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There have been 77 games played in the NHL this season. It's early, but I think after 77 games we can start to look at some statistics and get a feel for the NHL this season.

I compiled some numbers, and one stat jumps out significantly to me this season. Goals per Game is up1/2 a goal per game. Last season the NHL averaged 5.44 goals per game, there are 5.94 goals per game this season.

This is also taking a toll on goaltenders stats. Last season, if you compiled stats for every team the cumulative save percentage for the NHL was .906. this season it has dipped below .900 and is currently resting at .898, with a standard deviation of .03, a drop of .008. This is a significant drop.

If we make a leap of faith and use Save % as an indicator of goalie play (it's not, too much is dependent on shot quality, but it's the only stat we have for now). As far as Save % goes. Anything outside of the Average and St. Dev can be considered poor. Right now the teams outside of that are:

Columbus
Calgary
Colorado
Dallas
Nashville
Philadelphia

On the flip side these teams are getting Save %'s above what would be expected in the average plus standard deviation:

Buffalo
Edmonton
Minnesota
Montreal
Tampa Bay

What does this prove, well not much, however yes the Avs are getting a poor save % compared to other teams this season. It suggests that the Avs goaltending has been week, five games into the season.

HOWEVER It also suggests that The Avs will revert to the mean at some point and get a better save percentage, and that their current save % is abnormally low. Yes it's a product of bad play, but bad play is also, many times, a product of chance. Why does one player have a fantastic night one night and a poor game the next... chance. Chances are good that the Avs will get better goaltending in the future.

The moral... don't worry things are abnormally bad right now.. they will improve. (unless you're a Montreal, Wild, Oil, Lightning or Sabres fan.. then things will likely get worse).

Also, for anyone advocating Raycroft getting the starts over Buds because he has 2 wins and Budaj has 2 losses... please remember that "Rayzor"'s 2 wins came against 2 of the bottom 6 in save percentage, which makes it a lot easier to pile up those wins.