Henrik Zetterberg of the Wings is the only over-30 player who competed during the lockout and improve his points-per-game production so far this year. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters/Files)
Before the season began, we advised those who had been playing competitively during the lockout would have a running start once the NHL schedule resumed. And with every team just past the midway point of this shortened season, the stats certainly are leaning in that direction.
We took the top 120 points-per-game skaters from last season and broke them into two groups – active and inactive during the lockout – then compared their production last year to what they’ve done so far in 2013. And while not overwhelming, the facts show that 71% of the ‘active’ players are matching or out-pointing last year’s pace compared to only 26% of the ‘inactive’ group. Yes, there are mitigating circumstances on both sides – including injuries and new coaching strategies – but as a general overview, it works. And, hey, in the event of another work stoppage, it’s something to remember.