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.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?