When the Flyers acquired the rights to Mark Streit back in June and subsequently signed him to a four-year, $21 million contract, the team believed they had solidified their defense and addressed the need for a puck-moving defenseman.
But that wasn't the case early-on. He wasn't providing a whole lot on offense and his play in his own zone was shaky at best. He posted just one goal and eight assists through 26 games in October and November. Defensively, he is still looking to rebound from some poor play. Right now, Streit is sixth out of seven Flyers defensemen in Corsi-For-Percentage (CF%) at .478 better than only Nicklas Grossmann at .450, a guy notorious for being as close to inept offensively as they come.
Streit's individual Corsi (iCorsi) and individual Fenwick (iFenwick) numbers are also sixth out of seventh on the Flyers ahead of only Erik Gustafsson, who has logged less than half the ice time of Streit. For a guy who was supposed to come in and provide solid offense from the blue line, the Corsi (shots on goal + blocked shots + missed shots) and Fenwick (shots on goal + missed shots) numbers aren't his friend.
But once the calendar turned to December Streit really stepped his game up. The Swiss National scored four goals and added five assists for nine points in 14 December games. The goals dropped a bit but the points never wavered in January as he scored just one goal but had eight assists in 15 games in January as well.
As the Flyers heated up heading into the Olympic break, Streit continued on his impressive offensive outburst scoring two goals on five shots in four games in February.
If Streit's Corsi and Fenwick numbers are still low but his play is noticeably better, that speaks to how poorly he was playing in the first two months.
He became a bit of a lightning rod for criticism early-on, and rightly so, but he has been much better of late. Streit provides offense from the blue line with his booming slap shot and he has been sufficient, but not great, in his own zone. Honestly, that's a decent trade-off considering he is truly a weapon on the power play.
He makes questionable decisions and he isn't the best skater but he has definitely turned it around. Some of that early-season criticism might not be fair anymore.
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