A topic of discussion that often comes up among fans is the man-games lost statistic. We are all curious about the numbers, where teams stand, and as fans the "could have beens". This is being written Monday night, so all numbers don't include Monday's games onward- sorry guys.
The latest numbers put the Avalanche with the third most man-games lost (lots of other awesome things there- you should head on over if you have some time to kill!) in the NHL. Behind the Islanders and Devils. The New York Islanders have had a whopping 265 man-games lost, and the New Jersey Devils have had a slightly smaller 248 lost games. Because I know it will be asked, Detroit is in 10th place, with 126 games lost. The site doesn't list all the teams. It list the Top Ten and all the Canadian teams. But the team in 27th place is Montreal, with only 56 injuries! Can you imagine? I have a feeling the Avs had that by November!
But on the good side (see, I'm not being a pessimist!) the Avalanche have managed to drop one whole spot. Last year they were second in man games lost. The Avs are currently at 227 man-games lost, last year they had 352. That's a difference of 125 games. Looking at DDC's handy-dandy sheet the Avs have 37 games remaining in the season.
That means to have the same number of games lost as last year there would have to be just a tad under 3.5 man-games lost per game for the remainder of the season. That sounds pretty good, right?! Yeah, not so much... once you factor in that barring miraculous recoveries both Peter Mueller and Kyle Quincey will be out for the remainder of the season. Are the Avalanche capable of having less than two- day-to-day or lesser injured players per game?
There are currently only two teams in the Top Ten for both man-games lost and points. The Vancouver Canucks, who are currently sitting at the top of the league in points with 64 and are sitting in eighth place for man-games lost with 131. The Detroit Red Wings currently sit third in the league with 62 points and tenth place for games lost due to injury with 126 games lost.
Let's delve a little further into the numbers, shall we? The New York Islanders have had a rather rough go of it this year, 265 man games is quite a bit. Comparing to last years' Avs stats that would mean they would only need 87 more games lost to match the great accomplishment that the Avs did last year. They currently sit in 29th place in the league. They have amassed 35 points in 44 games.
The New Jersey Devils are second in man-games lost. So far this season they have 248. For those who don't follow the going-ons in the East, the Devils sit in last place in the league. They have gathered 29 points in 45 games. They have won 13 games so far this year. Surprisingly Brodeur has 8 wins in 30 games started.
The Avs are third in man-games lost, and are currently sitting in sixteenth place league wide. The Minnesota Wild are fourth in man games lost, with 214, and are currently sitting in twentieth place league wide. The Calgary Flames are fifth in man-games lost with 207, and are sitting in twenty-third place in the league.
As we all know, Colorado hasn't been untouched when it comes to injuries this year. Some of the longer ones:
- Craig Anderson missed 10 games due to a knee injury, three games due to a groin injury
Milan Hejduk missed seven games with a groin injury
Ryan Wilson missed five games due to a leg injury
Cody McLeod missed eleven games due to a groin injury
Adam Foote missed three games due to a leg injury and eight games due to a head injury. For a total of eleven games.
T.J. Galiardi missed seventeen games due to an injured wrist
Chris Stewart missed twenty-one games due to a hand injury
Kyle Quincey missed five games due to a head injury, sixteen (as of Monday) due to a shoulder injury that will mean he misses the remaining thirty-seven games as well. A total of fifty-eight games.
Kyle Cumiskey missed 34 games due to a head injury
David Van Der Gulik - I wasn't sure if I wanted to add him or not- since he is now a Lake Erie Monster, but he missed fifteen games due to a knee injury.
Then there is the infamous Peter Mueller who has missed all forty-five Avalanche games this season. With no end in sight, this number will grow as well.
That's a whole lot of injured players! Last year the Avalanche used thirty different skaters at varying times to get through the injury bug. This year they have already used twenty-nine guys.
One of the biggest surprises for me on the list was Edmonton. The Edmonton Oilers are in 20th place for man-games lost. Yes, really. They have had 90 man-games lost due to injuries. That seems pretty low for a team currently tied for 28th place in the league.
Another large surprise to me was that the majority of the Top Ten most injured teams (thus far) have been Western teams. The top two teams are Eastern teams (Islanders and Devils) , but then it is the Avalanche, Minnesota, Calgary, St Louis, Nashville, Vancouver, Anaheim, and finally Detroit. Is it because the West plays a little rougher? Not as well conditioned? Are the medical staff more cautious in the West?
I don't know, but I wonder what the reaction would be if I sent them a large roll of bubblewrap? Would they laugh? Would they injure themselves doing the "Twist and Shout" while standing on top of the Bubblewrap trying to pop every last bubble? Would they take the hint and wrap themselves, and sharp corners, with it? These are the questions that play in my head late at night.