One sign that a team has a strong offense is the presence of its players among the league's individual leaders. Last season the Avs' offense was the worst in team history, and because of that, few Avalanche players made the final leader lists at the end of the season.
Historically speaking, Avalanche players have frequently appeared in large numbers on the league leader boards. In 2000-01, four Colorado players finished the year among the top 50 players for points scored (Sakic, Forsberg, Hejduk, Tanguay), with three more just outside (Drury, Blake, Bourque). Last season, not one Avalanche player appeared on the list.
Non-offensive categories like blocked shots and average time on ice feature Avalanche players this season as well. Last year no Colorado players ranked among the top 50 in ice time, nor did anyone make the +/- leader board. This year is a different story.
Below is a comparison between last year's leaders and this year's current standings, separated by category. First is the player's rank, then name, then current total in parentheses.
|Goals||t-47th Hejduk (27)||t-26th Wolski (13)|
|t-29th Hejduk (12)|
|t-47th Jones (10)|
|Assists||t-8th Stastny (26)|
|t-20th Wolski (20)|
|Points||t-14th Stastny (34)|
|t-17th Wolski (33)|
|(+/-)||t-11th O'Reilly (12)|
|t-16th Wolski (11)|
|t-33rd Hannan (9)|
|t-44th Stastny (8)|
|t-44th Wilson (8)|
|PIM||11th Laperriere (163)||17th McLeod (59)|
|12th McLeod (162)||t-42nd Koci (44)|
|ATOI||10th Quincey (25:11)|
|Hits||t-22nd McLeod (194)||21st McLeod (87)|
|Blocked Shots||2nd Clark (238)||1st Clark (108)|
|t-14th Hannan (162)||7th Hannan (76)|
|29th Salei (143)||t-11th Quincey (67)|
|Shots||t-23rd Smyth (257)|
|PP Goals||t-39th Hejduk (10)||t-10th Hejduk (6)|
|t-39th Smyth (10)||t-38th Duchene (4)|
|PP Assists||t-26th Quincey (8)|
|SH Goals||t-1st Jones (2)|
|t-12th Duchene (1)|
|SH Assists||t-9th Galiardi (1)|
|t-9th Foote (1)|
The season is not yet half over. If these trends continue, expect to see a major Avalanche presence on the NHL individual leader boards at the end of the year.