Daniel Winnik

Here are 10 stats you may find interesting


Not a whole lot of news to pass along, so here are some stats to chew on…

1. Anaheim’s Daniel Winnik has five goals in the Ducks’ first four games. Even more impressively, all five have been scored even strength. Winnik had five goals for Colorado last season…in 63 games.

2. Andrei Markov has scored the game-winning goal in each of Montreal’s three victories. Sometimes people forget how good Markov, 34, was before all his injury problems. In 2008-09, he had 64 points in 78 games. If he can stay healthy, the Habs have a shot at the playoffs.

3. Ottawa’s Craig Anderson leads all NHL goalies with a .975 save percentage. The 31-year-old has stopped all but three of the 119 shots he’s faced in four games.

4. Alex Ovechkin has spent a league-high 33:29 on the power play…and he only has one goal. In 2007-08, Ovechkin led the NHL with 22 power-play goals.

5. Drew Doughty has yet to register his first point of the season, despite playing almost 30 minutes per game in the Kings’ first five contests. Offense was an issue for the 23-year-old last year as well, when he tallied just 36 points, significantly fewer than the 59 he registered in 2008-09. Granted, he turned it around during the playoffs, racking up 16 points in 20 games on the way to winning the Stanley Cup. And to be fair to Doughty, much of a defenseman’s point total is related to the effectiveness of the forwards when they get the puck. The Kings have just 10 goals so far.

6. The Florida Panthers (1-4-0) have a minus-11 goal differential, the worst in the NHL. After beating Carolina, 5-1, in their first game of the season, the Panthers have lost four in a row by a combined score of 18-3. It’s worth noting Florida’s goal differential last season was minus-24, by far the worst of the 16 playoff teams.

7. The Canucks have blown a pair of 2-0 leads in their first six games. Last Sunday, they took a 2-0 lead on Edmonton and lost 3-2 in a shootout. Last night, the exact same thing happened in Los Angeles. Oh, and both times Roberto Luongo was in goal. (Update: This isn’t a criticism of Luongo, who was outstanding against the Kings. Just thought I’d point it out, given the guy’s made two starts this year and the Canucks have blown 2-0 leads in both.)

8. Only one team has yet to surrender a power-play goal, and that’s the Boston Bruins, who are a perfect 23-for-23 on the penalty kill. In a partially related story, the B’s haven’t lost in regulation yet.

9. Toronto’s Phil Kessel has 24 shots and zero goals. That’s the most shots of any player without scoring. Next in that category is Jarome Iginla, who’s taken 19 shots without any going in.

10. The Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk leads all NHL defensemen with eight points, all of them assists. Avalanche GM Greg Sherman must be so happy for him.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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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.

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.