Behind The Net had an interesting post up the other day in which Gabe extrapolated the number of games that players under 30-years old would play following a season where they played all 82 games, and it got me thinking about what the trend would be if it were reversed and applied to injury prone players.
Rene Bourque has arguably been one of the Flames' best forwards since joining the team two years ago; in 73 games he finished second on the team in points (58) and led all forwards in ES points/60 last season with 2.39 while facing the third highest quality of competition amongst regular Flames forwards (second if you exclude Matt Stajan). He also had the best Corsi rate relative to the quality of opponents he faced and recorded decent to above average possession stats (Shots: 406/438, %: .485, Fenwick: .510, Corsi: .517), without an outrageously high PDO (101.4). The Flames scored 2.92 goals/60 with Bourque on the ice, and Rene himself accounted for 1.01 of them. They only managed 1.87/60 with him off the ice, the worst rate of any forward. He clearly has value to the team, as suggested by the terms of his recent contract. His most prominent weakness, however, is his proneness to injury--occasionally a result of his style of play, occasionally the result of a freak accident or a cheapshot . Bourque has missed 25 games over the past two seasons since joining the Flames and 96 over the duration of his five-year career. He has played an average of 63 games per season, with his 'healthiest' being his rookie year (2005-06) in which he played 77 games. Bourque is clearly a versatile player who helps this team win games, but will he fall victim to another injury-shortened season like other players of his ilk? Predict away!