Many analysts over the years have stated that one of the keys to success is that the defence needs to contribute with some goals on the scoresheet. But is that statement accurate? The stats shown below will tell the tale:
D-man PPG (GPG)
Note: GPG = goals per game, PPG = points per game, not powerplay goals. Rank is in terms of total goals scored (regular season).
In the above table, we see that there isn’t a major discrepancy in the goals per game department, however there is one in the points per game range. From this, we can conclude that it isn’t necessairily the number of goals defencemen score, but the number that they set up that tend to contribute to a team’s success. An extra point roughly every other game doesn’t sound like a lot, but it apparently is.
The next row of stats shows the current stats for defencemen through the first 3 games of the season:
D-man PPG (GPG)
Although we are just 3 games into the season, we can see that the Canadiens are having more success when the defencemen are producing on the scoresheet. If this trend continues, the Habs should be able to make the playoffs (but the odds of this trend continuing is VERY slim). However, if the defencemen continue to produce at a rate exceeding last season’s (1.48 pts per game), success shouldn’t be too far behind.
To conclude the above ‘investigation’, it does appear that offensive production from defencemen can lead to success, but the reality is they can’t do it alone. In order to get the assists that majorly contribute to their point-per-game totals, the forwards need to be scoring goals as well. Together, this will lead to success and a lengthy postseason run.