23.5% — The Kings’ power-play percentage in the postseason, ending a string of three consecutive Cup winners who struggled with the man advantage. (Chicago converted at just 11.4 percent last year; Los Angeles was at 12.8 percent the year before; and Boston was at 11.4 percent they year before that.) The 2014 Kings were particularly dangerous with the man advantage against Chicago in the Western Conference Final, when they went 6-for-19 against the ‘Hawks.
3.38 — Goals per game for the Kings, the most of any team in the playoffs. San Jose finished second, at 3.14; Chicago third, at 3.05. Which is notable, given the Kings, the NHL’s best defensive team during the regular season, played both those teams, allowing a good number of goals to the Sharks (22) and ‘Hawks (23) in their respective seven-game series.
83.3% — The Kings’ penalty kill in the 2014 postseason was decent, but not as effective as it was in 2012 (92.1%). They shut down the Rangers’ PP though, allowing just two goals on 22 New York tries.
1.29 — The Kings’ five-on-five scoring ratio. The highest of any playoff team this year, but lower than the 1.52 mark they put up in 2012, when, as previously noted, they didn’t have the power play going. L.A.’s five-on-five scoring ratio was the lowest for a champion since Chicago’s 1.22 mark in 2010.
In fact, the postseason team stats of the 2014 Kings and 2010 ‘Hawks were remarkably similar:
+14 — The Kings’ third-period goal differential in the postseason. Scored 30, only allowed 16, making it by far their best period. In a related story, L.A. won four games — a quarter of its 16 postseason victories — that it trailed after two periods, including two against the Rangers. The last team to win four playoff games that it trailed after two was the 1999 Dallas Stars.
The Buzzer: Celebrating genius of McDavid, Bergeron, Karlsson
There were great choices for player of the night, but ultimately, Bergeron’s return to the Bruins lineup stands tallest. He scored a goal and three assists, soothing injury-bummed Bruins fans as part of Boston’s victory against Vancouver.
Bergeron didn’t ease right in. He won half of his draws, fired six shots on goal, and almost logged 21 minutes of ice time. Maybe he can hold things together for Boston?
Update: The Edmonton Oilers ended up needing every bit of Connor McDavid‘s brilliance, as goals weren’t coming easily against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
(Even though, as you can see with that highlight-reel assist, McDavid often makes it look easy.)
McDavid also managed a secondary assist on Mark Letestu‘s overtime-winner, ending the Edmonton Oilers’ losing streak at four games. The Blackhawks continue to be resourceful in getting standings points, in this case falling 2-1 in OT.
Anton Forsberg made 40 of 42 saves, but it wasn’t enough against a driven group led by number 97.
If you haven’t seen the more amazing of McDavid’s two helpers, do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it.
Connor McDavid’s speed and skill are glorious, but the thing that makes him extra-sensational is just how unstoppable he seems. Even against some of the NHL’s best.
To start the season, McDavid made very-solid Calgary Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie look downright permeable during the most impressive goal in his opening-night hat trick.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, the superstar tore through the Chicago Blackhawks – including certain future Hall of Famer Duncan Keith – and then sent absolutely obscene pass to Patrick Maroon for an easy goal.
You know how people used to say that a fire hydrant could score 50 goals with Mario Lemieux? We might need to bump that down to 30 for modern hockey, but either way, Maroon might laugh uncomfortably at such jokes.
If you prefer your jaw-droppers in GIF form, drop away:
The roller coaster isn’t slowing down for the Boston Bruins.
With Tuukka Rask‘s concussion looming over the proceedings, the Bruins gave fans some reason to celebrate; Patrice Bergeron scored a goal and three assists in an impressive 6-3 output by the B’s top guns against the overmatched Vancouver Canucks.
Even Anders Bjork enjoyed some measure of redemption after bowling over Rask in practice, as the young player scored two goals and an assist despite being limited to 12:29 TOI.
Other big guns like Brad Marchand did their increasingly reliable damage, with David Pastrnak probably providing the most exhilarating goal of the contest:
Yeah, that might get some attention from Canucks coach Travis Green in film sessions, assuming he doesn’t just burn the tape.
Bergeron broke down his night to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy after the game:
The Bruins really made Erik Gudbranson and the Canucks pay for boarding Frank Vatrano, as they scored three power-play goals on the major penalty. Vatrano’s another health situation to watch, although it’s heartening that he returned during the game.
So … solid stuff overall, as the Bruins provided ample evidence that they might have the weapons to scrap through all this bad luck.
Then again, if opponents can slow the top-end guys, you wonder what kind of supporting cast the Bruins will have left through this run of attrition. David Krejci is the latest name to land on Boston’s troubling list of walking wounded.
Update: David Krejci will not return with an upper-body injury.