Yeah, he should have stepped up and scored at a 40 goal pace. Oh please. He scored at the same rate he did the year before and that's more than anyone thought he'd do.
But he put in a ton of goals at the beginning of the season, then trailed off badly, which affected his numbers. Also, I'm not just blaming Clarkson (though it came off that way). I'm blaming the approach. They didn't have a good enough group of snipers to expect their shots to just beat the goalie, especially when Kovalchuk got hurt. Therefore, they needed to play to their strengths, and go for a ton of ugly goals. Considering how well they controlled possession, they should have been able to establish a better cycle, and even if they couldn't, they needed to plant somebody near the net whenever they had possession. Instead, they tended to settle for shots around the circles. Since their shooters left something to be desired, those shots were rarely going in. Just look at how many shots hit the goalie in the pads. What those shots can do is create rebound opportunities, and they often did, but nobody was there to get them. Also, nobody was screening the goalie, which makes it less likely that the shots are going in.
Also, Clarkson was able to take a ton of shots when Zach was there. Zach was a master of ugly goals. With him gone, somebody had to fill the void, especially the way the rest of the team was constructed. It could have been Clarkson.
There were a ton more problems on that team, D'ags, Sullivan, Poni, and Kostopoulous aren't that good, and got too many minutes, but imo that team wasn't just unlucky. They were flawed. The possession numbers made them look better than they were. I agree that they won fewer games than they should have because of bad luck (every time they scored, the goalie sh@t the bed, every time they kept the other team off the board, they couldn't score, Kovalchuk got hurt at a bad time, Marty came back too fast because Moose played much worse than he has in the past), but even if they had average luck, they were first round fodder at best.