Thrasher-Math 101 class at the University of Thrasherville…the rowdiest class on the cyber-campus assembles…Professor Rawhide takes the lectern
OK, class…settle down…quiet now, please, class… Class? …CLASS? …SHUT UP!!!
Ranallo, Tony C., Smoothie, World Be Free, Paminski and RiceOwls8891, if you’ll be so kind as to put away those hockey sticks and take your seats…Rstroz, please refrain from utilizing that bullhorn while inside the classroom… Sage, if you must bring sheep to the campus, please make sure they remain outside on the lawn.
Also… Spud Webb, Kracker and GaVaHokie…I will not tolerate another “Professor Chant” being started up today…do you understand, gentlemen?
Now then, before we….
ummm… Hockey Biltong, is that a Guiness you’re sipping on there in class? Uh-huh…and did you bring enough for everyone? No…no you didn’t? Well, you know the rule…if you didn’t bring enough for everyone, then you can’t drink one yourself. So just hand it over, young man. Thank you.
Now where was I…oh yes…before we begin class today, I’d like to acknowledge Professor Brendan who teaches our Thrasher Theory 101 class…Professor Sara of Thrasher Phylosophy 101…and Professor Bob who presides over Thrasher History 101. Thank you each for sitting in today.
Trixie will join us later, just as soon as her massage class concludes in the gymnasium. This must explain the obvious absence of Alan…even though he has signed up and taken that class seven times before.
And with that aside…on to today’s topic.
The Thrashers are now fourteen games into the season, so today we’ll take a look at some overall team stats as well as a few individual numbers as well. We’ll then project those numbers out over the course of the 82 game season to forcast possible results.
Please keep in mind, however, that these “projections” are not to be confused as “predictions”… this is just a simple exercise in stats and numbers to use as a particular point of reference…a snapshot in time, if you will…to be used as analytical data later in the course as actual numbers unfold.
First, the Thrashers have a record of 7-6-1 for 15 points, which equates to a points winning percentage of .536. If continued, that would put them on a pace for a record of something like 39-34-10 for 88 points.
Anyway…that .536 points winning % right now is the 19th best in the NHL and 9th best in the Eastern Conference, just below Tampa Bay’s .567 PW% and just above the .529 level of the Boston Bruins after their 3-0 win over Pittsburgh Tuesday night.
The Thrashers are scoring goals at a 3.36 per game clip, which would come to about 276 if sustained through 82 games…that is exactly the amount scored last year. They allow 3.14 goals per game, a projected 257 goals for the season… which would be 23 fewer than last season.
For historical reference, the fewest amount of a goals a Thrashers defense has ever allowed in a season is 243 in 2003-04. They let up 245 in the 2006-07 playoff season. Their best offensive output…281 during the 2005-06 campaign.
Last season defensemen scored 31 goals for Atlanta. So far this season the blueline has chipped in 16. If this pace is continued, they woul account for 94 goals.
Now, as far as individual numbers go…let’s take a quick gander at a handful of players and compare, contrast and project, shall we.
We recently learned that Ilya Kovalchuk, who had accounted for 9 goals and an assist prior to his injury on October 24, could be back with the team quicker than originally thought…which is very good news indeed. So, assuming he does return Thursday and misses only 6 games, he would be on pace for about 95 points in 76 games played.
Rich Peverley has 7 goals and 10 assists and his 17 overall points leads the team. This puts him currently on a pace for 100 points…41 goals and 59 assists. Compare that to his 20 goals and 32 assists in 66 games last season between Nashville and Atlanta.
OK, I’ll make you this one prediction here…if the Pevs Dispenser accumulates 100 points this season, the Thrashers will be in the playoffs. Just sayin’…
Second on the team in team points is Nik Antropov, who has yet to score his first goal as a Thrasher but has dished out 13 assists so far. It’s kind of tough to project goals and assists given his current stats, but 13 points after 14 games is a pace that would get him 76 points. Last season he netted 59 overall points in 81 games split between Toronto and the Rangers…a career high.
Then there is Maxim Afinogenov, who has provided 3 goals and 8 assists. Max’s best offensive season was back in 2005-06 when in 77 games his 22 goals and 51 assists made up 73 overall points. He’s on a course right now for 17 goals and 47 assists for 64 points.
That would not be a bad return for $800,000.
Also with 3 goals and 8 assists and on pace for 64 points in is blueliner Pavel Kubina. His career high for offensive production is 40, achieved during the last two seasons while in Toronto.
Combine Kubina’s numbers with the solid, dependable work in the Thrashers defensive zone and that trade last summer just looks all that much better for Don Waddell, eh?
Defenseman Zach Bogosian has led the way for a very offensive-minded defensive corps. 6 goals and 2 helpers have him on a pace for 35 goals, 12 assists for 47 overall points. In his rookie year he accounted for 9 goals and 10 assists for 19 points during an injury-shorted season in which he playing in 47 games.
As for Colby Armstrong…he has a pair of goals and three assists and is on a course currently for about 29 points. This is after a 40-point showing last season…but a lot of that time was spent on the top-two lines. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes closer to 40 than 29.
Marty Reasoner’s 6 points has him on a pace for about 5 more points than last season’s 30…which would be a bonus given his responsible play in the defensive side of the ice and his penalty killing prowess.
A player with 3 goals and 3 assists so far would be on track for an 18 goals and 36 points kinda season… if all 82 games are played in by said player. Is that good or bad? Well, I guess that depends on what player we are speaking of. In the case of rookie Evander Kane…whose 3 goals and 3 assists so far point him in the vicinity of 18 goals and 18 assists…that would be a very, very good total for the 18-year old playing in the NHL for the first time.
For Todd White, however…not so much. He’ s coming off a career-high 22 goal, 73 point season, and like Kane, also has 3 goals and 6 points at this time. I don’t think too many fans expected another 70+ season out of the 34-year old veteran…but these are un-good numbers early on by just about anyone’s measure.
This is especially true given White’s team-worst –6 rating.
Also fighting it early on is Slava Kozlov. Like Antropov, he is yet to light the lamp this fall but has 5 assists. Given that level of production over 14 games, the current projection is 29 points. Ugh.
And finally, we come to Bryan Little, who by most accounts just hasn’t looked himself on the ice this season. His two goals have come courtesy of Rich Peverley banking the puck in off of his skate and a Toby Enstrom blast that ticked off his stick on the way in toward the net. Combine that with 6 assists and he has 8 overall points. This projects to 47 points over 82 games played.
Surprisingly, however, that is only 4 points off his total last season as he played in 77 games and looked like an All-Star for most of the year.
And now, the class participation portion of today’s lesson…