Five team stats you may find interesting

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97 — The number of goals the Buffalo Sabres have scored this season, by far the lowest in the NHL. Second to lowest is Calgary, at 119. (Chicago has scored 190 to lead the league.) That said, the Sabres’ offense has been much improved lately. They’ve scored 20 goals in their last six games, including five in Saturday’s 5-2 victory at Columbus.

0 — The number of times Chicago, St. Louis, Anaheim, and Colorado have been shut out. Meanwhile, Nashville’s been blanked a league-high seven times. The Blackhawks were also one of three teams (Boston and Pittsburgh were the two others) to avoid being shut out last season. The last time they failed to score at least one goal in a regular-season game was Feb. 25, 2012, in a 4-0 loss in L.A.

7-4-4 — The Islanders’ record when leading after two periods, giving them by far the worst winning percentage (.467) in that situation. New York blew another second-intermission lead Saturday versus the Blues, when T.J. Oshie tied the game 3-3 in the last minute and St. Louis went on to win in the shootout. Granted, the Isles believed they should have won in overtime, but it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if they’d have been able to lock it down in the first place. (Related: Islanders would love to stop blowing 2-0 leads)

215 — The number of times the Flyers have been shorthanded. Yep, the most in the NHL. The Bruins scored three power-play goals in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Philly, further highlighting a problem that Craig Berube has been harping on since taking over behind the Flyers’ bench. Whether it’s a lack of discipline or team speed that’s leading to all those penalties is up for debate. That all those penalties is hurting them is not. Even with the 10th-ranked penalty kill (83.3%), the Flyers have surrendered 36 power-play goals, tied for seventh most in the league.

48.9% — The Ducks’ faceoff percentage, ranking them 21st in the NHL. Perhaps somewhat surprising considering Anaheim’s spot atop the standings, but as we’ve noted in the past, not all winning teams are winners in the faceoff circle. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year with a 46.8% win rate in the playoffs. The Kings won it the year before at 49.7%. It’s one of those things where you’d love to be above 50 percent, but it’s not as important as it’s sometimes made out to be.

Report: Blue Jackets RFA Anderson in contact with Hockey Canada about 2018 Olympics

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The preseason is well underway and Josh Anderson is still without a contract.

Anderson, who scored 17 goals and 29 points last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of two remaining restricted free agents without a new deal. The other is Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings.

While there were reports this summer about Athanasiou potentially going to the KHL for this season, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Anderson’s representatives have reached out to Hockey Canada’s staff about the 2018 Olympics. 

Anderson’s entry-level contract, with an AAV of just over $894,000, expired at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, here is the latest on this ongoing contract situation.

Making an impression: Sergachev has ‘NHL written all over him’

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Mikhail Sergachev has, over the summer, stated his belief he can play in the NHL this season.

He had a small taste of NHL action last season, appearing in four games for Montreal — the team that selected him ninth overall in 2016 — before getting sent back to junior and then being traded in June to Tampa Bay, as part of a blockbuster involving Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

Well, Sergachev made a statement Wednesday in his preseason debut for the Lightning.

He scored once. He also played more than 22 minutes, which led all Lightning players on the night. That included time on the power play and penalty kill. If he was looking to make a favorable impression, to show that he belongs at the NHL level when the regular season begins, this seems to be another step in that direction.

“You watch this kid skate, shoot, stickhandle, he’s got NHL written all over him,” Tampa Bay’s associate coach Rick Bowness told the Tampa Bay Times. “Now we’ve got to give him experience. How much can he handle?”

There is competition on the blue line, with eight defensemen under contract in Tampa Bay for this season. That includes Sergachev, who is still only 19 years old. After getting sent back to junior last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games with Windsor and then won the Memorial Cup that spring. That said, he’s made it a point of saying going back to junior “is not an option” for him.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Mikhail Sergachev

Report: Lupul will have ‘independent medical exam’

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Joffrey Lupul issued a statement Wednesday, saying he wouldn’t seek a second medical opinion after the Maple Leafs announced he didn’t pass his training camp physical.

A day later, reports have surfaced that the 33-year-old forward will, in fact, undergo another, independent medical test.

That is according to James Mirtle of The Athletic:

Earlier this week, Lupul made accusations against the Maple Leafs on Instagram.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per a screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

Lupul, who didn’t pass his physical for a second year in a row, issued an apology yesterday. But those comments — which have since been deleted — seem to have grabbed the attention of the league.

Darren Dreger of TSN added to that, saying it’s the NHL pursuing a second medical opinion on this matter.

“The National Hockey League has that right to pursue the second opinion. That’s exactly what they’re engaging in right now,” Dreger reported Thursday.

“The reasoning behind it is because of the comment that Lupul made on social media. I’ll go back a year ago. The league didn’t step in a year ago but Lupul stayed quiet at that point. So they want to make sure — ‘They’ being the National Hockey League — that the medical evaluation from the Toronto Maple Leafs is 100 per cent above the board.”

Team USA won’t include NHL draft-eligible prospects at 2018 Olympics

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) General manager Jim Johannson has ruled out the possibility of the U.S. men’s hockey team having NHL draft-eligible prospects competing at the Winter Olympics in February.

Johannson tells The Associated Press he doesn’t view anyone from the 18-and-younger pool of prospects capable of cracking the projected lineup of non-NHL players, many of whom are opening this season playing in Europe.

USA Hockey’s assistant executive director says he’s also targeting a number of established college players, and would not rule out keeping a spot or two open for members of the U.S. team competing at the World Junior Championships this winter.

Johansson spoke in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, where he is attending USA Hockey’s sixth annual All-American Prospects game. The game features the top 42 U.S.-born players eligible to be selected in the NHL draft in June.