During the 2021-22 NHL season we will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers from around the league. Today we take a look at what is standing out to us from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Stanley Cup Final is set to begin.
The dominance of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
For the past seven years the Edmonton Oilers have been all about the McDavid and Draisaitl duo and how far that duo can take them. This year it ended up being the Western Conference Finals. Even though the Oilers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche, it was still their most successful season in more than a decade. Even though McDavid and Draisaitl are going to play in just 16 games this postseason there is still a very real possibility they are going to finish the playoffs as the top two scorers. McDavid recorded 33 points while Draisaitl, playing basically on one leg, recorded 32 points. The only player in Colorado or Tampa Bay that is within even nine points of them is Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov.
What is so stunning about those numbers?
Since the 1995-96 season only two playes have recorded at least 33 points in a single postseason: Kucherov with 34 points in 2019-20 and Evgeni Malkin with 36 points during the 2008-09 postseason for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Malkin reached his number in 24 games, while Kucherov did it in 25 games.
Another series win for Pat Maroon
Maroon is looking to win his fourth straight Stanley Cup after winning one with St. Louis in 2019 and then each of the past two with the Lightning. Including this postseason, Maroon has now been a part of 15 consecutive postseason series wins. The last time he was on a team that lost a postseason series was with the 2017-18 playoffs when he was a member of the New Jersey Devils. They lost that series to the Lightning.
More dominance from Andrei Vasilevskiy in elimination games
Vasilevsky stopped 20 out of 21 shots in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 Game 6 win on Saturday night, sending the Lightning to another Stanley Cup Final.
It also continued his dominance in potential knockout games.
For his career he has a .945 save percentage in games where the Lightning have a chance to eliminate an opponent.
In three such games this postseason he is 3-0 with a .980 save percentage, having stopped 99 out of 101 shots.
Since the start of the 2019-20 playoffs he is 11-4 in such games (with only one regulation loss) and a .951 save percentage and six shutouts.
The Avalanche have been one of the league’s best teams all season with an absolutely sensational offense. That has carried over to the playoffs. Through their first 14 games (where they are 12-2 with two series sweeps) they averaging 4.64 goals per game, more than 40 shots on goal per game, and have a power play that is clicking at more than 31 percent.
Cale Makar‘s run for the ages
Speaking of Colorado’s offensive dominance, it all starts with Makar this postseason.
He enters the Stanley Cup Final with 22 points in 14 games. That is a 1.57 points per game average. No defenseman with a minimum of 10 postseason games played has averaged that high of a mark since the start of the 1990 postseason. The only defenders that have been even close to that number have been Brian Leetch (1.48 in 1993-94 and 1.40 in 1994-95) and Ray Bourque (1.32 in 1990-91).