFA at the age of 27. Also going UFA that summer is Victor Hedman.

Do we expect them to score more or less next season?

The sophomore season is always tough for young players, especially defenders, as more responsibility and fewer safety ropes are wrapped around them. Perbix had relatively friendly zone usage this year (nowhere near Tony DeAngelo levels) and was mostly kept away from the opposing teams’ top players. Expect his usage chart to even out a bit this season and hopefully we’ll see him continue to thrive.

It doesn’t look like the Lightning are going to be able to bring in much help on the back end this summer, so without anyone in the McDonagh role it’ll mean a little more for everyone to do.

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