Can Mike Cammalleri get his groove back? Anthony Lancione takes a look.
Former top line sniper Mike Cammalleri is really vying to remove that prefix these days. Cammalleri, once a point-a-game player, netted close to 40 goals in two separate seasons. The peak of his powers were enjoyed back in the 2008-2009 campaign (below) where he finished a hair under 40 goals while putting up points with regularity.
However, it’s been a slippery slope including two team changes since (coming full circle back to Calgary). Cammalleri has been situated with former (and now current) teammate and linemate Jarome on both the top line as well as the man advantage. Amazingly, despite three consecutive years of overall regression in both goalscoring and playmaking, the return to Calgary and more importantly the return to Jarome Iginla’s opposite wing has proven to be an excellent move for the diminutive forward. He’s playing at about the same high level of overall production as he did in his first stint in Calgary. Reuniting with Iginla has been quite a boon for his fantasy owners at the half way point of the shortened season.
Cammalleri actually got off to a slow start going three weeks without a goal while recording only two assists in his first half a dozen contests. However he then erupted for six points over a pair of games tripling his output to date, including a hat trick to open up his sniping account on February 13th. From there he put together 13 points over his next 11 games
It should also be noted that the diminutive forward is actually shooting at a career high shooting percentage rate of 21.6%, well above his lifetime average of 12.2% accumulated over his decade long career.
This has been a night and day improvement against his annually regressing shooting percentage rates since 2008 (and may be a sign that a decline is on the horizon).
So far, good signs all around for the 30-year-old who is on for a 20-goal (not prorated) short season pace,, which would certainly be grounds for a career resurgence. As long as he stays healthy and continues to eat up plenty of prime minutes in both 5V5 and on the powerplay with Iginla, expect these sorts of results to continue to roll in. Even 60-70% of this rate of production is miles better than the last couple seasons of production for Cammalleri.
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