You possibly can’t put an excessive amount of inventory within the early days of the NHL common season, nevertheless it’s nonetheless attention-grabbing to dig into the numbers and see what has transpired thus far. Listed here are some stats that soar out as groups hit the five-game mark of 2019-20:
-10Kevin Labanc’s league-worst plus/minus ranking by means of San Jose’s first 5 video games. It’s protected to say it’s not the beginning the 23-year-old Sharks winger was searching for after signing an especially team-friendly one-year, $1-million deal in the summertime. Labanc has been a minus participant in all 5 video games thus far for the 1-Four-Zero Sharks, together with going minus-Three in San Jose’s lone win thus far this season, a 5-Four choice over Chicago on Thursday. At the very least he scored his first objective of the yr in that recreation, a power-play marker.
.962With starter John Gibson and backup Ryan Miller, the Geese are getting the goaltending within the early going, because the crew’s NHL-best save proportion attests. Gibson was a Vezina Trophy contender final season till accidents – and the Geese’ eventual spiral – took their toll. Expectations are low for Anaheim, however the Pacific Division isn’t precisely stacked, particularly if San Jose’s early struggles flip into one thing extra critical. Calgary and Vegas look good for the post-season, however third place within the Pacific is up for grabs.
0It’s early. Actually early. There’s a protracted, lengthy option to go, and what occurs in a number of video games in (early) October isn’t essentially an correct reflection of what’s to return. That’s what they have to be hoping in Chicago (Zero-2-Zero), Minnesota (Zero-Three-Zero) and Ottawa (Zero-Three-Zero), anyway, because the Blackhawks, Wild and Senators enter the second weekend of the common season searching for their first level. New Jersey (Zero-2-2) is the one different crew with out a win.
2Perhaps ‘Battle of Alberta’ must be Milan Lucic’s new nickname. Edmonton didn’t work out, so now he’s in Calgary doing what he does greatest – main the league in combating, with two scraps in 4 video games. There have been six fights league-wide thus far, and Lucic has been in two of them. (And Sidney Crosby has been in one in every of them, his first bout since February 2015.)
5.67Los Angeles’ goals-against common by means of three video games is…not good. Jonathan Fast has been shelled within the early going, giving up 14 targets on 70 photographs in two video games for a 7.18 GAA and .750 save proportion. These stats can solely enhance, nevertheless it’s a tough option to kick off the season for a Kings crew coming off a horrible 2018-19 marketing campaign.
7James Neal, we by no means doubted you for a minute. Nicely…why don’t we are saying that we don’t doubt you anymore and depart it at that? Neal, after all, is off to a dream begin with Edmonton, scoring seven occasions in 4 video games to match his output in 63 video games with Calgary final season. The highlights thus far: Neal leads the league in targets (seven) and power-play targets (5), he’s tied for the lead in game-winners (two) and he hung a four-goal recreation on the Islanders. Discuss benefiting from the chance to skate with likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It’s gone so nicely that Neal has already made some historical past in Edmonton: his seven targets are probably the most ever by an Oilers participant by means of the crew’s first 4 video games.
10It’s no shock to see McDavid’s title atop the NHL scoring race, because the 22-year-old Oilers famous person already has a pair of Artwork Ross Trophies to his title. However Patrik Laine? The man who slumped in 2018-19, together with simply two factors in his remaining 12 video games of the season? That was then and that is now, and the 21-year-old Jets winger is vying for the early scoring lead. Laine can run cold and hot however he’s scorching proper now, with factors in all 5 video games he’s performed, together with seven previously two contests. That noise you heard within the pre-season about Laine wanting “top-line time” with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler? Seems Laine was onto one thing with that.
11Granted, it’s a little bit of an obscure stat, however Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf is main the best way with 11 takeaways by means of 5 video games, which is three extra takeaways than runner-up Sebastian Aho of Carolina. Getzlaf, it must be famous, can be profitable 63.9 p.c of his faceoffs – he’s 39-22 within the circle — and he ranks among the many prime 30 forwards with 13 hits and among the many prime 20 forwards with 4 blocked photographs. There’s nonetheless some pluck within the previous Duck.
20:26Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes is the one NHL rookie who’s taking part in greater than 20 minutes per recreation, though there are 4 different first-year D-men who’re shut. Nashville’s Dante Fabbro (19:56 common ice time in 4 video games), Winnipeg’s Ville Heinola (19:17 in 5 video games), Colorado’s Cale Makar (19:17 in three video games) and Edmonton’s Ethan Bear (18:52 in 4 video games) spherical out the 5 busiest rookie blueliners. Up entrance, Buffalo winger Victor Olofsson (18:11 in 5 video games) is taking part in greater than some other rookie ahead. When you’re questioning about Quinn’s brother Jack, the No. 1 general decide within the 2019 draft sits fifth amongst forwards , averaging 15:26 in 4 video games with New Jersey. And similar to within the draft, he’s one spot forward of the Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko (14:43 in two video games).
25:06You need to know the key to the success behind Edmonton’s scorching begin? It’s that the Oilers have one or each of Leon Draisaitl and McDavid on the ice always. Or at the very least evidently approach. Draisaitl, who performed an enormous 26:46 in Edmonton’s season opener, is main NHL forwards with a median ice time of 25:06 per recreation by means of 4 contests. That quantity is ridiculously excessive and can inevitably drop – solely eight NHLers averaged 25-plus minutes a recreation final season, and so they have been all defensemen — nevertheless it positive appears to be like like Draisaitl can count on to play 22-23 minutes on most nights for coach Dave Tippett’s Oilers. The identical, after all, goes for McDavid, who’s presently second amongst NHL forwards at 22:56. Amongst defensemen, it’s San Jose’s Brent Burns (26:44) and Erik Karlsson (26:41) on prime by means of 5 video games. (Notice: They’re not on prime in plus/minus, with Karlsson minus-Eight and Burns minus-Four.) Amongst non-Sharks defensemen, Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang (26:12), Washington’s John Carlson (26:05) and Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot (25:58) are seeing probably the most ice.
46.2New Jersey’s penalty-killing unit has not gotten off to a great begin. The Devils have been shorthanded 13 occasions in 4 video games, and so they’ve surrendered seven targets. In the meantime, the facility play is Zero-for-11. The excellent news? It’s solely going to get higher from right here. It has to.
181The Sabres’ Olofsson, the 181st general draft decide in 2014, sits No. 1 within the early levels of the rookie scoring race, with 4 targets and 5 factors in 4 video games. Toronto’s Trevor Moore, an undrafted 24-year-old who barely retained his rookie standing after taking part in 25 NHL video games final season, is the one different freshman with multiple objective. He’s bought two in 5 video games.
249To cite a current NHL press launch: “Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 248th and 249th profession power-play targets within the common season to go Luc Robitaille (247) for sole possession of fourth place on the NHL’s all-time record, trailing solely Dave Andreychuk (274), Brett Hull (265) and Teemu Selanne (255).” Finish quote.
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Tags: lists, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorSam McCaigCopy editor Sam McCaig rejoined The Hockey Information in 2017 after beforehand working at THN from 1999 to 2010. His profession excessive for targets in a season is one.