Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where Will All of the Goals Come From?

It is hard to know whether we are a better team than last year or not, but with a month to go till the season we are bound to find out very soon. One aspect that I don't think will change that much is our offensive production. I believe that our goaltending, overall defensive play and special teams will all likely improve, but I believe that, as a team, we will score about as many goals as we have over each four of the post-lockout seasons. What I do know is that with no less than 7 new everyday players the landscape of our season-long goal scoring table will look vastly different.

Since the lockout we have scored 979 goals and our season totals (despite having a perceived offensive juggernaut in 2007-2008 and a group that we were led to believe were unable to score last year) have been within an 18 goal range in each of those seasons.

Ah, thank you law of averages. You have secured me a job, a girlfriend and now you are here to help me once again. You see averages always seem to come through, even at the worst of times. That is why in a season when Michael Ryder scores 10 less goals than expected Higgins scores 10 more. Or why Kovalev can have an 'off-season' at the same time that Robert Lang is re-born. If you look at the following stats you will know what I mean. In the NHL, and on the Habs in particular, goals get scored at a remarkably similar rate each season.

I'll now look at the past 4 seasons and try and predict what our players totals will look like come April. All I know is that if I give one player 5 too few it is probably because I gave another 5 too many.


Our Goals

2005-2006 - 241 Goals
2006-2007 - 239 Goals
2007-2008 - 257 Goals
2008-2009 - 242 Goals

That makes an average of 244.75, so as I believe that we are a very similar team to those teams (offensively) I'll make the bold prediction that we will score 245 Goals.


Where did those goals come from?

These totals include all players that played at least one game in a season. Thus players who didn't score still feature in these stats.

2005-2006

- 205 Forward Goals from 20 different forwards
- 36 Goals from 8 different defencemen
- We acquired 2 new players over the course of the season, they scored 1 of these goals

2006-2007
- 184 Forward Goals from 18 different forwards
- 55 Defenceman Goals from 8 different defencemen
- We acquired 1 new player over the course of the season, he scored 0 of these goals

2007-2008
- 213 Forward Goals from 19 different forwards
- 44 Defenceman Goals from 8 diferent defencemen
- We acquired no new players over the course of the season

2008-2009
- 203 Forward Goals from 20 different forwards
- 39 Defenceman Goals from 11 different defencemen
- We acquired 3 new players over the course of the season, they scored 7 of these goals


2009-2010

By looking at the averages I come up with the following numbers.

- We should have 19 forwards suit up for us this year and 9 defencemen
- We will likely acquire 2 players over the course of the year that aren't already with the organization; 1 forward and 1 defenceman, they will contribute 1 goal each
- Our 19 forwards will score 201 goals
- Our 9 defencemen will score 44 goals


What we are missing

This is a list of the players who scored for us last year. Of the 242 goals 123 (51%) were scored by players no longer with the club or by players who are unlikely to play in Montreal; those players are in italics.

Forwards

Alexei Kovalev - 26
Andrei Kostitsyn - 23
Tomas Plekanec - 20
Robert Lang - 18
Saku Koivu - 16

Alex Tanguay - 16
Maxim Lapierre - 15
Guillaume Latendresse - 14
Chris Higgins - 12
Matt D'Agostini - 12
Sergei Kostitsyn - 8
Tom Kostopoulos - 8
Steve Begin - 6
Mathieu Dandenault - 4

Max Pacioretty - 3
Glen Metropolit - 2
Kyle Chipchura - 0
Ben Maxwell - 0
Georges Laraque - 0
Greg Stewart - 0

Defencemen

Andrei Markov - 12
Roman Hamrlik - 6
Patrice Brisebois - 5
Mathieu Schneider - 5
Francis Bouillon - 5
Josh Gorges - 4
Mike Komisarek - 2
Ryan O'Byrne - 0
Yannick Weber - 0
Alex Henry - 0
Doug Janik - 0


Predictions for this season

Forwards

Mike Cammelleri - 33
Andrei Kostitsyn - 31
Brian Gionta - 27
Tomas Plekanec - 22
Scott Gomez - 18
Guillaume Latendresse - 17
Sergei Kostitsyn - 11
Matt D'Agostini - 10
Max Pacioretty - 8
Maxim Lapierre - 7
Travis Moen - 5
Kyle Chipchura - 3
Mikael Johannson - 3
Glen Metropolit - 2
Gregory Stewart - 2
Ben Maxwell - 1
Georges Laraque - 0
Dany Masse - 0
* Player not yet with the organization - 1

Defencemen

Andrei Markov - 14
Jaroslav Spacek - 10
Roman Hamrlik - 6
Paul Mara - 5
Yannick Weber - 3
Hal Gill - 2
Josh Gorges - 2
Ryan O'Byrne - 1 (hopefully into the opposition's goal)
* Player not yet with the organization - 1


So there you have it, the season in a nutshell. I think I'll still watch, however, as I am not quite sure when all these goals will be scored. I just hope that we don't waste too many of our 245 goals in games where the other team is having trouble scoring on us; better to save those goals for when we really need them.

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