First looking at points, the Avs are on pace for a 77-point season, which would easily be the Avs worst since moving to Colorado. It's also on pace for the third biggest drop-off from last season to this season, the only teams who have deteriorated more: Dallas and Ottawa.
The biggest surprise in the entire series is how poorly the Avs are doing in the goals scored department. Last season the Avs scored 224 goals, and this season they are on pace to score only 203, which is a 9% drop. this looks even worse when you consider:
- The Avs lost Joe Sakic, Paul Stastny, and Ryan Smyth for significant part of last season.
- Goal scoring is up this year by nearly .5 goals per game
- Most importantly: Tony Granato was supposed to bring a more up-tempo offense to the table, which would mean more goals scored.
So the Avs offense is struggling, but the defense was supposed to be the core of this team, and carry the young Avs offense through the inconsistent patches. We see how that has gone. The Avs gave up 216 goals last year, and are on pace to give up 251 this season, which is a 35 goal, 16% turnaround. (Just think the Avs are on pace to go from +8 to -48... ouch). At least there's a credible explanation for this:
- There are more goals against in general this season
- The Avs are starting a new system which gives up more scoring chances
- The Avs have had inconsistent goaltending this season.
And Mirtle's goaltender post pretty much negates the second point. Everyone knows I don't really like save % as an indicator of goalie play because there are other factors that influence it, however it's the best indicator we have and it does have some value as a statistic (unlike +/-). And the Avs save % this season is only slightly worse than last season (.893 this season to .904 last season) or down only 1.1%.
The verdict: every aspect of the Avs this season is under performing so far (shocking I know), but of the three Offense is the worst, followed closely by the defense. The goaltending has actually been pretty consistent with last season's performance.