There's been a lot of talk lately about the improved play of the Avalanche defensemen. I've commented a few times lately that the blueliners have been steadier and more physical, while finding a way to join the rush far more often. During the San Jose game on Monday, Peter McNab raved about the offensive output of the defensemen in recent games. This week, I thought I'd take a look to see if I could find numbers to support these observations.
In the month of October, the Avs defensemen combined for:
67 GP, 2G, 14A, 16PT, +7, 77 Shots, 57 Hits and 99 blocked shots.
In November (plus the one December game):
84 GP, 5 G, 16A, 21PT, -13, 104 Shots, 75 Hits and 116 BS.
To make those numbers comparable, I converted each to an 82 game pace:
OCT: 2G, 17A, 20PT, +9, 94 ST, 70 HT, 121 BS
NOV: 5G, 16A, 21PT,-13,102 ST, 73 HT, 113 BS
For the most part, not a huge statistical improvement from the first month to the last month. There's been an up tick in goals, but shots and assists have been rather steady. Obviously, that +/- was a big swing to the negative. While I'm not a big fan of that stat, it does tell me the unit did drop off after the first month.
I have to admit, I expected to see more of an improvement in the numbers. It does seem like the defensemen are becoming more of an offensive and defensive factor on the ice. But, it's not showing up in the score sheet yet.