STAND BACK

The Oklahoma City Barons continued their "Goals Across America" tour this past weekend in Charlotte and at this point are one of four AHL teams with 60 or more goals this season. How dominant is this group? How many goals can they score if they stay together all season? What does their NHL eqivalency suggest for next year in the NHL? Stand back, I don’t know how big this thing is going to get.

YESTERDAY’S PAPERS

Last season, the Barons averaged 2.8 goals per game (213 goals in 76 games) and finished tied for 14th in league scoring (there are 30 AHL teams); this season the Barons are averaging 3.44 goals per game (62 in 18 games) and if they continue their current trend will end up with 261 goals–an increase year over year of 48 goals. Impressive, but not unexpected–after all, adding Eberle, Hall and the Nuge (plus the phenom Schultz) should give the Barons a high octane offensive slant.

However, the contrast has been even more incredible lately. In their last 4 games, the Barons have scored 22 goals (5.5 per game) including a dominant pair of games against division leaders Charlotte Checkers this weekend. I believe the increase in offense coincides perfectly with the return to form of Taylor Hall, but opinions vary. Either way, the club is getting max performance from their impact players and the supporting cast is doing good work, too.

And the wins? They’re coming down in buckets–5 in a row and since November 10th the Barons have collected 13 of a possible 14 points.

WHAT ABOUT NHL EQUIVALENCY?

It’s an interesting item, NHLE during a lockout year. The incredible Eric T had a lash at the subject recently and gave us the number .55 as a "line in the sand" for NHLE. So, the number of points by said player, times .55 and then multiplied by 82 games (the number of NHL games in a normal season) finally divided by GP by said player currently.

It isn’t really fair because there’s not enough of the season gone to satisfy items like luck, timing and the Hockey Gods. Still, if we waited for the math guys to give the go-ahead my brain would hurt so lets kicks out the jams with the top 10 scorers on the team (10 games or more) and damn the torpedoes!

CHART (WITH COLOR!)

NAME

GP

G

A

PTS

NHLE/82

JUSTIN SCHULTZ

18

10

18

28

25-45-70

JORDAN EBERLE

18

11

15

26

28-37-65

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

17

8

12

20

21-32-53

TEEMU HARTIKAINEN

18

6

10

16

15-25-40

TAYLOR HALL

10

4

11

15

18-50-68

MAGNUS PAAJARVI

18

2

10

12

5-25-30

MARTIN MARINCIN

16

3

8

11

8-23-31

MARK ARCOBELLO

16

5

5

10

14-14-28

TAYLOR FEDUN

17

2

4

6

5-11-16

CHRIS VANDEVELDE

17

1

4

5

3-10-13

There’s not a disappointing total in the bunch, really. Justin Schultz went super nova early and it’ll take some time for the three NHL impact kids to catch him (since they play together most of the time, it may take longer than you’d think!). Hall’s number really shot up this week (he won AHL weekly honors) and that should serve as a reminder that it is very early.

Still, the NHLE’s tell a solid story and with the current scoring levels we may see even more gaudy numbers next time.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Oh, MY! Even if they couldn’t play a lick of defense–and hell some of them have a lot to learn there–this group represents something very special. No matter the league, putting this much talent together means offense. The Barons of OKC appear to be finding the range.

Stand back.

 

  • Milli

    LT, I love it! Early January, we are going to back to back Barons games, and sadly I think the kids are still gonna be there, but man am I excited to watch! Hell, you should come along, tell Wayne to open his check book!!!!!