The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
Most will remember the 2005-06 season as the year we finally got hockey back.
Others — namely those in Carolina — will remember it as the year the ‘Canes won their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Me? I remember it as one of the most anomalous seasons in NHL history.
Consider, if you will, a few of the bizarre things that occurred in 2005-06:
— This was the highest-scoring regular season in NHL history. Teams had an average of 480 power plays that year, up from 348 pre-lockout.
— Jonathan Cheechoo led all scorers that year with a career-high 56 goals. The next year, he’d score 37…then 23…then 12…then five. Now he’s playing for Peoria of the AHL.
— Brian Gionta finished sixth in scoring with a career-high 48 goals. Prior to that, he’d never scored more than 21. Since then, he’s never scored more than 29.
— 30-goal scorers included: Petr Prucha, Anson Carter, Mike Sillinger and Marek Svatos.
— Dallas went 12-1. Jussi Jokinen scored on his first nine attempts.
— Boston went 2-8 with the worst shooting percentage (16.7) in the league. Twelve Bruins attempted shots that year; only four of them scored.
Standings and Playoffs
— Detroit won 58 games thanks to playing in an awful Central Division and the unbalanced schedule.
— In the West, no team with home-ice advantage made it to the semifinals. The top four seeds were all bounced in the opening round: No. 8 Edmonton beat No. 1 Detroit, No. 7 Colorado beat No. 2 Dallas, No. 6 Anaheim beat No. 3 Calgary and No. 5 San Jose beat No. 4 Nashville.
— Carolina dumped starting goalie Martin Gerber two games into its first-round series against Montreal. Rookie Cam Ward came in, got hot, and led the ‘Canes to the Stanley Cup, winning the Conn Smythe.
— The Oilers played three goalies in the Cup final. Dwayne Roloson started, but hurt his knee. He was replaced by Ty Conklin, who let in this gaffe. Conklin was then replaced by Jussi Markkanen, who was out of the league a season later.
Other weird stuff
— Joe Thornton got traded from Boston to San Jose, then won the Hart Trophy. First and only time that’s happened.
— The Panthers had to re-schedule two games due to Hurricane Wilma.
— And finally, Marek Malik did this:
Just a weird year, man.