1-7 — The Los Angeles Kings’ record in the shootout. Which is worth mentioning, given the defending champs are sitting three points back of the Calgary Flames for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Kings, by the way, finished 8-6 in the shootout last season, with mostly the same players partaking. Why, it’s almost like the shootout is little more than a coin toss that proves nothing whatsoever about the quality of a hockey team.
6-1 — Buffalo’s record in the shootout. (See above re: the shootout proving “nothing whatsoever about the quality of a hockey team.”) Meanwhile, the Sabres have just eight wins in regulation or overtime, putting them on pace to finish the season with 14 ROWs, the same number they finished with last season. How does that compare to previous full seasons? In 2011-12, the Minnesota Wild had the fewest ROWs, with 24. In 2010-11, the Oilers finished with the fewest, with 23. Which is to say, even compared to other bad NHL teams, the Sabres are a really bad NHL team. Great in the shootout though!
93.6 — The Islanders’ combined power play (19.4%) and penalty kill (74.2%) rates. Obviously, not good. In fact, only Edmonton, Calgary, and Buffalo have a lower combined special-teams rate. The Isles, first place in the Metropolitan Division, have surrendered six power-play goals in their last four games. Yet thanks to the offense, they managed to win three of those games.
1 — Goals for the Vancouver Canucks in their last three home games. Last night, they were shut out for the second straight time at Rogers Arena, falling 4-0 to the Ducks. The last home goal Vancouver scored came at the 3:39 mark of the first period against Florida on Jan. 8, meaning the Canucks have gone 176:21 without scoring at home. For a team that hoped to get back to playing an “entertaining, high-paced” style, this is not good.
-3.1 — The Montreal Canadiens’ average shot differential. Only six teams are worse: Arizona, Toronto, Colorado, New Jersey, Columbus, and Buffalo. You will note that none of those six are currently in a playoff position, while the Habs are 30-13-3 and very much in one. Carey Price for the Hart Trophy? You could make a very strong case that no player is more valuable to his team.