Have you ever watched a Colorado Avalanche game at Ball Arena or on television and wondered where they’re getting some of those statistics from?
“Nathan MacKinnon is stating ‘X’ miles per hour…”
“Cale Makar has skated ‘X’ miles over the course of the game…”
Those are fun numbers, but why doesn’t the public have access to this information?
Well, now they do.
The new NHL Edge hub opened up recently and gives everyone access to all the information that the league has been tracking since 2021. And there are some real fun stats to check out, especially when it comes to the Avalanche. NHL.com is mostly bad right now, and this site is still pretty slow, but it’s a step in the right direction.
According to The Athletic, the NHL gathers all this information by sewing a chip into the jersey of each player. What took them so long to think of that?
Anyways, let’s start with something everyone who watches Colorado already knows – the Avalanche are a fast team. Really fast.
No team in the NHL has more 22 MPH+ bursts from their skaters than Colorado. They lead the league with 18, and the next closest team, the Carolina Hurricanes, sits at 13 (and 11 of those are Martin Necas).
Colorado has three players in the top 10. To no one’s surprise, MacKinnon leads the way with six 22 MPH+ bursts, but Miles Wood is right behind him with five, and Logan O’Connor has four. MacKinnon sits second in the league with that many bursts, behind only Necas.
If you’re watching an Avalanche game, don’t expect to see a ton of time spent in the neutral zone, at least early on this season. Colorado has spent 42.8% of their even strength time in the offensive zone, which sits 5th best in the league. On the flip side, 38.6% of the time they’re in their own end, which is the 6th most.
That time spent in the defensive zone comes through when you look at the amount of shots Alexandar Georgiev has faced, and where those shots are coming from. Only three goaltenders have faced more high-danger shots against than Georgiev, and he’s done pretty well, stopping 34 of the 39 he’s faced. He’s also 8th in the league in mid-danger shots faced. Some of these numbers are skewed by the fact that he’s played every game so far, but it’s probably a good indication the Avalanche have some areas they need to clean up. That’s something Jared Bednar made very clear after last game.
Former Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johansson is being thrown to the wolves in Tampa Bay, as he leads the league with the most high-danger shots faced.
Speaking of high-danger shots, the Avalanche are creating some of their own, led by two players. Both MacKinnon and Artturi Lehkonen have registered 11 high-danger shots on net at even strength, which places them both in the top five in the NHL. Lehkonen is near the top of the league in expected goals for %, so seeing him that high isn’t a huge surprise.
And to finish things up, how about a real fun stat? The fourth line for Colorado has been very good through five games, but that’s really evident when you see how much time they’re spending in the offensive zone.
Only three players (all on Carolina) have spent a higher percentage of their ice time at even strength in the offensive zone than Andrew Cogliano (51%). Right behind him? O’Connor at 49.7%. You want your fourth line to create energy for the rest of the team, and change the momentum of the game, and they’re doing exactly that.
If you have some time, mess around with the site. Like I said earlier, it’s still a little wonky, as it was only working sporadically for me, but it’s nice to have access to some of these numbers.