As we inch closer to the playoffs, full season stats begin to come into focus. Sometimes it’s too simple to just look at the numbers alone, but observations can certainly be made from 82 (or even about 70) games of hockey.
One of the things that I focus on in stretch run situations is how many home and road contests a team has left. Simply put, many people overlook the fact that there still is an advantage to playing at home. That doesn’t change the fact that some teams are oddballs, though. That can work in two (or more) ways: some teams are wildly dependent on home cooking while some are inexplicably better sleeping in unfamiliar beds.
On some level, these stats can tell the story of a team’s season without needing thousands of words to do so. Let’s take a look at some of the home/road records that really stand out.
The Elite home teams
New Jersey: 25-10-1
Considering all of Phoenix’s headaches, it’s refreshing to see them with one of the league’s best winning percentages at home.
The absolute worst road team
Is also the absolute worst team in the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers are the only team in the league that failed to reached the 10-win mark on the road so far. They are a pitiful 8-24-3 away from Edmonton this season.
Road record will give them an early vacation
Take a look at the home vs. road records of these 3 West teams expected to miss the playoffs.
Dallas: 20-10-7 at home; 12-17-7 on the road (8 less wins)
Anaheim: 23-11-3 at home; 11-20-5 on the road (12 less wins)
Minnesota: 24-10-3 at home; 11-22-3 on the road (13 less wins)
More interesting stats after the jump.
They better get home iceThe Ottawa Senators are in the playoff hunt despite a paltry 15-20-1 road record while the Flyers are a weak 16-18-3 and the Red Wings are 16-13-8.No big deal either wayThe Canadiens (18 wins), Rangers (16), Penguins (21), Kings (21), Sharks (22), Panthers (15) and Predators (21) have the same amount of wins (though not points earned) in road and home games. This makes them equally dangerous (or mediocre) wherever they go, it seems.Broken home?Finally, these teams are especially weird because their road records are better than their records at home. The Boston Bruins have won three more games and lost one less on the road. Most odd of all is the St. Louis Blues, though. They’ve won 22 games on the road and only 12 games at home so far this year. How do you explain that?
Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick leads Blues over Blackhawks
Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.
Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.
After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.
As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.
St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.
The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.
Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.
Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.
Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.
Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.
This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.
It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.