Stunning numbers from the 2020-21 NHL regular season

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During the 2020-21 NHL season we will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers from around the league. Here is what has stood out to us…

Connor McDavid‘s 100 point season

• The most stunning number from this season is still the fact that Connor McDavid managed to top the 100-point mark in a 56-game season. Say what you want about the quality of the North Division, but if it were simply that aspect that resulted in him putting up these numbers then it stands to reason that every other star offensive player in the division would have seen a dramatic spike in their production.

That simply did not happen. Most of the top offensive players in the division either performed at a similar rate when compared to a season ago, or actually saw a drop in their offense.

The most likely explanation is that an all-time great player hit one of his peak seasons and played like the dominant force he is.

• HIs 1.89 point per game average would have projected to 154 points over a full 82-game season.

Over the past three years he has scored at a 1.60 pace that projects out to 132 points per 82 games.

[Related: Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Schedule]

• He enters the weekend with a 20-point lead over the next closest player (teammate Leon Draisaitl) and a 35-point lead over the next closest non-Oilers player. The gap between McDavid and Mitch Marner in third place is the same as the gap between Marner and Nino Neiderreiter, the 105th ranked point producer in the league.

The last time a player won the scoring title by at least 20 points in a season was Jaromir Jagr during the 1997-98 season when he finished with 127 points, 20 points more than Teemu Selanne.

• There have only been 14 100-point seasons in the NHL since the start of the 2012-13 season, Edmonton teammates McDavid (four) and Draisaitl (two) have combined for six of them.

Other stunning numbers from the season…

• Vegas and Colorado had the two best goal differentials in the league at plus-67 and plus-64. No other team in the league had a mark better than plus-43 for the season. How impressive are those numbers for Vegas and Colorado? In the NHL’s most recent 82-game season only one team (Tampa Bay) had a mark higher than plus-64. The Avalanche and Golden Knights did that in 56 games.

• Thanks in part to the emergence of superstar rookie Kirill Kaprizov the Minnesota Wild jumped from 15th in the league in goals to eighth overall. It is just the second time in the entire existence of the Wild franchise that they finished a regular season in the top-10 in goals scored.

Auston Matthews scored 41 goals in 52 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not sure what else to add as to how stunning that is.

• After starting the season with just two wins in their first 15 games the Ottawa Senators finished the regular season with a 21-16-4 record over their final 41 games. Way better than anybody expected this season.

• Since acquiring Taylor Hall from the Sabres, the Boston Bruins have outscored teams by a 15-1 margin with him on the ice during 5-on-5 play. With Patrice Bergeron on the ice the Bruins are outscoring teams by a 17-6 margin during 5-on-5 play. That means over the past 20 games the Bruins have a 32-7 goal edge when one of their top two lines is on the ice. That makes them pretty tough to beat.

[Related: Taylor Hall, Bruins peaking at right team]

Sidney Crosby averaged a point-per-game for the 16th consecutive season to start his career. Only one other player (Wayne Gretzky) can boast such a streak. Gretzky went for 19 seasons to start his career. The only players in league history with more point per game seasons overall are Gretzky (19) and Gordie Howe (17).

Patrick Marleau broke the NHL record for games played in a career. He has also played in 910 consecutive games, currently the fourth longest consecutive games played streak in the NHL. He is also one of three players in the league that currently have a streak of at least 900 games. Florida’s Keith Yandle has a streak of 922 games, Marleau is at 910, and Phil Kessel is at 900. It is possible that all three can break Doug Jarvis’ record of 964 games next season.

[Related: Patrick Marleau games played record]

Jaccob Slavin played 52 games this season. He logged more than 1,195 minutes and averaged 22:59 minutes per game. He did that while playing a huge role against the other team’s best, and most talented players all season in a top-pairing defense role. He took one penalty all season. Just one. That penalty: A puck over the glass penalty. If there was ever a slam dunk Lady Byng winner, this is it.

• Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar finished the regular season with 44 points in 44 games, a point per game average. It is just the seventh time since the 2005-06 season that a defenseman has played at least 40 games in a season and averaged more than a point per game.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Sharks goalie James Reimer declines to wear Pride jersey

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San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn’t take part in pregame warmups, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

“As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

“Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

Panarin, Shesterkin lead Rangers to 6-0 rout of Penguins

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NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers routed Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night for their second win over the Penguins in three days.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba also scored for the surging Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and are 12-4-0 in their past 16 at Madison Square Garden.

Shesterkin won his fifth straight and posted his second shutout this season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sprawling save five minutes into the third period to preserve the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other one this season was a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

“When you put in hard and honest work, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. ”We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans loved it. We’re playing for them.”

The Penguins lost their third straight and trail the Rangers by 12 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, still in wild-card position, is trying to reach the playoffs for the 17th straight time.

“Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”At this time of year, you have to have a short memory. We still have control of our destiny.”

Patrick Kane and defenseman K’Andre Miller also had two assists apiece as New York improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils, who lost at Florida on Saturday.

“This was a big game for our goalie and our team,” Panarin said. “If you work at playing the right way, you have opportunities for goals.”

Since Dec. 5, when they turned around their season with a 6-4 comeback win at home over St. Louis, the Rangers are 29-9-5.

As he did on Thursday when the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He got his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.

Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle off a pass from Adam Fox.

Tarasenko increased the lead at 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 9. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with the Rangers.

Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal, which moved the Rangers forward within two of Vic Hadfield for fifth place on the franchise list.

New York won Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and added an empty-netter.

After Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry in net following Kreider’s goal, Trouba beat the replacement with a sharp-angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to increase the margin to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.

Panarin scored again at 16:38 of the second – his 22nd goal of the season – to make it 6-0, with assists to Kane and Filip Chytil.

“We’re building chemistry, building every day and every game,” Kane said.

Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads the Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.

“It’s nice to see that many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were played alongside Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We’re happy tonight.”

Zibanejad assisted on goals by Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – over his last 20 games.

“It was just one of those nights when the puck goes in for us,” Zibanejad said. “And obviously Igor gives us a boost making all those saves.”

NOTES: The Penguins were missing defenseman Jeff Petry after he was hit with an unpenalized elbow from Rangers forward Tyler Motte on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defenseman Mark Friedman for the first time since Feb. 11. … The Rangers were without injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 10th straight game.


Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

Coyotes sign Shane Doan’s son to entry-level contract

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Josh Doan is following his father’s footsteps into professional hockey.

The Arizona Coyotes signed the 21-year-old forward to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2023-24 NHL season. He will report to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL and play his first game against the Calgary Wranglers.

Doan’s father, Shane, played 21 seasons with the franchise, many of those as captain, and followed it from Winnipeg to the desert in 1996. Shane Doan now serves as Arizona’s chief hockey development officer.

The Coyotes drafted Josh Doan in the second round of the 2021, but he opted to play for the hometown Arizona State Sun Devils.

Josh Doan set school records for goals (12) and assists (25) as a freshman last season. He had 16 goals and 22 assists in 39 games with Arizona State this season.

The 6-foot-1, 183-pounder also played two seasons for the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman has shoulder surgery

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CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman had surgery on his right shoulder.

The team said the operation was performed in Los Angeles. Team physician Michael Terry said the 23-year-old Guttman is expected “to be out of hockey activities for approximately four months.”

Guttman had been a pleasant surprise for rebuilding Chicago. He made his NHL debut last month and finished the season with four goals and two assists in 14 games.

Guttman was selected by Tampa Bay in the 2017 draft. He agreed to a two-year contract with Chicago in August 2022 that had a $950,000 salary cap hit.