The Colorado Avalanche lost a whopping 474 man-games to injury in the 2010-11 season, good for second worst in the NHL. The year earlier, they also ranked second in the league with 340 man-games lost to injury. That's not an easy feat, and over at SB Nation's Avs blog, Mile High Hockey, they think they have a culprit.
Seamless glass at Pepsi Center.
The NHLPA has been pushing the NHL and its teams to get rid of seamless glass technology for years now. Arenas started using it in the mid-90s because it took away those ugly metal seams in the glass that hinder the view of the ice from those seats behind the net.
But those seams do serve a purpose, allowing the glass to have fluidity. In short, it moves when you hit it. Seamless glass doesn't budge, and that's where people get hurt. According to Mile High Hockey, only Colorado, Calgary, Montreal, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix use the seamless glass still.
Is there a correlation between man-games lost to injury and teams using seamless glass? Sure seems that way. Via MHH, the man-games numbers as of mid-March.
#2 Colorado, 72GP, 385 MGL, 5.35 MGL per game
#4 Minnesota, 73 GP, 363 MGL, 4.97 MGL per game
#5 Calgary, 75 GP, 318 MGL, 4.24 MGL per game
#6 Nashville, 73 GP, 307 MGL, 4.21 MGL per game
#17 Montreal, 74 GP, 194 MGL, 2.62 MGL per game
#27 Phoenix, 75 GP, 110 MGL, 1.47 MGL per game
Average of teams with Seamless Glass: 74 GP, 280 MGL, 3.74 MGL per game
Average of teams without Seamless glass: 73 GP, 211 MGL, 2.89 MGL per game
70 extra games lost is nothing to frown at. That is seriously significant. Fortunately, it looks like the NHLPA is getting its way in time for the 2011-12 season, and that seamless glass will be extinct in the NHL.