Most Avs fans may have thought that going 8-9-1 post-Olympics was pretty bad, especially when there was the chance that Calgary would take the 8 seed. In particular, the lack of any wins in regulation against fellow Western Conference playoff teams would appear disconcerting (3-5-1 record overall).
However, there are some significant positives to be taken from this adversity. Namely, the fact that Anderson is not playing at his peak means that the offense and the defense have been picking up the slack.
Without invoking the power of Corsi, this improvement is most basically seen through the shots-for and shots-against over the period compared with the season average and the hot start to the season (the first 15 games):
- First 15 games: 23.9 SF v 33.1 SA.
- Post-Olympics: 29.7 SF v 32.1 SA.
- Season average: 27.7 SF v 31.8 SA.
As generally, shooting more leads to more goals, there is definite improvement in the Avs performance in this regard. The 6 shot difference is equal to approximately .63 of a goal more per game (use the Avs average of 2.91 GPG with 27.7 SPG).
What might appear worrying is the 32.1 shots against per game - but if big early lead that the Avs sat on against STL is stripped from the numbers, the Avs averaged only 30.5 shots against per game - also below the season average.
If this is combined with Anderson regaining some of that lost form - there is no doubt that the adversity that the Avs have faced over the post-Olympic period is going to be beneficial in the playoffs and into the future.