Yes boys & girls & trans & ???, time to dig into the numbers of our boys of winter.
The first numbers we’re gonna look at is shot attempts. This is scary stuff. Why? Because the Avs most prolific shooter is Cale Makar. The only other defensemen that are leading their teams in shot attempts are Victor Hedman and Roman Josi. When defensemen shoot as often as Makar, it forces defenses to stretch or back pedal to compensate for sniping from the blue line. Makar just recalibrates the way teams play in their own end, especially when you also have to account for his skating, stick handling, unreal vision and passing. It’ll be interesting to see how this stat plays out the rest of the season.
Here’s where the next gen numbers boggle the mind, or make you all dewey in rapturous joy. As of Sunday, December 12, 2021, the Avs leading assist making defenseman is…wait for it…wait…Devon Toews. So far, he’s dropped 16 dimes in 15 games, a higher assist per game rate than Nazem Kadri. Digging a little deeper into Toews numbers gets down right unnerving. He currently leads the Avs in TOI/game, expected +/-, actual +/-, defensive point shares, and PDO. He’s #1 among defensemen in the NHL in points per game for those who’ve played at least 15 games with 1.3pts/game. At this point, Toews may have better Norris Trophy resume than Makar.
You’ll never believe who leads the Avs in SOG. That’s right, it’s Logan O’Connor. He is the Avs best in xgoals, short handed assists, and in takeaways. Unexpectedly, he’s also tops among forwards for the Avs in PK toi. When you combine these numbers it becomes clear that this kid is developing into a truly great two way forward. O’Connor played primarily with MacKinnon and Landeskog the last two games but it remains to be seen how much faith Bednar has in Logan going forward. What’s clear is O’Connor has been light years better than anyone expected and has earned top six minutes.
According to moneypuck.com, the Avs are tops in the NHL power ratings. They are #1 in the league in shooting %, second in xgoals at 5v5, fourth in unblocked shot attempts, and are the only team with a better than 10% chance to win the Stanley Cup. They lead the league in goals/game at 4.38, a full half a point above second place Florida, who sits at 3.77. That’s a gap of almost 20%.