Let’s play a game. I’ll give you the stats for several centers in the league, and you tell me which ones are ‘number one’ centers. Ready, GO:
- Player A: 28G, 49A for 77 points, 1.07 points/game in 2010/2011. 24G, 57A for 91 points, 1.14 P/G in 2009/2010.
- Player B: 24G, 58A for 82 points, 1 P/G for 2010/2011. 26G, 43A for 69 points, .86 P/G for 2009/2010.
- Player C: 32G, 44A for 76 points, .95 P/G for 2010/2011. 25G, 43A for 68 points, .89 P/g for 2009/2010.
- Player D: 19G, 57A for 76 points, 1.13 P/G for 2010/2011. 19G, 50A for 69 points, 1.05 P/G for 2009/2010.
- Player E: 21G, 36A for 57 points, .92 P/G for 2010/2011. 23G, 34A for 57 points, .95 P/G for 2009/2010.
So who are they? Drum roll, please!
A: Brad Richards
B: Derek Roy (10/11 numbers extrapolated to a full season)
C: Jonathan Toews
D: Ryan Getzlaf
E: Jason Spezza
A couple of those guys missed 10-15 games in a season (Spezza and Getzlaf especially), but the numbers are still close, aren’t they? And yet, some folks around town scoff at Roy as a top-flight center. There’s usually one or two centers who outperform the crowd (Sedin or Crosby for example) but beyond that, this is what you get as a number one C. I was curious about these numbers, and I hope this gives you another perspective on the center pursuit by the Sabres.