Crosby, Anderson, Rinne lead playoff week 1 stats

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Thumbnail image for craig anderson.jpgThe playoffs started last Wednesday, so I figure now is a good time to take a look at some of the league leaders. Obviously, you need to keep in mind that some teams played four games while some only played three so far. That’s before we even get to such important factors like “this team played against a good defense, great goalie or both” (see: Chicago and San Jose) versus “this team feasted upon a deeply flawed opponent and some lucky breaks” (see: Pittsburgh).

Anyway, in this post, I’ll take a look at the “typical” stats. If there’s enough interesting/quirky stuff there will be a post for the more unusual stats.

Points Leaders

1. Sidney Crosby – 11 pts
2. Henrik Zetterberg – 7 pts
3 (tied with 6 points). Nicklas Backstrom
* Matt Cullen
* Mike Richards
* Ilya Kovalchuk
* and Sergei Gonchar
4. 14 players with 5 points.

Goal scoring leaders

1. Henrik Zetterberg – 5 goals
2 (tied with 4 goals). Sidney Crosby
Nicklas Backstrom
Mikael Samuelsson
Evgeni Malkin
3. 5 tied with 3 goals

Plus/minus leaders

1 (tied at +7) Sidney Crosby
Bill Guerin
2. Chris Kunitz +6
3 (tied with +5) David Legwand
Tom Poti
John Carlson
Sergei Gonchar

Goalie Saves

1. Craig Anderson – 165
2. Ilya Bryzgalov – 131
3. Jimmy Howard – 117
4. Brian Boucher – 98
5. Evgeni Nabokov – 94

(Yup, that means Anderson faced 71 more shots than Nabokov in four games so far. Wow.)

Save percentage

1. Pekka Rinne – 95.3% (82 saves in three games so far for Rinne who will likely pass Boucher and Nabokov in saves through four games.)
2. Craig Anderson – 94.8%
3. Tuukka Rask – 93.6%
4. Ryan Miller 92.9%
5. Antti Niemi – 92.7%

Goals Against Average

1. Pekka Rinne – 1.35 GAA
2. Brian Boucher – 1.98 GAA
3(tied with 2.01 GAA). Tuukka Rask
Antti Niemi (both are tied in being Finnish, too)
4. Craig Anderson – 2.11 GAA
5 (tied at 2.12 GAA) Semyon Varlamov
Evgeni Nabokov (Tied in Russian-ness too!)

So far, there have been some amazing goalie performances. Who’s been better so far: Craig Anderson or Pekka Rinne? Either way, it’s pretty hard to throw Antti Niemi under the bus for the Blackhawks’ struggles. Right?

Blues, Capitals to play exhibition game in Kansas City

Pedestrians walk past the Sprint Center, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. The city was preparing for the third round of the NCAA college basketball tournament at the arena after the region received 6-10 inches of snow overnight. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Kansas City is going to host another NHL exhibition game.

The St. Louis Blues announced today that they’ll take on the Washington Capitals on Oct. 5 at Sprint Center. Both Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Ovechkin will be there, at least according to the press release.

The Blues last played in K.C. a couple of years ago when they took on the Stars in exhibition play. In 2011, a sellout crowd watched the Penguins and Kings at Sprint Center.

A market once considered a candidate for expansion or relocation — particularly after Sprint Center opened in 2007 — the NHL-to-Kansas City buzz has since died down. Last year, there was no interest from Kansas City when the league called for expansion applications.

Sensing an opportunity to make their team a favorite of all Missourians, not just the ones in St. Louis, the Blues have said they’d like to cultivate their fan base across the state in Kansas City.

Report: Pens won’t make Fleury (talks too much) available to media

at Pepsi Center on December 9, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.
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Don’t expect many updates on Marc-Andre Fleury‘s health over the next little while.

Well — don’t expect them to come from Fleury, anyway.

Per TVA Sports, Fleury has been shut down from speaking with reporters until he’s fully recovered from the concussion that’s sidelined him since Apr. 2.

A translation of Renaud Lavioe’s piece for TVA, per PHT’s Joey Alfieri:

Fleury practiced with his teammates this morning at the Verizon Center.

What I can tell you is he’s feeling better, but the Penguins have decided not to make Fleury available to the media because he says too much.

The next time Fleury talks to the media, it’s because he’ll be ready to return.

Not to be mean, but Matt Murray has given up three goals or more in back-to-back games.

Earlier this week, Fleury told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that — despite participating in on-ice workouts — he’s still dealing with concussion symptoms.

“It’s one of the toughest things I’ve been through,” he explained. “Some good days, when you think you’re back, and some bad days, when you think it’s never going to get fixed.”

The Fleury situation seems to have rankled some within the Penguins organization — like head coach Mike Sullivan, who took issue with questions about the club’s handling of Fleury.

Here’s a related series of tweets from DKonPittsburghSports’ Josh Yohe:

Game 2 of the Pens-Caps series goes tomorrow from Verizon at 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN). Matt Murray, who allowed four goals on 35 shots in the Game 1 loss, is expected to start in goal.

North Dakota loses another d-man as Kings sign LaDue

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 09:  Paul LaDue #6 of North Dakota skates against the Boston University Terriers during the second period of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship semifinals at TD Garden on April 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Keaton Thompson, Troy Stecher and now, Paul LaDue.

On Friday, the Kings announced that LaDue — the junior d-man that helped North Dakota win the Frozen Four — agreed to a one-year, entry-level deal, forgoing his senior season in the process.

LaDue, 23, was part of a talented UND blueline that also featured fellow juniors Troy Stecher — who since signed with Vancouver — and Thompson, who inked with the Ducks.

So yeah, bit of an exodus.

Thankfully for North Dakota, freshman scoring sensation Brock Boeser has already committed to returning for his sophomore campaign, while junior defenseman Gage Ausmus — a San Jose draftee — vowed to go back to school as well.

As for Frozen Four MOP Drake Caggiula — a senior that was already leaving school — he’s already begun his tour of interested NHL suitors.

Per TSN, Caggiula has shortlisted six clubs: Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

Wilson fined for kneeing Sheary

Wilson hit
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No suspension for Capitals forward Tom Wilson. Only a fine.

That’s what the NHL’s Department of Player Safety decided after Wilson kneed Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary last night in Washington.

The fine of $2,403.67 is the maximum allowable under the CBA, and, at the very least, it puts Wilson on official notice.

Wilson was not penalized on the play, and Sheary was able to leave the ice under his own power and remain in the game.

“We’re just going to play hockey, and the refs are going to call it the way they see it,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told reporters afterwards. “Our guys are going to play.”

This morning, Capitals coach Barry Trotz reportedly said of the play, “It was OK, but it wasn’t I would say necessary.”