Consider this a sister post to the previous one, which documented the Quebec-born presence on the Montreal Canadiens since expansion. This post examines the productivity of Quebec-born skaters on the Montreal Canadiens since 1967.
An analysis of the data reveals a simple yet stunning conclusion: measured in terms of goals per man game, the productivity of Quebec-born skaters on the Canadiens has fallen precipitously since the late 1980s.
In the 1970s, the average Quebec-born skater accounted for slightly less than 0.3 goals per regular season game played. That number held steady during the 1980s. Indeed, 1987-1988 represented a banner year for home grown talent, as Quebec-born skaters averaged 0.344 goals per man game in the regular season, the second highest level achieved since expansion. Stephane Richer potted 50, Claude Lemieux added 31, and Guy Carbonneau contributed a respectable 17.
But in the 1990s, the productivity of Quebec-born talent fell off drastically. To cite but one example, in 1998-1999 Quebec-born skaters scored only 0.121 goals per man game in the regular season–a productivity level that was 65% lower than in 1987-1988. Benoit Brunet led all Quebec-born skaters in that year of famine with only 14 goals.
As mentioned in the previous post, Andre Savard’s term in the early 2000s saw a rebound in the presence of Quebec-born talent on the Habs. Unfortunately, that talent was woefully unproductive. In 2002-2003, Quebec-born skaters eked out a measly 0.101 goals per man game–the lowest mark since expansion (and likely of all-time). If we remove the 24 goals netted by Yannic Perreault, the rest of the Quebec-born skaters on the team (there were 10 others) combined for only 38 goals in 541 man games. Compelling evidence that quantity is not a guarantee of quality.
In 2009-2010, Quebec-born skaters accounted for 0.124 goals per man game, right in line with the decade average of 0.126. Here’s hoping that Mathieu Darche, Maxim Lapierre, and perhaps David Desharnais can push that number up this season, but I’m not holding my breath.