Matt Stajan

Some Stats: Matt Stajan still hasn’t scored

Some Stats is a weekly feature that will run every Thursday on PHT. In Some Stats, we look at some stats.

227 – Number of NHL players, not counting goalies, without a goal. For the record, that total includes guys like Victor Oreskovich, who got called up to the Canucks Tuesday, beaten up by Shane O’Brien, and sent back to the AHL the next day. But it also includes guys like Matt Stajan, Marty Reasoner and Magnus Paajarvi. By the way, does the four-year, $14-million deal Darryl Sutter gave Stajan win the “Everyone thought it was a bad idea at the time and here’s the proof” award? I still maintain Sutter only did that so he could say he traded Dion Phaneuf for a high-priced center.

6 – Number of teams averaging more than three goals per game (Philadelphia, Boston, Vancouver, Chicago, Washington and Toronto.) No huge surprise there – only four teams managed 3-plus in 2010-11. But when you compare it to the year after the lockout when 16 teams did, you have to wonder if anyone at the NHL is busy thinking up ways to increase scoring. Not that they should go back to calling every hook and hold, but it’s an issue worth discussing. At the very least, somebody should float the idea of bigger nets, just to watch all the purists lose their minds.

1.9 – Martin Havlat’s shooting percentage. He’s taken 53 shots and scored once. Is he doing it wrong or something? Not sure what you tell a guy in Havlat’s situation. Choke up on it? Bend your knees? Pass it to someone else?

.636 – Nashville’s winning percentage when leading after two periods, the lowest of any team in the NHL. And you know that’s just killing Barry Trotz. For whatever reason, the Preds have had trouble locking it down this season. Even during their most recent victory, a 6-5 win over the Canucks last Thursday, they blew a two-goal lead before winning it late.

94.7 – New Jersey’s penalty-killing percentage. The Devils have surrendered just five goals while shorthanded. All season. Their PK’s been perfect the last nine games. Why isn’t this getting more publicity? The Dallas Stars own the NHL record for best PK, finishing 1999-2000 at 89.3 percent. Get out to the rink and watch this team, Devils fans! You won’t be disappointed…in their ability to kill penalties.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.