Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What should we expect from Kozlov?

One of the pieces of news to emerge from the town hall meeting was that Slava Kozlov was injured for the final 2.5 months of the 2007-08 season. Don Waddell said he expected a bounce back season from Kozlov. How much was Kozlov's injury to blame for his poor season?

Now if Kozlov's injury was the primary cause of his down season and it happened somewhere around the mid-point for last season, I would expect to see that Kozlov was more productive in the first half and less productive in the second half. Let's take a look at Kozlov's points per game by month production:

2007-08 Season
PPG/Month
.50 OCT
.58 NOV
.56 DEC
.38 JAN
.50 FEB
.47 MAR
.50 APR

What does the data show? Slava Kozlov was remarkably CONSISTENT from one month to the next in his production. He was right around half a point per game each month except for January when he struggled. In OCT-DEC Kozlov was on pace for 45 points and from JAN-APR he was on pace for 37 points. Kozlov finished with 41 points. If OCT-DEC is indicative of what a healthy 36 year old Kozlov is going to produce in 2008-09, then everyone should keep their expectations in check. A "good" season for Kozlov is probably 50 points at this point.

Personally, I think Father Time just caught up with a skilled guy. Kozlov is a small player who relies on terrific puck skills and pinpoint passing and a great sense of timing. I remember being shocked at how many times Hossa made a pass to Kozlov and he failed to receive it cleanly. Kozlov always had magic hands and the puck just stuck to his stick like he had a magnet in his blade. Sadly we didn't see that Kozlov even back in October.

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