Worst Season Ever?

It's finally in the books. The Avalanche finished up the 2010-2011 season with 68 points, the lowest total since the franchise moved to Denver. The Avs missed the playoffs for the 2nd time in 3 years and have ZERO 2nd-round playoff wins since the lockout. In fact, they have as many playoff wins in the last seven seasons (16) as they did in their first year in Denver.

In other words, we're in a bit of a lull right now folks. The Avs had a grand total of 18 regulation wins (and just FOUR in the 2nd half). The Avs' 227 goals were the 3rd lowest total in Avalanche history and the 1st half vs 2nd half splits were a cliff-dropping 136 to 91. The 288 goals allowed were an Avalanche worst by 31 goals. PK? Worst ever.

Of course, there were mitigating factors. The Avs lost a franchise-record 474 man-games to injury...and these weren't insignificant players on the shelf. Yes, 288 goals is a hell of a lot of goals, but the Avs used three goalies this year - two that aren't starting goalies and one who is but didn't play like one (until he was traded, of course). And, thanks to the injuries, the Avalanche used 17 different defensemen. 17!

There are some positives. The team toughness was upgraded substantially this year with additions like Ryan O'Byrne and Erik Johnson. Hits is a fairly wonky stats, but the official Avalanche total of 1,726 was the third highest in Avalanche history. And, for the first time since the Avalanche traded Chris Drury and Stephane Yelle away, the Avs were over 50% at draws for the year. It took 8 years to replace those guys in the circle, but they've finally done it! (Stastny, Duchene, O'Reilly and McClement all finished over 50% for the year). Oh, and attendance was up this year, stopping a trend of 4-straight seasons of declining numbers. Actually, if you really want to take liberty with interpreting the numbers, you could say the Avs' attendance increased for the first time since the 99-00 season. But not even I am that reckless and irresponsible.

There are some other intriguing statistical oddities from the season that I'll be looking at over the next week or so. For now, here's a big table with Avalanche season totals in some key (or not so key) metrics, thanks to nhl.com, hockey-reference.com and the few Avalanche media guides I have around or could find online.

Year W L T/OTL Pts PS Wins MG Lost GF GA PP% PK%
95-96 47 25 10 104 16 326 240
96-97 49 24 9 107 10 277 205
97-98 39 26 17 95 3 231 205 17.3 87.0
98-99 44 28 10 98 11 239 205 18.9 83.6
99-00 42 28 11 96 11 233 201 19.5 84.4
00-01 52 16 10 118 16 270 192 22.0 82.7
01-02 45 28 8 99 11 212 169 18.0 86.9
02-03 42 19 13 105 3 251 194 18.7 82.4
03-04 40 22 13 100 6 417 236 198 20.3 83.7
05-06 43 30 9 95 4 205 283 257 18.8 84.6
06-07 44 31 7 95 0 292 272 251 21.1 80.2
07-08 44 31 7 95 4 325 231 219 14.6 81.4
08-09 32 45 5 69 0 368 199 257 15.7 79.9
09-10 43 30 9 95 2 352 244 233 18.1 80.2
10-11 30 44 8 68 0 474 227 288 18.5 76.1

 

Year Hits Blks FO Maj Ave Att Sellouts
95-96 16,017 38
96-97 16,061 41
97-98 1,134 750 47.9 81 16,061 41
98-99 1,577 931 50.6 77 16,061 41
99-00 1,674 963 51.5 52 18,007 41
00-01 2,161 929 51.3 46 18,007 41
01-02 2,325 1,248 51.4 37 18,007 41
02-03 763 330 47.9 40 18,007 41
03-04 1,573 1,044 50.0 55 18,007 41
05-06 951 1,254 48.1 38 18,007 41
06-07 964 1,251 48.6 22 17,613 15
07-08 1,168 1,081 47.8 49 16,843 13
08-09 1,462 1,317 47.8 48 15,429 7
09-10 1,568 1,226 47.7 61 13,948 5
10-11 1,726 1,176 50.6 45 14,821 5

 

Year Pt Leader Gl Leader Best +/- Worst +/-
95-96 120 51 + 32 - 3
96-97 86 33 + 31 - 10
97-98 91 27 + 21 - 12
98-99 96 41 + 27 - 8
99-00 81 36 + 30 - 10
00-01 118 54 + 45 - 3
01-02 79 26 + 18 - 5
02-03 106 50 + 52 - 12
03-04 87 35 + 30 - 8
05-06 87 32 + 13 - 14
06-07 100 36 + 18 - 8
07-08 71 29 + 22 - 6
08-09 59 27 + 2 - 21
09-10 79 28 + 15 - 13
10-11 67 27 + 5 - 23
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