Friday, March 31, 2006

The year of the career year

Even with an average of nearly 10 games per team remaining on the schedule, more players have surpassed their career bests this year than any in recent memory. Here's a look at the best of those who have:

Forward
  1. Joe Thornton, San Jose.
  2. Dany Heatley, Ottawa.
  3. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa.
  4. Eric Staal, Carolina.
  5. Marc Savard, Atlanta.
  6. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit.
  7. Patrick Marleau, San Jose.
  8. Jason Spezza, Ottawa.
  9. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit.
  10. Brian Rolston, Minnesota.
  11. Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose.
  12. Michael Nylander, NY Rangers.
  13. Brian Gionta, New Jersey.
  14. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver.
  15. Simon Gagne, Philadelphia.
  16. Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton.
  17. Ales Hemsky, Edmonton.
  18. Jason Arnott, Dallas.
  19. Andy McDonald, Anaheim.
  20. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver.

Defence
  1. Lubomir Visnovsky, Los Angeles.
  2. Bryan McCabe, Toronto.
  3. Tomas Kaberle, Toronto.
  4. Wade Redden, Ottawa.
  5. John-Michael Liles, Colorado.
  6. Kimmo Timonen, Nashville.
  7. Paul Mara, Phoenix.
  8. Joni Pitkanen, Philadelphia.
  9. Andrei Markov, Montreal.
  10. Frantisek Kaberle, Carolina.
  11. Brad Stuart, Boston.
  12. Joe Corvo, Los Angeles.
  13. Brian Campbell, Buffalo.
  14. Jay Bouwmeester, Florida.
  15. Philippe Boucher, Dallas.

Goal
  1. Tomas Vokoun, Nashville.
  2. Martin Gerber, Carolina.
  3. Manny Fernandez, Minnesota.
  4. Cristobal Huet, Montreal.
  5. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh.

6 Comments:

At 4:37 AM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Earl Sleek said...

I think you may be right, and I think some of it's because of extra power plays distributing points to a more select group of individuals.

However, we should also note that many of these players are in similar phases of their developing careers, and we might expect some number of them to surpass previous numbers at their age.

It's kind of like saying "this is the best rookie class ever". Yes, there's an argument, but there's also a huge asterisk, because the lockout bunched two rookie classes into one.

There is some of that same effect here for fourth- and fifth-year pros (or so), having their best year yet, all in the same year.

 
At 9:21 AM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous David Johnson said...

NHL scoring is up by approximately 22% this season. How many of those guys have exceeded their previous bests by 22%?

 
At 10:57 AM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Earl Sleek said...

NHL scoring is up by approximately 22% this season. How many of those guys have exceeded their previous bests by 22%?

I think the figure is more like 18.5%. Teams scored 2.57 G/game in '03-'04, and thus far 3.04 this season.

Power play goals are up some 49.5% (0.69 PPG/game to 1.04 PPG/game), thus it stands to reason that PP players should share in this increase.

Just running some quick math from NHL.com.

 
At 2:46 PM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you only counting career years in points? b/c carter has surpass his career best in goals already...

 
At 6:28 PM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous nick said...

Alex Auld is having a career year.. 32 wins anyone? I love how he gets left off all the lists when he's essentially a rookie (14 games played previous to this season.)

 
At 7:43 PM, March 31, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I had counted Auld as a rookie, even though technically he is not. Ryan Miller would also make this list, but I didn't want to simply populate it with players playing what is really their first full season.

 

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