Friday, September 21, 2007

Pre-Season Scoring

I have noticed several people have come to this blog in the last couple days looking for pre-season scoring stats. These are hard to find on the internet, as many major sports sites do not bother tabulating them. The best source for pre-season scoring stats that I know of is CBS sportsline.

Here are the current top pre-season scorers:

Pre-Season NHL Scoring (as of end of Sept 20th Games)
PlayerTeam GPGoalsAssistsPoints
Paul StastnyColorado2426
TJ HensickColorado3336
Kyle Calder Los Angeles2325
Derek Armstrong Los Angeles3235
Nick Foligno Ottawa2235
Brian Willsie Los Angeles3235
Paul Kariya St Louis2145
Jaroslav Hlinka Colorado3055

Pre-season scoring really doesn't prove much. It shows which players are getting quality playing time in pre-season and making the most of their chance. These players are mostly newcomers to their teams and bit players getting a chance in new roles. Due to the limited number of pre-season games so far, a couple teams that have been high scoring (Colorado and Los Angeles) have several top scorers.

What can we learn from the current pre-season scoring leaders? Colorado has given Paul Stastny some quality playing time in two games so far. He is one of the few proven NHL players to get this chance. Perhaps, they have been trying to find legitimate linemates for him (and thus give them two legit scoring lines - Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth being the keys on the other). TJ Hensick and Jaroslav Hlinka are making the most of their chance with this icetime. Los Angeles has had some success from expected depth players Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder and Brian Willsie. Ottawa rookie Nick Foligno has also played well. St Louis has been giving free agent signee Paul Kariya some playing time also. Likely when the season begins, many of these players will see their ice time drop, but their pre-season success might have secured them NHL jobs. After a long summer with no new NHL results to look over, stats junkies are anxious to see some new games, but these games have little correlation with success in the regular season. At best, they are a chance to see what happens if some of the lesser players get frontline roles.

thx.. I was having a hard time finding these stats... Nice to know who's playing.
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