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Examining the Colorado Avalanche numbers

Monday, 09.17.2007 / 1:25 PM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


 

NHL.com's 2007-08 Avalanche Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster



Advantage Margin:
+21
The Avs did an excellent job at staying out of the penalty box. They allowed only 353 opposition power plays, third-lowest total in the West, and had more power plays than they allowed both at home (+17) and on the road (+4).

Even-Strength Goals Margin: +13
Milan Hedjuk led the Avs with 23 even-strength goals, two more than Joe Sakic, who did lead the team by a wide margin with 57 points at even strength. Four other players had at least 15 even-strength goals, keeping opponents from ganging up on Sakic. 

Special Teams Goal Margin: +7
The Avs are adding Ryan Smyth (15 PPGs) to one of the best power plays in the NHL (21.1 percent, fourth in the league). Smyth also kills penalties and could help a unit that barely killed off 80 percent of opponents’ power-play chances.

Category Rank
(Conference / NHL)
2006-07 Points 95
(9th West / 14th NHL)
Change From 2005-06 0
Home Points 47
(9th West / 17th NHL)
Road Points 48
(6th West / 9th NHL)

Goals by defensemen: 35
John Michael Liles (14) doesn’t get a lot of media attention, but he’s a consistent goal scorer from the back line. Brett Clark (10) also hit double figures and earned a new contract.

Goals by forwards: 232
Sakic (36-64-100) fueled the Avs’ late run at a playoff berth and shows no signs of slowing. The biggest surprise was rookie Paul Stastny, who had 28 goals, 78 points and broke his father’s record for longest scoring streak by a rookie. Smyth (36 goals) can only help an already-deep offense.

Overtime Record: 8-3-4 (OT: 3-3, SO: 5-4)
It took Sakic a year to get the hang of the shootout: He was successful on 4 of 8 tries in 2006-07 after failing to convert on seven opportunities in 2005-06.

Times Scored First/Record: 39 (Record: 26-10-3)
One reason the Avalanche came up short of a playoff berth was a major decline in scoring first. The Avs scored first 10 fewer times in 2006-07 than they did the previous season.

Best 06-07 Number: 140
Goals scored on the road by the Avalanche, the most by far in the Western Conference. No other team in the West had more than 123. The Avs actually had more goals on the road than at home (132).

Worst 06-07 Number: 63
Points by the Avs in their first 63 games last season. Colorado went 15-2-2 in its last 19, but came up one point short of Calgary in the race for the last playoff berth in the West — missing the postseason for the first time since 1994.

Scheduling:
The Avs have no outrageous trips or long homestands — nothing more than five games either way. Their worst trip is a five-game/eight day trip in January in which they visit Detroit and four Southeast Division teams.

NHL.com's 2007-08 Avalanche Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

 

Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday