Some Stats is a weekly feature that will run every Thursday on PHT. In Some Stats, we look at some stats.
Minus-2 – New Jersey’s plus/minus…while shorthanded. Nine power-play goals allowed, seven shorthanded goals scored. We’ve raved about the Devils’ PK before in Some Stats. It might not be the flashiest story, but consider this – the Leafs are minus-31 shorthanded.
7-1 – New Jersey’s record in the shootout. The Devils’ dominance in the breakaway competition has helped them to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, meaning they’d make the playoffs if they started today. It begs the question, should a team with the fifth fewest regulation/overtime wins (11) in the league be in a position to qualify for the postseason? Meanwhile, Washington has 16 R/OT victories and finds itself on the outside looking in.
43 – Number of players with more goals than Alex Ovechkin. Not to beat a dead horse, but 11 goals in 32 games? At the pace Ovechkin’s on, he’ll finish the season with 28 goals. A good total for most players; a disaster for a guy who once scored 65. Ovechkin has two goals in his last three games, so maybe there’s reason to believe he’s turning it around. Then again, remember when Ovechkin scoring two goals in three games wasn’t even close to worth talking about?
5:04 – Average shorthanded ice time for Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Put another way, Beauchemin is spending over 8% of the game killing Anaheim penalties. He must be doing a pretty good, too – the Ducks’ PK is 12th in the NHL (82.5%). By the way, Beauchemin’s a pending UFA on a non-playoff team. Aren’t the Flyers looking for a defenseman that can play big minutes?
19 – Goals for Marian Gaborik. Including four in his last two games. Is this getting enough attention? The Rangers’ sniper is only one goal behind league leaders Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos. Gaborik’s not playing with Brad Richards, if you thought that might be it. He’s on a line with sophomore Derek Stepan in the middle and the apologetic Artem Anisimov on the other wing. Gaborik finished with 22 goals last season. He’s currently on pace for 50.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.