Tyler Ennis,  Matt Moulson,  Tyler Myers

Five team stats you may find interesting


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.

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

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Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado