Sorry about the title ... I know it is just plain bad.
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I was looking at the Calgary Flames new look defense this morning and wondered what type of offensive prowess they had. This led me to look into how many goals and points they had combined for last year.
The names Aucoin, Eriksson, Hale, Phaneuf, Regehr, Sarich and Warrener as a collective group do not strike fear in any NHL goalies mind. Combined, they had 27 goals, 109 assists and 136 points last year. This could definitely build a case outlining the significance of losing Hamrlik's (7-31-38) and Stuart's (7-15-22) production from last year. Perhaps even the deflection of Giordano's 15 points could be seen as a huge below in comparison to the new veterans brought in by Sutter, whose total points last year were 4 goals and 51 assists for a total of 55 points.
However, this got me wondering, how in the heck did a team with such few well known offensive weapons finish 7th in league scoring? So I took the top 10 goals for per game teams and compared their scoring from the blue line against the entire points scored on the team.
The teams, in order, that topped the 2006-'07 scoring list were: Buffalo, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Nashville, San jose, Calgary, Toronto, Anaheim and Detroit. because defensemen get many of their points from assists, and I am not one to discriminate against the person who setup the play versus the one who actually put the puck in the net, this will compare points, and not just goals. (As a side note, the percentage of goals scored by the defensemen is approximately 10% less than the total points scored)
Team:___Defensive points:___Team total points:___Percentage for Defense
So the three teams which rely the most on their defense to provide some offense are: Toronto, Anaheim and Detroit. Which makes sense considering they had McCabe and Kaberle, Pronger and Niedermayer, or Lidstrom Schneider.
Getting back to the Flames, if you look at the current roster and the points scored last year by those individual players, the defense makes up 20% of the scoring. This is only slightly down from the 23% produced by last year's team.
So I think they point I was trying to make, although it did get lost in there somewhere, is that although the Flames may have lost some defensive weapons on the back end, I don't think that is any reason to believe they will fall off the face of the Earth in the scoring department. If we have to suffer slightly fewer goals for a tougher better defensive back end, then I'm all for it.
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