I don't think I'm going to be surprising anyone when I say that our team is hurting offensively. This summer, we jettisoned Brett McLean, Antti Laaksonen and Mark Rycroft and replaced them with Ryan Smyth, Jaroslav Hlinka and Wyatt Smith. Even with Smith fizzling, overall it should have been a big improvement to the 4th-ranked offense in the NHL.
In the immortal words of Bill Lumbergh..."um, yeah." Through last night's game (a stellar offensive performance resulting in zero goals), the Avalanche are ranked a pedestrian 17th in scoring. Do you want to really blow your mind? We're 14th in the league in goals allowed. That's right, folks, right now our team strengths, statistically, are defense and goaltending.
The above chart shows our cumulative goals per game over the course of the season (the blue line - sorry, forgot to add a legend). The red line is last year. As you can see, we started out on fire for the first six games or so (we had 4 4+ goal games in the first 6 games) and then started to slow down a bit. We had a little offensive surge around the 15-game mark (3 4-goal games in a 4 game span). Then we took that disaster of a road trip - big losses to Dallas, Minnesota and Calgary - we've been in a general decline since then. That one other surge at the 29-game mark is the 9-goal outburst in St Louis. You'll also note that we're now effectively at our lowest goal/game point of the season. Not good. Oh, and those 3 pink dots? That's where Sakic, Smyth and Stastny got hurt. You can see that losing them certainly hasn't helped things...but it also shows that we were struggling to score even before this injury mess started.
This second chart really hammers home just how far we've slipped. This shows our goal totals compared to last year. In the early going, it seemed we were going to shatter last year's goal totals. Sadly, after peaking to a +5 change just 7 games in, it's been all downhill. Once we hit the 18 game mark (the 6-1 loss to Dallas), we've been losing ground ever since, and only pulled ahead of last year on one occasion (again, the 9-5 win against St Louis).
Only 34 shopping days left before the trade deadline. Can we afford to wait?