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An Avalanche of Stats (Part 1: Scoring)

As some of you might remember, I have a spreadsheet with Avalanche data stashed away on my computer. It's pretty insane (here's how it looked about a month ago) and, as of Tuesday, it just got a bit crazier when I started looking at career averages. Since I'm a nice person (and I know there's at least a few people who can at least tolerate stats) I figured I'd share. So, over the next few days, I'm going to do a series of posts on what I found. I decided to start with the most obvious area - scoring.

Just a few quick notes on the data: These are career averages, so we're dealing with TOTAL NHL POINTS ÷ TOTAL NHL GAMES. I didn't average season totals - this is strictly base on each players PPG, GPG, and APG over their career. It's not perfect - a game in a player's rookie season counts the same as a game in their 12th - but it's still a fairly accurate measure and means that a 6 game season doesn't count the same as a 76 game one. Also, I multiplied the numbers by 82 to give me per season totals, which makes the numbers easier to comprehend. And since I knew I was going to get slammed with "SMALL SAMPLE SIZE", I eliminated anyone who has played less than 80 games from this discussion. This means that Gaunce, Olver, Mauldin, Stoa, Holos, and VDG have been left out. Goalies were also omited.

So, with that in mind, let's start with a bit of trivia:

1) Who averages the most points on the team?

2) Who averages the least?

3) How many minutes does Milan Hejduk usually have to play before he scores a goal?

4) Who is now our #1 offensive defenseman? And who is #2?

Answers to those questions (and more!) after the jump....

Averages per Season

Stastny: 25G / 51A / 76 PTS

Hejduk: 32G / 36A / 68 PTS

Duchene: 26G / 36A / 62 PTS

Mueller: 18G / 29G / 47 PTS

Galiardi: 18G / 23A / 41 PTS

Jones: 23G / 16A / 39 PTS

Johnson: 8G/ 28A / 37 PTS

Kobasew: 18G / 17A / 35 PTS

Yip: 18G / 14A / 32 PTS

Quincey: 5G / 26A / 31 PTS

Lindstrom: 13G / 15A / 28 PTS

O'Reilly: 11G / 17A / 28 PTS

McClement: 9G / 19A / 28 PTS

Porter: 13G / 11A / 24 PTS

Wilson: 4G / 20A / 24 PTS

Winnik: 8G / 14A / 23 PTS

Cumiseky: 6G / 16A / 22 PTS

Hunwick: 5G / 16A / 21 PTS

Rissmiller: 8G / 12A / 20 PTS

Hejda: 3G / 15A / 18 PTS

McLeod: 9G / 7A / 17 PTS

O'Brien: 2G / 12A / 14 PTS

O'Byrne: 1G / 10A / 11 PTS

Answers to Questions #1 and #2: Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Byrne. Surprised to see SOS at the top of the list? You shouldn't be. Even though he had a bad year last season, overall, he is a 75+ point scorer. He also is the best playmaker we have - no one even comes close to his 50 or so assists in an average year. I personally believe last year was a fluke for him, and that he'll be back up to his normal awesome standards in 2011-12. And O'Byrne? Well, he's not exactly known for his scoring skills. But don't worry - he'll get his time to shine in a few days when I post the analysis of hits and blocks.

Hejduk's spot at #2 isn't a surprise at all, but there is question of whether the 35-year-old will ever put up 32 goals in a season again, especially without the help of Peter Forsberg at center. Still, 20 goals isn't anything to scoff at, even if it is different than 30.

Personally, I think the totals for the Big 3 (Duchene, O'Reilly, and EJ) are all off by quite a bit for various reasons. Around 25% of Dutch's career games happened during the tank, and his stats reflect that. More than any other player, I think his offensive production will see a spike this year. If he can stay healthy, I think he'll break 80pts. Radar has never really been asked to be an offensive force, but I think there might me more of that expectation placed on him this season. It looks like the Avs are going for a 1-2-3 punch down the middle, and O'Reilly is a critical part of that. Between these increased expectations and much better wingers, his numbers are bound to go up. And EJ? He's been quoted as saying he had confidence issues in St. Louis. Well, it looks like he likes Sacco and playing for Colorado, and he is very clearly our top defenseman when it comes to scoring now with the departure of Liles. 8 goals? Try 16. With that slapshot of his and possible 21:00+ TOI this year, he'll have plenty of time to bump up his offensive numbers.

Now, all of that is fine and wonderful, but it doesn't take into account how much playing time a player has. Of course guys like Stastny and Duchene are going to get more points - they're on the ice more. So, I went a step further and looked at how productive players were with the time they were given.

Player's name: Minutes between points / Games per point based off player's average TOI / Minutes between Goals / Games per Goal

Stastny: 22 / 1.08 / 67 / 3.31

Hejduk: 23 / 1.20 / 48 / 2.55

Duchene: 24 / 1.32 / 58 / 3.16

Mueller: 28 / 1.75 / 73 / 4.63

Jones: 32 / 2.09 / 55 / 3.55

Kobasew: 34 / 2.36 / 66 / 4.55

Yip: 35 / 2.51 / 63 / 4.48

Lindstrom: 35 / 2.89 / 76 / 6.23

Galiardi: 37 / 2.00 / 86 / 4.64

McClement: 45 / 2.96 / 137 / 8.92

Porter: 45 / 3.37 / 82 / 6.10

Johnson: 47 / 2.23 / 205 / 9.78

O'Reilly: 49 / 2.98 / 121 / 7.38

Rissmiller: 50 / 4.17 / 128 / 10.67

Winnik: 52 / 3.62 / 140 / 9.72

McLeod: 56 / 4.96 / 99 / 8.81

Quincey: 57 / 2.68 / 358 / 16.82

Wilson: 63 / 3.46 / 387 / 21.33

Cumiskey: 63 / 3.77 / 244 / 14.67

Hunwick: 68 / 3.91 / 289 / 16.54

Hejda: 95 / 4.49 / 604 / 28.42

O'Brien: 101 / 5.92 / 645 / 37.90

O'Byrne: 122 / 7.38 / 1582 / 96.00 games (1.17 seasons)

Answer to Question #3: 48 minutes. If it's been two and a half games since Duke has scored, it's time to start finding that picture of the cat in an Avalanche jersey. It might happen right away or be off by a few games (these are only averages, afterall) but Hejduk's "due" for a goal at that point.

Also, I have to say that it's good to see Duchene up so high on the list. If you take out the Tank (where he went basically 2 months without scoring), I wouldn't be surprised if his minutes between points went to Stastny levels. Our top two centers are very comparable when it comes to scoring, although Stastny is more of a playmaker and Duchene more of a finisher. When they both return to form, their talent spread over two lines is going to make us a dangerous club.

However, the award for biggest shock goes to Kobasew, Yip and Lindstrom. I was not expecting to see any of them that high on the list. Also, once you take into account that Lindstrom has reportedly been getting even better during his time away from the NHL (he did lead the SEL in scoring last year), he could be quite the offensive force this coming year even if he is getting bottom 6 time. Yip's numbers are bolstered by his impressive rookie season and are probably unsustainable, but Kobasew has spent 8 years in the NHL. That's a pretty big sample size. Any time he's been over 14:00 ATOI, he's had a 30+pt season. Now, that brings up the question did he get more points because he had more ice time, or did he get more ice time because he got more points, but either way, a 35pt season on the Avalanche 3rd line doesn't seem too far out of the question.

And, of course...

Answer to Question #4: EJ takes top honors, but Quincey is now #2. In both of the lists, EJ ranks up with the forwards, but Quincey actually does pretty well. It looks like there is some untapped offensive potential there. If EJ ends up paired with Hejda (who, by these numbers, is clearly not an offensive defenseman) and Quincey skates with O'Byrne, I think it will open both of them up to jump in the play more. With any luck, Quincey will return to his BMF days and be a dominate scoring force from the blueline.

It might also interest you to note the placement of Cumiskey and Hunwick on the lists, the supposed "puck-moving defensemen". I have a feeling unless something changes or they really step it up, their spot on the team is certainly in question.

Coming Up: (Part 2: Time On Ice), (Part 3: Penalties, Hits and Blocks), and (Part 4: +/-, Takeaways, and Giveaways)