Svatos helping Avalanche without assists

Originally published in Eishockey News in 2008

By Lucas Aykroyd

How often does a team’s leading goal-scorer have four times as many goals as assists? It’s a bizarre statistic, but Marek Svatos of the Colorado Avalanche is pulling it off. The 25-year-old Slovak winger entered a February 9 game versus the Vancouver Canucks with 22 goals and five assists. To put that in perspective, Svatos had fewer assists than less offensively gifted players like Scott Hannan (13), Ian Laperriere (12), and Ben Guite (10). Remarkably, Svatos recorded an assist on Colorado’s first goal of the game, but it was only because Tyler Arnason banged in the rebound from a Svatos wraparound attempt. Svatos then added two goals in a first-star performance as the surging Avalanche won 6-2 and improved to 8-3-2 in their last 13 games. Captain Joe Sakic will be sidelined for weeks to come after hernia surgery in December, so the club will need Svatos to keep filling the net during the final playoff push. Eishockey News spoke with the underrated fourth-year NHLer from Kosice afterwards.

Eishockey News: How much of a confidence boost was it for you to record your first two goals in February?

Marek Svatos: I think every goal gives a player a bit of confidence. But overall, when the team plays well, that’s when you feel good. Wins bring confidence too. It was nice to be part of one tonight.

Eishockey News: Four times as many goals as assists. How do you explain it?

Svatos: It’s better than having it the other way around! [laughs] I guess usually when I get the opportunity, I try to shoot. My linemates, Tyler Arnason and Wojtek Wolski, do a great job of getting me the puck in front of the net. I don’t know. It’s something I can’t control. I try to give the guys passes, but somehow the puck comes back to me! [laughs]

Eishockey News:
And you’ve got a good plus-minus, so it’s working out. But do the guys tease you about it?

Svatos: I’ve got Ian Laperriere over there bugging me, telling me that I just tied [Florida goalie] Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun’s got six assists too! It was nice to catch him. [grins]

Eishockey News:
Also, almost all your goals are at even-strength. What’s the story there?

Svatos: It’s always good when goals are going in 5-on-5. I’ll admit the PP hasn’t been the greatest for me this year. Gotta work on that a little more.

Eishockey News: What have been the biggest adjustments this team has made since losing Sakic?

Svatos: I think we’ve played more of a simple game. Especially on the road, we put the puck in deep and try to cycle in the other team’s zone, hold on to it a little more. Even our D-men are doing a great job, holding the puck longer if the play isn’t there. We’ve just got to keep doing that to get into the playoffs. This is a crucial time of the season, and we need every point we can get on the road. Digg it Furl iFeedReaders Netscape RawSugar reddit StumbleUpon Yahoo MyWeb YardBarker

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