Paul Stastny had a case of the yips in the first round against Minnesota, but he shook them off in game 6 against the Wild and then scored a goal and an assist (and had a bunch of close calls) in game 1 against the Red Wings.
Was there ever any doubt that he'd start producing? Unlike some fans, we Colorado diehards don't turn on our young stars just because they have a rough playoff series.
But just how valuable is Paul Stastny, in the grand scheme of things? How good is he, really?
Pretty damn good.
James Mirtle, Bloggologist, has been running some statistics (courtesy of Behind The Net) comparing the best point- and goal-producers in the league based on certain criteria like most goals per sixty minutes of ice time and whatnot. Son Of Stastny's toothless grin appears repeatedly.
Top point-per-minute players in the NHL this season (points per 60 minutes of ice time):
- Sidney Crosby (3.38)
- Evgeni Malkin (3.20)
- Paul Stastny (3.12)
Those three young studs are the only players in the league that averaged more than three points per sixty minutes of ice time. The first two are no surprise, considering they were both top-tier picks in their respective drafts. But Stastny? Nobody expected it when the Avs scooped him up in the second round of 2005 draft---a true diamond in the rough.
Stastny ranks eighth in the league in goals for while on the ice during 5-on-5 play. With an average ice time of 14:06, Stastny was on the ice for 65 goals, and that's in just 66 games. First place Pavel Datsyuk, on the ice for 79 five-on-five goals, played all 82 games of the year. Every other player in the top 10 played in at least 73 games. Stastny is the only player who is 1-for-1 in that regard.
Finally, Stastny is the league's most "efficient producer," according to Mirtle, since he tops the list in most goals for per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time.
- Paul Stastny (4.15)
- Pavel Datsyuk (4.04)
- Sidney Crosby (3.92)
Simply incredible from a guy who was not hyped coming into the league, nor expected to perform at the elite level that he does. He's the future of the Avalanche franchise, and during the ongoing playoffs series against the Red Wings, Son of Stastny---more than anyone else---must continue to excel. If he's hot, he can carry his team.