1. For every goal the Sharks have allowed five-on-five, they’ve scored four. (The actual ratio is 16 goals scored, four allowed.) Is it sustainable? No, it isn’t. Last season, the best ratio a team had in that category was 1.52 (Chicago). However, it speaks to San Jose’s absolute dominance during its first five games, particularly while even strength.
2. Anaheim has enjoyed 19:10 more in power-play time than PK time. No other team has a positive differential as high as that. If you’re a Ducks fans, you may think this is great news, that it speaks loudly to the team’s disciplined ways. But while there’s some truth to that, there’s another not-so-positive explanation: Anaheim’s PK (ranked 29th) has been awful, and its PP (30th) has been even worse. Translation: Too many PKs ending early, too many PPs going the distance.
3. Colorado is the only team that hasn’t surrendered a power-play goal. In five games, the Avalanche have killed off all 12 minors they’ve taken (24:00 time shorthanded), just one of the reasons they’ve yet to lose. The Avs ranked 20th (80.3%) in penalty killing last season.
4. The Sabres are being outshot by an average of 9.2 shots per game (34.6 to 25.4). Suffice to say, this is no way to win. Even more worrying, Buffalo has twice recently failed to register shots while trailing late in contests. They got just six in last night’s third period versus the Wild while down 2-1, and Thursday they got just eight in the third while losing by three to Columbus. Not that the first period has been any better for Buffalo. In seven games, the Sabres have only scored once in the opening 20 minutes.
5. The Flyers are oh-for-three when they outshoot their opponent, including Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Wings when Philadelphia outshot Detroit, 34-30. So while there’s plenty to criticize about Philly’s 1-5-0 start, in some ways the team has been unlucky to run into some good goaltending. Four opposition netminders — Jonathan Bernier (Leafs), Carey Price (Habs), Thomas Greiss (Coyotes), and Jimmy Howard (Wings) — have been named stars in Flyers losses so far.
Christian Ehrhoff has cleared waivers, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The Kings made the 33-year-old defenseman available yesterday. It’s expected he’ll be assigned to AHL Ontario, with 23-year-old d-man Kevin Gravel getting called up.
“Nothing wrong with Christian Ehrhoff,” coach Darryl Sutter told reporters Wednesday. “We’re not exactly world beaters here. We don’t have the best defense in the league or the best team in the league. We’re trying to get better in a hurry.”
In addition to the Ehrhoff news, goalie Peter Budaj has been added to the Kings’ roster on the NHL’s media website, meaning Jonathan Quick (reportedly “day-to-day” with an injury sustained Tuesday in Boston) could miss some time.
Plenty of smoke coming from the Canadian capital this week.
After landing Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf in a shock blockbuster on Tuesday, there are now reports that Ottawa’s in the mix for disgruntled Bolts forward Jonathan Drouin.
Two separate TVA reports — one from Louis Jean, one from Renaud Lavoie — suggest that Sens GM Bryan Murray is working to get Drouin out of Tampa Bay. Drouin, the third overall pick in ’13, hasn’t played hockey at all since late January, when he was suspended without pay for failing to report to games for the club’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
The Drouin-to-Ottawa move makes sense on a number of fronts:
— As Lavoie notes, Murray is always looking to “find those players who quote-unquote ‘nobody wants anymore.'” Such was the case with Kyle Turris, who was acquired by the Sens after a falling out with the Coyotes in 2011. Recently, Turris was asked about the similarities between his situation and Drouin’s, saying the time after his trade request was made public was a “tough, tough go,” but that the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
— The rumored asking price for Drouin is believed to be defenseman Cody Ceci, the former first-round pick that partnered with Phaneuf in last night’s loss to Detroit. This, too, would make sense — Ceci, 22, is in his third professional season and progressing nicely, having already matched his career-best in goals. In several ways, he’s like another rumored target in Drouin trade talks:
— Dumba, like Ceci, is a pending RFA still on his entry-level deal. That club controlled contract would be important for the Bolts’ financial situation. Ceci could also be a capable replacement for Lightning d-man Jason Garrison, who on Thursday was ruled out for 3-5 weeks with a lower-body injury.
And remember, Murray isn’t afraid to make splashy deals. Prior to the Phaneuf trade, he orchestrated the Bobby Ryan move with Anaheim and, a year later, traded then-captain Jason Spezza to Dallas.
Murray and Yzerman have also connected on a trade once before. In ’13, the Sens sent Ben Bishop to Tampa in exchange for Cory Conacher.
The Tampa Bay Lightning expect defenseman Jason Garrison to miss 3-5 weeks with a lower-body injury.
Garrison was hurt in Monday’s 5-1 loss to Ottawa. The 31-year-old played just 4:10 of that game, missing the final two periods.
“That’s a tough one too, because he’s a big minute-munching defenseman for us,” coach Jon Cooper told reporters. “A big body and size.”
Garrison has just four goals and three assists in 52 games, but he’s third on the Bolts in average ice time (18:23), second in blocked shots (76), and third in hits (69).
Matt Carle replaced Garrison for Tuesday’s 4-2 loss in Montreal.
Nazem Kadri‘s “inappropriate gestures” on Tuesday night have left him lighter in the wallet.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that Kadri has been fined $5,000 — the maximum allowable under the CBA — for making a throat slash gesture at Mark Giordano during Calgary’s 4-3 win over the Leafs two nights ago.
The incident occurred after Kadri took exception to a heavy Giordano check. While on the bench, the Leafs forward made the gesture, one the NHL has been cracking down on since 2000.
Former NHLer Nick Boyton was suspended twice for making the gesture, first in 2006 then again in 2010. He was banned one game for each incident.