NHL by the Numbers: Most Interesting Stat for Each Team So Far This Season

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Before the NHL put the season on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the season was already a little crazy, at least in some statistical columns. It’s unknown if or when play will resume, but while we're left waiting, let's take a look at an interesting stat for each team so far this season. 

Anaheim Ducks

43 — The lowest point total of a team leader in the league, owned by Adam Henrique. More than anything, the Ducks’ steady decline of offensive talent is responsible for the franchise missing the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2001. Offensive rejuvenation rests partly on the playmaking wizardry of prospect Trevor Zegras, who ranked second among NCAA freshmen in total assists (25).

Arizona Coyotes

-0.86 — The Coyotes’ difference in goals allowed per 60 minutes before and after acquiring Taylor Hall. To be clear, Hall isn’t the problem. He leads the team in points, penalties drawn and has positive possession numbers since arriving in Arizona. However, a sagging defense and a Darcy Kuemper’s injury has brought the Coyotes down from its perch as a top-five defensive unit at the beginning of the year.

Boston Bruins

15 — The amount of times David Pastrnak has scored the first goal of the game. Only Bret Hull has tallied more opening salvos, recording an NHL-best 19 in the 1990-91 season.

Buffalo Sabres

74.6% — Buffalo’s penalty killing percentage, on pace to be the worst in franchise history.

Calgary Flames

0.892% — David Rittich’s career save percentage after the All-Star break, a 26.9% dropoff from his numbers before the league’s midseason showcase. In the last two seasons, both Mike Smith and current backup Cam Talbot have filled in after Rittich tailed off and muddied the Flames’ goaltending situation. Honorable mention: 52.73 — Andrew Mangiapane’s expected goal percentage, tops among all Calgary forwards with at least 650 minutes of ice time. 

Carolina Hurricanes

89.56% — Carolina’s even-strength team save percentage, second-worst in the NHL, since Dougie Hamilton suffered a fractured fibula on Jan. 16. It doesn’t help that both Petr Mrazek and James Reimer went down with injuries since that point, too, but the Hurricanes goaltending situation hasn’t inspired a ton of confidence.

Chicago Blackhawks

30 — Goals from Dominik Kubalik, best among NHL rookies this season. Acquired for a fifth-round pick after remaining overseas, Kubalik has provided the Blackhawks with massive return on investment and has had success both with and without linemate Jonathan Toews.

Colorado Avalanche

+41 — The Avalanche’s league-best goal differential in the second period. No other team has outscored its opponents by a wider margin in any of the three periods this season. Honorable mention: 0.88 — Cale Makar’s points per game, third all-time among rookie defensemen. 

Columbus Blue Jackets

415 — The number of man-games missed by Blue Jackets players through the suspension, according to NHL Injury Viz, most in the league and more than 100 more games lost to injury than the Penguins. Playoffs or not, John Tortorella has squeezed every last drop of talent out of this team and deserves to be in the Jack Adams Award conversation.

Dallas Stars

2 — Five-on-five goals scored per 60 minutes over the last two seasons, second-worst in the league after the Red Wings. That number has only worsened since interim coach Rick Bowness took over on Dec. 10, suggesting Dallas either needs a system overhaul in the offseason or an injection of talent. The flipside is that the Stars rank top-five in even-strength defense, but they haven’t developed a high-octane, counter-punching offense out of their biggest strength. Something needs to crack Dallas’s defense-first-and-only mindset.

Detroit Red Wings 

-0.97 — Jimmy Howard’s goals saved above average (GSAA) per 60 minutes. No goalie who has played as many games as Howard has recorded a worse number or fewer quality starts since the lockout. 

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Edmonton Oilers

29.5% — The Oilers’ power-play percentage, on track to finish as the fourth-best extra-man unit in NHL history. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, then, that Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are only the second pair of teammates to rank No. 1 and 2 in power-play points with at least 40 each in the last 10 years.

Florida Panthers

1% — The percentage of total cap space taken up by backup Chris Driedger, who has a better save percentage, goals against average and quality start percentage than Sergei Bobrovsky. Driedger isn’t receiving the benefit of a defense locking down for their backup—he’s facing shots at a higher rate than Bobrovsky—and the Panthers having some buyer’s remorse for its $70 million netminder isn’t unwarranted. First Priority this offseason should be adding support on the blue line.

Los Angeles Kings

5 — Players left from the Kings 2013–14 Stanley Cup–winning roster. L.A. has triple that number of draft picks in the first four rounds of the next two drafts, giving the franchise a small-ish window to rebuild while Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty can still contribute.

Minnesota Wild

+103% — Increase in the Wilds’ increased odds of reaching the postseason since Jan. 15, according to Money Puck. Minnesota’s 15-7-1 stretch has been bolstered by a blue line that has limited opponents to the fewest scoring chances per 60 minutes in that span, not to mention Kevin Fiala’s run of six multi-point outings in six games.

Montreal Canadiens

7,320 — The amount of minutes played by Carey Price in the last two years, most among any goaltender. With a Vezina-worthy campaign sandwiched between two below-average seasons, Price has shown he can elevate the Canadiens but he needs the supporting cast and a steady backup to help make that a bit easier.

Nashville Predators

3.17 — Pekka Rinne’s goals against average, the worst of his career. There have only been 22 goalies, ever, who have had a GAA of less than 2.80 after turning 38. Rinne is 37, and Juuse Saros has played well enough to take over the mantle as Nashville’s starting goalie next season.

New Jersey Devils

0.34 — Jack Hughes’s current point-per-game total, fewest by any No. 1 overall pick since Joe Thornton’s 1997–98 season. The difference: The Bruins deployed Thornton almost exclusively on the fourth line, holding his average ice time to under nine minutes per game, while Hughes has frequently played on New Jersey’s top line. Another one: Hughes has about six less inches and fifty less pounds to work with than Jumbo Joe. After spending two years in the USNTDP, Hughes will adjust to NHL competition. It will take time, and maybe a season where both the coach and general manager were fired isn’t the best case study of the 18-year-old’s future.

New York Islanders

2.96 — Goals allowed per game since the team’s franchise-record 17-game point streak ended, a 23.8% increase from last season. Other teams could survive with league-average defense and goaltending, but the Islanders offense has cooled off, too, and has left the team with a mediocre 19-20-8 record since its torrid start.

New York Rangers

71 — Artemi Panarin’s NHL-best even-strength point total. Only two players (Connor McDavid and Henrik Sedin) have played over 75 games and averaged a point per game at even strength since the lockout, and Panarin is approaching Rangers legends Jean Ratelle (82), Rod Gilbert (74) and Vic Hadfield (72) on the franchise leaderboard. After years of whiffing on high-priced free agents, New York struck gold with its dynamic 28-year-old winger.

Ottawa Senators

15 — The most shorthanded goals scored by any team this season. The catch: Only four teams have had worse penalty kills while scoring as many goals when down a man as the Senators have.

Philadelphia Flyers

0.714 — Philadelphia’s winning percentage at home. The Flyers have wacky Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vibes depending on if they’re at the Wells Fargo Center or not. Carter Hart’s save percentage (.943) and goals against average (1.63) is mind-boggling elite at home, but then drops to near-catastrophic levels (.857 and 3.81) on the road. Something must be in the water … or maybe a chaos-driven, orange-furred creature lurking deep below.

Pittsburgh Penguins

$17,230,000 — Average cap hit of injured players, most among any team in the league, according to NHL Injury Viz. It’s no secret that the Penguins have been decimated by injuries but, aided by Bryan Rust, Jared McCann and John Marino, the team has stayed more than afloat despite key losses.

San Jose Sharks

2003 — The last year the Sharks had a points percentage under .500 and picked inside the top six of the NHL draft. San Jose rebounded the next year after selecting Milan Michalek (No. 6) and Joe Pavelski (No. 205), crossing 104 points in six of the next seven seasons. With a strong upcoming 2020 draft class, the Sharks picked the “right” year to unintentionally tank.

St. Louis Blues

17.3% — David Perron’s shooting percentage over the last two seasons, second-best among pure wingers. With Vladimir Tarasenko sidelined for the bulk of this season, Perron is tied with Brayden Schenn for a team-high 25 goals and has turned in two of his most productive seasons in his third stint with the Blues.

Tampa Bay Lightning

4.16 — Power-play goals per 60 minutes since the New Year, second-worst in the league behind the Canadiens. It hasn’t mattered—the Lightning also have the second-best record in that stretch—but Tampa Bay hasn’t generated enough shot attempts or scoring chances when up a skater.

Toronto Maple Leafs

78 — Takeaways by Auston Matthews, most among forwards and only three behind Hurricanes defensive stalwart Jaccob Slavin. Not the Leafs stat you were expecting, right? Martin St. Louis, Marian Hossa and McDavid are the only three players to notch 40-plus goals and 78-plus takeaways in a single season since the lockout. Matthews’ goal-scoring ability is eye-popping, but he’s made strides in the defensive zone this year.

Vancouver Canucks

53 — Quinn Hughes’s point total, most in a rookie defenseman’s first 68 games since Nicklas Lindstrom’s 1991–92 season. Take your pick of stats—Hughes had the most points of any defenseman in February, he’s tied for third among blueliners in total power-play points and became the first player in 40 years to notch four games with three-plus assists in his rookie season—and there’s no shortage of numbers to illustrate Hughes’s impact on the Canucks this year.

Vegas Golden Knights

58.02% — The Golden Knights’ share of expected goals since Pete DeBoer took over, first in the league. Linemates Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson have outscored opponents by close to a 2:1 margin in that stretch. Honorable mention: 46, a career-high points for Shea Theadore, who has played himself into the Norris Trophy conversation this year.

Washington Capitals

75 — John Carlson’s league-high points among defensemen, marking the first time a blueliner has averaged as many points per game (1.09) since Ray Bourque, Sergei Zubov and Al MacInnis each did so in the 1993–94 season. Carlson has tallied more primary assists per game than anyone since the 2007–08 season and, after 11 years in the league, seems like a lock for his first Norris Trophy.

Winnipeg Jets

19.86 — Goals saved above expectation by Connor Hellebuyck, according to Evolving Hockey, best in the league. With the Jets surrendering the second-highest high danger attempts per 60 minutes, Hellebuyck has rebounded into Vezina form this season and is the only reason why Winnipeg hasn’t derailed with a shaky blue line.