Blue Line and Newcomer Contributions
Here is an interesting stat to show how our off-season acquisitions and Hitchcock’s tutelage have paid off.
For all of last season, CBJ defensemen contributed 99 points. This year, the blue line has accounted for 85 points in only 48 games, on a pace for 145 points. Likely higher, due to early troubles getting accustomed to each other. Commodore and Tyutin account for 41 of those by themselves. Think those extra 50 points or so are going to come in handy?
Let’s cast the net a little wider — Commodore, Tyutin and Backman have 9 goals and 36 assists between them. Torres, Huselius, Umberger have 30 goals and 34 assists between them. That’s 39 goals and 70 assists, 109 points in 48 games for the folks Howson brought in. Contrast that with the 20 Goals and 56 Assists combined for Gilbert Brule, Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche, Ron Hainsey and Adam Foote. That gap is only going to widen as the season progresses, as Fritsche has been put on waivers, Brule spends most of his time in the minors, Zherdev has not scored a goal in 13 games, and Foote . . .well, you know. Hainsey leads the Thrashers blue line in points, but we could not afford to keep him anyway.
This does not even include the contributions of our other newcomers that are home grown — Brassard, Voracek, Russell, Methot. Oh, yeah — and that Mason guy.
Also not included is the Williams for Wilson/6th Round Pick. That is also a very promising deal.
In short, Howson has done a nice job for us so far, and hopefully this will put an end to the Zherdev apologists. And don’t talk to me about Backman — that will resolve itself, and he was a tag along for Tyutin, our target.