17-0-5 — The Anaheim Ducks’ record in one-goal games. Which seems impressive, right? Must be a pretty tough group mentally to win that many close games, without losing even one in regulation. Funny thing, though — a lot of people will use this against them, arguing that the Ducks have had an inordinate amount of luck on their side and that the team isn’t as good as its record suggests. One piece of evidence those people may cite? The Colorado Avalanche were an NHL-best 28-4-8 in one-goal games last season. This season, the Avs are 8-6-8. (P.S. — Don’t shoot the messenger, there’s been this argument in baseball for a while now.)
10-3-0 — The Blackhawks’ record in games decided by three or more goals. Only one team (we’ll get to them next) has more blowout victories, and only one other team, the Nashville Predators, has a better winning percentage in blowouts (6-1, .857) than Chicago’s .769. Why is this relevant? Because a team’s record in blowouts is often considered a stronger predictor of future success than its record in close games. The Ducks, by the way, are 5-5 in games decided by three or more goals.
13-8-0 — Toronto’s record in games decided by three or more goals. Which is why the Leafs are such a perplexing team. Consider: no team has won more blowouts than Toronto, and only three teams have lost more blowouts than Toronto.
10-4-6 — Detroit’s record when scoring first. Only three teams — New Jersey, Edmonton, and Ottawa — have a lower winning percentage than that. Which you just know Mike Babcock hates. When the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2007-08, their record was an NHL-best 43-5-2 when scoring first. And it was 13-1-0 in the playoffs. “If you can play with the lead, you’re always a better team,” Babcock likes to say. Except in six of the last seven Wings defeats, they’ve lost despite opening the scoring.
26 — The number of times the Devils have been outshot this season. That’s 72 percent of their games. Last season, they were only outshot in 40 percent. A potential factor in the firing of coach Peter DeBoer, to be sure.