This just in from the NHL’s department of “Whoa, that’s insane!” Following are a few things about the first round of the playoffs that the league thinks you may find interesting.
Sixteen of the 48 opening-round games (33.3%) required overtime, breaking the mark of 15 set in 2001. In addition, three games featured go-ahead goals in the final five minutes of regulation. Seven of the eight series had at least one overtime game.
Thirty-two of the 48 first-round games (66.7%) had one-goal margins. Teams were either tied or separated by one goal for 82.8% of total playing time.
There were 12 games in which both clubs held the lead, more than double the total from the corresponding period in 2011 (five).
Historic Road Dominance
Road teams finished the opening round with a 30-18 (.625) record, the highest winning percentage since the NHL switched to the 16-team playoff format in 1979-80.
That last one is pretty wacky. Consider: The Kings won all three of their games in Vancouver. The Caps took three of four at Boston. In the Chicago-Phoenix series, the road team went 5-1.
I blame the fans for not cheering hard enough.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.