Final Grade: A-
Midseason Grade: B
Season Stats: 82 GP, 27 G, 56 A, 83 Pt, -8, 173 shots
Minutes: 1434 total (3rd among forwards), EV 13:20, PP 4:06, SH 0:03
1st Half: 41 GP, 13 G, 23 A, 36 Pt, +2, 85 shots
2nd Half: 41 GP, 14 G, 33 A, 47 Pt, -10, 88 shots
Positions: RW (47 GP), LW (35 GP)
Lines: 1st (75 GP), 2nd (7 GP)
C: Sakic (75 GP), Stastny (7)
LW: Wolski (40 GP), Richardson (6), Arnason (1)
RW: Svatos (22 GP), Hejduk (11), Laperriere (2)
Career: It was a career year for Brunette. He set new highs for goals (27), assists (56) and points (83). His 83 points were 14 more than his previous career best of 69 set in 2002 with the Wild. Had his first career hat trick on December 19th against Edmonton, and is just the 2nd player to score 3 PP goals against the Oilers (joining Lanny MacDonald).
Report: I’ll be the first to admit that, while I liked Brunette, I thought he would be a poor fit for the team…I was very, very wrong…Brunette’s excellent work behind the net has been a perfect fit for the team’s cycling game…Doesn’t dole out many hits (just 17 for the season) but can certainly take them…Can’t be moved behind the net…Does a great job at shielding the puck from defenders…An excellent passer, and anticipates where he’s teammates will be superbly…Also does good work in front of the net…Doesn’t so much deflect the puck like a Ryan Smyth or Tomas Holmstrom, but gives and receives passes well outside of the crease…His 36 powerplay points were 2nd on the team, and his 27 PP assists were tied for tops…Had the highest ration of powerplay points per PPTOI on the team…His lack of speed is well documented, but he anticipates plays so well it is tough to notice that on offensive rushes…Not a very good defender…Spent just 4:40 on the PK all season, but was on the ice for 2 PP goals scored against…That averages to 25.71 PP goals allowed per game, by far the worst on the team…Yes, I know that’s a statistical anomaly due to small sample size…Broke up a Minnesota breakaway by calling for the puck from ex-teammate Wes Walz, an example of his intelligence on the ice…Was effective both from the right and left wing…At even strength, scored at about a 42 point pace from the left side and a 51 point pace from the right…Wasn’t completely reliant on Sakic: scored 6 points in 7 games with Stastny and Hejduk.
Fast Fact: Brunette has missed just 12 games in his last 8 NHL seasons
2007-2007 Salary: $800,000
2007-2008 Status: signed ($1,600,000)
Outlook: Brunette signed a 1-year extension this September. Even though his salary has doubled, he remains a huge bargain considering his offensive output. His pairing with Joe Sakic was a tremendous success this season, and his flexibility to move to either wing makes it likely that Bruno will again be paired with the captain next year even if the Avalanche do acquire some front line talent at forward this summer.