NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the Colorado Avalanche.
1. Power-play percentage
The Avalanche ranked 19th on the power play last season at 19.1 percent even though they averaged 3.37 goals per game, fourth in the NHL. Center Nathan MacKinnon led the Avalanche with 31 power-play points, but that was more than double Gabriel Landeskog, who was second among Colorado forwards with 15. Some of those struggles could be due to injuries; Landeskog missed 16 games and Mikko Rantanen missed 28. Colorado’s power-play percentage increased to 22.1 percent during the postseason, when the Avalanche had a healthy forward group. One key to Colorado’s postseason power-play success was center Nazem Kadri‘s 5.30 power-play goals per 60 minutes of ice time, which led all skaters who played at least 11 postseason games. With a healthy forward group, the Avalanche should have a higher power-play percentage this season.
2. 5-on-5 save percentage
The Avalanche had a 5-on-5 save percentage of .932 last season, tied with the Dallas Stars for second in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins (.933). Goalie Philipp Grubauer was tied with Tristan Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins for fifth in the League with a .929 even-strength save percentage, and backup Pavel Francouz was tied with four others for 21st at .921 among goalies to play at least 20 games. The strong goaltending helped the Avalanche allow 2.71 goals per game, sixth-fewest in the NHL.
3. SAT differential
The Avalanche were tied with the Washington Capitals for seventh in the NHL with a 51.6 percent shot-attempt percentage (SAT%) during the regular season and had a 56.2 percent SAT% during the postseason, tied with the Nashville Predators for third. The Avalanche out-attempted their opponents 3,271-3,066 during the regular season for a plus-205 SAT (seventh in the NHL), and out-attempted their opponents 726-567 during the postseason for a plus-159 SAT (third). Forward Valeri Nichushkin led Colorado with a plus-172 SAT during the regular season, and MacKinnon was second at plus-141. MacKinnon led the NHL with 318 shots on goal, which contributed to his strong puck-possession metrics.