Sunday, January 31, 2010

Points over 60 games

I've compiled a list of what Trail's individual point totals would look like if everyone had played 60 games (current total divided by games played times 60) and here is how it turned out. Obviously some players have larger sample sizes than others.
  • Mike Betz - 71
  • Scott Jacklin - 68
  • Nick Sandor - 67
  • Sam Mellor - 63
  • Travis St. Denis - 57
  • Matt Wilkins - 41
  • Steve Koshey - 40
  • Darnell Dyck - 35
  • Paul Mailey - 33
  • Mitch Kaufmann - 29
  • Tommy Rizzardo - 25
  • Wade Bennett - 24
  • Curtis Tonello - 20
  • Graeme Strukoff - 20
  • Justin Brown -19
  • Thomas Abenante - 17
  • Steve Oursov - 17
  • Ben Matthews - 15
  • Sean Nugent - 11
  • Eric Walker - 11
  • Taylor Swaffield - 9
  • Josh McEwan - 7 (227 PIM)
If you did the same exercise for last year's team only one player (Ryan Bulach) would finish at 60 points or higher. Two seasons ago there wouldn't have been a single one. Three seasons ago again there would only have been one (David Arduin) at 60 or higher. The last time Trail had this many players who would finish at 60 points or higher was 2004-05.

What does that say? Lack of skill isn't a problem when the roster is relatively healthy. At one time the back end was inexperienced, but with 50 games under their belt and the addition of a couple of experienced guys it's harder to say that now. Plus there are 5 different defencemen who would put up 20 or more points over 60 games at their current pace. Bottom line is young or not these guys are good enough to win hockey games and play better than they did this week. They proved it in some great games against teams like Penticton, Vernon, Powell River and others. They showed just a glimpse at what this group is capable of over December and early January. The question is not what can they accomplish, the question maybe is will they do what it takes? Do they believe and realize how good they can be? Can they be consistent enough to use that talent to the right ends?

This injury situation sucks there's no question about it. It's hard to play without 3 out of 4 of your centers. It's tough to play without 3 of your experienced minute eaters on the back end. It's tough... but there is enough talent on this roster that they should have been better this week and we all know they can be. There's no reason for this group to only score twice in 2 games at home. There's no reason for this group to ever go 20 minutes without a shot.

It doesn't look like they're going to lose much ground this weekend although Prince George and Merritt still have games on Sunday. However, the Spruce Kings play Williams Lake, Nanaimo and Burnaby as a part of their final month, while Trail only has one game against a team with a losing record. The playoffs are far from certain. Their work ethic better be more consistent than it was against Langley and Powell River or these guys may not make March... and that would be a terrible shame given just how talented they are.

I don't think they'll waste it.

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