This season the NHL began citing a Defensive Player of the Week,
and the competition for the honor must be fierce. Through Sunday
there had been an average of 4.9 goals per game, a huge drop from
5.7 at the same point last year.
Even more dramatic has been the jump in the number of shutouts.
In this season's first 101 games there were 24, including a pair
of scoreless ties on Oct. 16, the first time since 1934 that
there were two such games on the same day. At the same point in
2002-03 there were six shutouts; the 24th didn't occur until Nov. 19.