Friday, November 2, 2007

A Quick Stat Hit Before Tomorrow

They say defense wins championships. And the Bolts defense has not been good, that is, aside from their 1st line. After looking at the teams stats, some of the problems really become visible. The Bolts 1st line of offense (MVP), and defense, Kuba/Ranger, are doing the bulk of the work. The 1st line offensively has 37 points and is a combined -5. The Defense has 13 points and is +8 (Kuba +5, Ranger +3).

Where the disparity begins is the 2nd line on down. Aside from Richards (5G, 8A, 13P), scoring is minimal. His linemates this season, Hlavac, Ouellet, and Ward each have only 4 points. The glaring stat is defensive. The four forwards are a combined -19, with only Ouellet not registering a minus (+1). The second defensive paring of Lukowich/O'Brien has 3 points and is a combined -15. Also of note is that Boyle is -5 in just 2 games back.

On the bright side, Chris Gratton has been a gem of an acquisition. Doing duty on the 3rd and 4th lines, Grats has 3 goals and 3 assists and is a +3. He has had no problem grinding it out in the corners and coming to the defense of his teammates.

Goaltending is also still a concern. Just quick look at their numbers:
Holmqvist: 5-3-1(14th), 3.01(28th), .885(34th)
Denis: 0-3-0, 4.10, .855

After last season we beat a dead horse over and over, saying the Bolts needed to sure up their defense, get second line scoring help for Richards and get a legit #1 in net. Of those needs, none were adequately addressed, and now the Bolts are faced with going forward this season having dropped 6 straight on the road, and wondering just how much gas the MVP line will have left in the tank when (if) they start the playoffs. There is a finite amount of time a team has with star players in their prime. If the Bolts don't address their problems , their window of opportunity to make another cup run could be closing soon.

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