The 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.
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
3. 5 tied with 3 goals
1 (tied at +7) Sidney Crosby
2. Chris Kunitz +6
3 (tied with +5) David Legwand
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.)
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?
Christian Ehrhoff has cleared waivers, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The Kings made the 33-year-old defenseman available yesterday. It’s expected he’ll be assigned to AHL Ontario, with 23-year-old d-man Kevin Gravel getting called up.
“Nothing wrong with Christian Ehrhoff,” coach Darryl Sutter told reporters Wednesday. “We’re not exactly world beaters here. We don’t have the best defense in the league or the best team in the league. We’re trying to get better in a hurry.”
In addition to the Ehrhoff news, goalie Peter Budaj has been added to the Kings’ roster on the NHL’s media website, meaning Jonathan Quick (reportedly “day-to-day” with an injury sustained Tuesday in Boston) could miss some time.
Plenty of smoke coming from the Canadian capital this week.
After landing Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf in a shock blockbuster on Tuesday, there are now reports that Ottawa’s in the mix for disgruntled Bolts forward Jonathan Drouin.
Two separate TVA reports — one from Louis Jean, one from Renaud Lavoie — suggest that Sens GM Bryan Murray is working to get Drouin out of Tampa Bay. Drouin, the third overall pick in ’13, hasn’t played hockey at all since late January, when he was suspended without pay for failing to report to games for the club’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
The Drouin-to-Ottawa move makes sense on a number of fronts:
— As Lavoie notes, Murray is always looking to “find those players who quote-unquote ‘nobody wants anymore.'” Such was the case with Kyle Turris, who was acquired by the Sens after a falling out with the Coyotes in 2011. Recently, Turris was asked about the similarities between his situation and Drouin’s, saying the time after his trade request was made public was a “tough, tough go,” but that the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
— The rumored asking price for Drouin is believed to be defenseman Cody Ceci, the former first-round pick that partnered with Phaneuf in last night’s loss to Detroit. This, too, would make sense — Ceci, 22, is in his third professional season and progressing nicely, having already matched his career-best in goals. In several ways, he’s like another rumored target in Drouin trade talks:
— Dumba, like Ceci, is a pending RFA still on his entry-level deal. That club controlled contract would be important for the Bolts’ financial situation. Ceci could also be a capable replacement for Lightning d-man Jason Garrison, who on Thursday was ruled out for 3-5 weeks with a lower-body injury.
And remember, Murray isn’t afraid to make splashy deals. Prior to the Phaneuf trade, he orchestrated the Bobby Ryan move with Anaheim and, a year later, traded then-captain Jason Spezza to Dallas.
Murray and Yzerman have also connected on a trade once before. In ’13, the Sens sent Ben Bishop to Tampa in exchange for Cory Conacher.
The Tampa Bay Lightning expect defenseman Jason Garrison to miss 3-5 weeks with a lower-body injury.
Garrison was hurt in Monday’s 5-1 loss to Ottawa. The 31-year-old played just 4:10 of that game, missing the final two periods.
“That’s a tough one too, because he’s a big minute-munching defenseman for us,” coach Jon Cooper told reporters. “A big body and size.”
Garrison has just four goals and three assists in 52 games, but he’s third on the Bolts in average ice time (18:23), second in blocked shots (76), and third in hits (69).
Matt Carle replaced Garrison for Tuesday’s 4-2 loss in Montreal.
Nazem Kadri‘s “inappropriate gestures” on Tuesday night have left him lighter in the wallet.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that Kadri has been fined $5,000 — the maximum allowable under the CBA — for making a throat slash gesture at Mark Giordano during Calgary’s 4-3 win over the Leafs two nights ago.
The incident occurred after Kadri took exception to a heavy Giordano check. While on the bench, the Leafs forward made the gesture, one the NHL has been cracking down on since 2000.
Former NHLer Nick Boyton was suspended twice for making the gesture, first in 2006 then again in 2010. He was banned one game for each incident.