Can we all agree to stop predicting how many goals the Thrashers will score this year? Even our very own Mr. The Falconer did it awhile back, and while he at least attempted to adjust the numbers (by using ice time rates and redistributing time). I'll give him credit for also admitting that his projection would be wrong, but if we know something will be wrong, why spend the time writing a blog?
I know this comes from a good place. After the loss of superstar winger Ilya Kovalchuk, the Thrashers' goal production dropped somewhat dramatically, from 2.95G/game with Kovalchuk to 2.52G/game without him. That's a substantial drop. Now, the goals against also dropped (from 3.13GA/game to 2.89GA/game), so that helped soften the blow, but the team still took a substantial hit.
Elite players make your team better. Duh.
Here's the problem: we were running what was supposed to be a high-powered offense without our highest-powered offensive player. The other guys we expected to be impact offensive players weren't helping much: Slava Kozlov was scratched most nights and Maxim Afinogenov scored just 6 goals in the 27 post-Kovalchuk games to end the season. (That's an 82-game pace of 18 goals.) For comparison, during this stretch Bryan Little had 5, Nik Antropov had 11, and Niclas Bergfors had 8.
The big problem I have with all these posts - and the one I linked above is certainly not the only one - is that they consist of nothing but pointless conjecture. You do not predict goals like this:
- Take last year's numbers
- Increase the numbers for a couple players you like
- Write a blog about it