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).
Last post, I shared the “typical” stats. Here’s a few league leaders in some of the less “appreciated” statistics.
- Craig Anderson is the league’s leader in goalie points, with 1 assist. He’s doing a little bit of everything, isn’t he?
- Henrik Zetterberg has both of the Detroit Red Wings’ game winning goals this post-season.
- Pavel Datsyuk won the most faceoffs so far (47) but Ryan Kesler nearly won as many with one less game played (44).
- Datsyuk also leads the playoffs in even strength faceoff wins (37), Sidney Crosby leads the league in powerplay face off wins (13) and Blair Betts leads the league in shorthanded faceoff wins with an impressive 11 in penalty situations. If you want to know why the Flyers are containing many Devils powerplays, that’s not the only reason but the best way to clear a puck out of the zone easily is to get that first faceoff win.
- Jarkko Ruutu leads the playoffs in PIM (28) but Andrew Alberts is in second with 23 PIM in only half the games played (two to Ruutu’s three).
- Marc-Andre Bergeron stands alone with the league’s worst plus/minus rating at -5.
- Mike Grier, Darren Helm and Jarkko Ruutu share the league’s hits lead at 20, but Grier managed to do that in only three games to Helm and Ruutu’s 4.
- Anton Volchenkov blocked the most shots so far with 15, but Hal Gill blocked 14 in one less game played. (Cue “then again, Gill wasn’t actually planning on blocking the shots, he just couldn’t skate fast enough out of the way jokes.” Cue them from me, actually.)
- The LASIK Award for most missed shot goes to Patrick Marleau, whose aim failed him 13 times already. (Note: there is no LASIK award, except in my imaginary land of Snarkonia.)
- Jason Spezza leads in giveaways, with 8.
- Ryan Kesler (not, somehow, Pavel Datysuk) leads the league in takeaways with 7. In other news, Kesler is really really awesome.
- Matt Cullen leads the league in powerplay points with 5 (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Chris Pronger leads the NHL in overall time on ice (116:28) and per game (29:07). The highest forward in time on ice per game is Kesler, with 24 minutes per game so far.
- No one leads any category in shootouts, because there are no playoff shootouts (reason #99 on my billion-entry list of “Why the NHL playoffs are awesome”).
What I learned from these stats: if the Flyers make good on their 3-1 series lead and beat the Devils, Chris Pronger and Blair Betts deserve a lot of the credit. Ryan Kesler’s beast status is re-confirmed. Oh, and Jason Spezza/Andrew Alberts might be worthy of some of the scorn they are receiving from fans.