The Colorado Avalanche finished the 2008-09 season dead last in the Western Conference and 28th in the NHL. If you read my Season Preview Report on the Avs, you'll notice that I make no mention whatsoever of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In fact, if you told me back in September that Colorado would be the first team called CHASING STANLEY (IN the playoffs) by On Goal Analysis, I would've launched into a classic song:
Well...take an umbrella when you leave the house today, because elephants are a-flyin': With a record of 7-1-2 through their first ten games, the Colorado Avalanche are now CHASING STANLEY!
How can OGA make such a call, you ask? Well, it's fairly simple: The Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) don't lie, baby. It may be mistaken on occasion, but it never lies outright. Last season, in fact, it was right almost 90% of the time. The OGA Boys will hang their hats (and reputations, such as they are) on that, any day of the week.
If you're not wowed by the PQC (though you should be), consider this: The Avalanche are currently tied for 7th in the NHL in goal scoring, averaging 3.40/gm...They're tied with Calgary and Atlanta for the best Power Play (28.6%)...The Avs' Penalty Kill, at 81.4%, is a respectable 11th...And, last but certainly not least, Colorado is allowing just 2.30 goals/gm (4th). These statistical nuggets, when combined, add up to 1st place in the Western Conference and (according to the PQC) a berth in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That's one down, twenty-nine to go. More teams' fates may be decided tonight, and for ten measly bucks, you can get a season subscription to OGA's Daily Tip-In Report (DITR) and be the first kid on your block to know who's IN and who's OUT.
And as long as we're going out on a limb here, I'm going to pick Craig Anderson for the Vezina Trophy. The Avs live or die with him, and so far, they're livin' large.
Take me back to On Goal Analysis.