I quite like the Colorado Avalanche, but I’ve been predicting doom and gloom for them and I’m not going to stop just because they’ve managed to carry on for 16 games (and if anyone remembers the John Paddock-coached Ottawa Senators they’ll be careful about buying in to the Avs). Consider just two points:

The Avalanche are getting out-shot by an average of 7.6 shots per game.

Scott Reynolds wrote a phenomenal piece this morning over at The Copper & Blue which looked at teams that were out-shot by 4.5 shots or more per game over the course of an entire season (his purpose in doing this was to crush whatever hope Oilers fans might be hanging on to). His findings:

So there you have it. No one is good. They all suck. Only three out of the ten teams drafted higher than 6th overall. And these teams all have a better outshooting record than the Oilers so far this season.

It’s true, and it applies to the Oilers, the Florida Panthers, and the Colorado Avalanche. I’m picking on Colorado because they’re the only one of the three teams hanging on to a high spot in the standings right now. Of the teams Reynolds looked at, only the 2007-08 Atlanta Thrashers were outshot by a more massive margin than the Avalanche.

The Avalanche have a PDO rating of 104.1(source).

PDO is a simple measurement: the combination of a team’s even strength save percentage and even strength shooting percentage. Tyler at mc79hockey.com did a study on teams with high PDO numbers in the first quarter of the season a while back, looking at the 20 best teams between 2003-04 and 2007-08. Those 20 teams had an average PDO of 103.1 through the season’s first quarter; through the season’s last quarter they averaged 100.5. In short, it doesn’t last.