Ramblings: Scoring is Up But Will it Last? PLD, Makar, & Hughes (Aug. 18)

by Cam Robinson on August 17, 2018
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Scoring is Up But Will it Last? PLD, Makar, & Hughes (Aug. 18)

Last season, we were blessed with the loftiest point totals in the last decade. Three players cusped the triple-digit barrier, six more broke 90. All in, 21 skaters played at or above an 80-point final tally.

 

You’d have to go all the way back to the 2006-07 campaign to find a season that produced more 100-point, 90-point and 80-plus point producers.

 

          Season

100-plus points

90-plus points

80-plus points

Total

2007-08

2

6

12

19

2008-09

3

4

10

17

2009-10

4

3

10

17

2010-11

1

4

4

9

2011-12

1

2

7

9

2012-13 (lockout) 82-game pace

2

6

12

20

2013-14

1

0

6

7

2014-15

0

0

5

5

2015-16

1

0

4

5

2016-17

1

0

6

7

2017-18

3

6

12

21

 

It wasn’t just the top end scorers who were racking up the big totals. The 2.97 goals-per-game last season represented an 11-year-high. Additionally, the 20.18 percent that the league averaged on the man-advantage was the highest mark since the 1989-90 campaign.

 

It’s not as if goaltenders were just playing hungover either. The league average save percentage of 0.912 is right in line with the norm over the last decade. In fact, the 29 saves-per-game that netminders made in 2017-18 were the most since 1969-70.

 

48 years. That’s a long time.

 

We can deduce that power play opportunities aren’t the cause of this increase either. Teams were given 3.04 per game on average which is the second fewest since the league began tracking the stat in 1963-64 (2016-17’s 2.99 per-game was the lowest).

 

Now that you’ve been sufficiently educated in the History class of Mr Cam (I go by my first name as a teacher. We can thank the Montessori system for that), what does it all mean? Well, part of it can be attributed to talent level. Players are really fucking good these days. They’re bigger, faster, better trained from the youngest of ages, and are stepping into the NHL earlier. This means they're more comfortable and mature for their statistical primes.

 

However, of the players who cusped 80-plus points last season, seven were 30 years or older. Four more were 27 or older. Connor McDavid, Nate MacKinnon, Mathew Barzal, Mikko Rantanen and David Pastrnak were the only 22-and-under skaters who produced at that impressive level.

 

So, how many of those 30-year-old-plus players do we expect to replicate their totals? How about the 27-year-old-plus players?

 

This was the most roundabout way ever to ask, do we really trust drafting players like Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to approach the 90-point mark?

 

I’ll set the over/under bar at 2.5 of those golden oldies to break 85-points next season. Which side of the coin are you taking?

 

**

 

I took to the Twitterverse for some questions for today’s Ramble. Dobber handled one for me

 

A dominant WHL campaign — Dobber (@DobberHockey) August 18, 2018

 

 

 

Yes Cam, what shampoo you use? Seriously, points only, Quinn Hugues or Evan Bouchard or Adam Boqvist in two years ? Who has superior offensive upside ? — Chretien Samuel (@RinsseuxQC) August 17, 2018

 

 

I’ve got a sensitivity to fragrant shampoos and conditioners so the afro (which by the way is massive these days) is tamed by some all-natural stuff that my wife procures for me. It's all very scientific.

 

As the for the young blueliners, I’ll rank them as:

  1. Quinn Hughes
  2. Evan Bouchard
  3. Adam Boqvist

 

If Boqvist went to Edmonton and Bouchard to Chicago I’d swap them. I think Boqvist has a wee touch of the bust-factor but also a higher pure upside. Meanwhile, Bouchard has a clear-cut path to the top power-play unit that features the Messiah.

 

Hughes is the most gifted of the bunch by a sizable margin though. He won’t be left wanting for talent on his future power-play unit either with Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson dancing around the ice in Vancouver.

 

 

Pierre-Luc Dubois this upcoming season and beyond… — Ben Rauscher (@Ben_in_BC) August 18, 2018

 

 

PLD! I’ve been a fan of this kid since his massive leap forward with Cape Breton during his draft-eligible campaign. He’s a front-line pivot and just turned 20 years old. 2018-19 should see him enter the near-elite category. 30 goals and 60 points seem very doable and I wouldn’t blink an eye if he went off for 70-plus.

 

Long term, he’s a threat to be a point-per-game player. Especially if CBJ can convince Panarin to hang around. Either that or have the guts to dish him for a big haul.

 

 

Let’s talk about Cale Makar and why he needs to be in Colorado next year — Brian (@bmaxw311) August 18, 2018

 

 

I personally think Makar and the Avs made the right decision in sending him back to UMass Amherst. Despite his tremendous offensive abilities and his being 19 years old for the entirety of his freshman season, Makar didn’t dominate. Granted, he was on a mediocre squad, but still.

 

Going back for a sophomore year with the “C” on his chest and an opportunity to gain strength, experience and produce big-time numbers will be good for him. He won’t be fast-tracked to the top PP in Colorado either. Tyson Barrie won’t be going anywhere until at least the 2019-20 deadline.

 

Wich are the A.Good teams / B.Bubble teams /C.Bad teams / this coming season ? Merci! — Steph St-Pierre (@StPeterSSP) August 17, 2018

 

 

Good Teams

  • Winnipeg
  • Tampa Bay
  • Nashville
  • Toronto
  • Boston
  • Pittsburgh
  • Washington
  • Columbus

 

Bubble Teams

  • Colorado
  • Vegas
  • Dallas
  • Minnesota
  • Carolina
  • Anaheim
  • San Jose
  • LA
  • Philadelphia
  • Edmonton
  • New Jersey
  • St Louis
  • Arizona
  • Calgary
  • Florida

 

Bad Teams

  • Vancouver
  • Ottawa
  • Montreal
  • Detroit
  • Chicago
  • NYI
  • NYR
  • Buffalo

 

Mittelstadt vs Pettersson — Mr. Holmes (@2Holmes2) August 17, 2018

 

 
 
Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming DobberProspects article where I'll dive deeply into these two. The 'cage-match' style series began last week with Henrik Borgström vs Martin Nečas
 
 

Yes. Is the hair in your profile pic real? — Edler's Stick (@Canuck_Faithful) August 17, 2018  

 

 

 
You know it, man. Only its got about six months more growth to it now.
 
**
 
 
That's all for now. Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @Hockey_Robinson