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Is It Age?

I discovered something interesting today. Two interesting things actually. I pulled up my 2006 stats, and grabbed the numbers for the guys through the first 19 this year who were around in the first 19 games last year.

Interesting Thing #1: There's just 10 players. Just 10 guys who played on opening night last year have played 10 or more games this year. There's a couple others (Skrastins and Richardson) who've missed time this year due to injuries and a couple more (Sauer and Leopold) who were around then but not playing. Still, that's more turnover than I realized.

But the point of this article is Interesting Thing #2. I took those 10 players and compared their point totals through 19 games last year to their point totals through 19 this year:

Stastny +8
Wolski +4
Brunette 0
Sakic -1
Hejduk -3
Laperriere -4
Clark -4
Arnason -6
Svatos -6
Liles -6

Only Stastny and Wolski have improved their point totals this season over last year. The two defensemen on the list are a combined 10 points behind last year - Joel Quenneville certainly seems to be holding back the D more, and it's showing up on the score sheet (or not showing up, if you will). Hejduk gets a bit of a pass because he's missed some time. But, remember, he wasn't all that hot at this point last year either.

At any rate, Stastny and Wolski are just 21. The rest of the players have an average age of 30.8 years, with Svatos being the only guy under 27 years of age. For all young guys in the system - er, cubbard - the Avalanche still are relying on the veterans to get the job done.

So far, that's not working quite as well as we had hoped.