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Three early-season stats that matter – and three that do not

7 minutes read


We’re lower than midway by means of October. Meaning any hockey-season takes consist largely of overreactions.
That doesn’t imply we are able to’t discover any helpful info this early in a season, nonetheless. One of the best ways to type October NHL stats into the “Care” and “Don’t Care” bins: discover which numbers legitimately replicate predictions and/or issues we voiced earlier than the season began. If we frightened about Staff X or Y having a shaky protection and that group is getting lit up this season, the early numbers would possibly change into a development. Alternatively, when Steven Stamkos calls out his Tampa Bay Lightning and warns that it’s “going to be a protracted season” with out tighter protection, we chuckle it off. It’s the friggin’ Lightning. They’ll be greater than nice.
Let’s dig into some fascinating early-season stats and resolve whether or not to care about them but.
STATS THAT MATTER
Patrik Laine’s 10 factors in 5 video games
Laine had a nightmarish season by his commonplace final 12 months. By his commonplace. When a 20-year-old scores 30 objectives and is deemed a slump-prone one-dimensional failure acting at his ground, it says loads about that younger man’s ceiling. Laine is so proficient that he disappoints if he isn’t difficult for the Rocket Richard Trophy. That’s what occurs while you rating 18 objectives in a 12-game stretch and amass 110 regular-season objectives earlier than turning 21. Individuals need large issues from you.
As a result of Laine hadn’t achieved something near consistency, his contract negotiations this previous summer season have been sophisticated for either side. Ultimately, Laine’s camp scored a smart contract, a two-year RFA pact carrying a $6.75-million cap hit, permitting him to wager on himself and lift his worth. If Laine performs like a $10-million asset over the subsequent couple seasons, that’s clearly nice for him, however it’s additionally nice for the Jets, because it means he’s realizing his huge potential.
Right here we’re, simply 5 video games into the Jets’ 2019-20 marketing campaign, and Laine has rattled off 10 factors, tying Connor McDavid for the NHL scoring lead. Laine is unlikely to say the least to win the Artwork Ross, and we’ve seen these kinds of sizzling streaks from him earlier than, so we are able to’t assume he’s exorcized the inconsistency demon. However the blazing begin reminds us Laine is sublimely proficient, a lethal objective scorer who additionally possesses the arms to arrange others, and he’s nonetheless solely 21. Sixty-two rookie skaters have suited up within the NHL thus far this season, and Laine is youthful than 35 of them. He has a lot time left to develop up. The following step is, hopefully, for him to make use of that lethal shot extra. Since Laine debuted in 2016-17, 414 forwards have logged no less than 1,000 minutes at 5-on-5, and he ranks 108th amongst them in pictures per 60 minutes. That’s respectable, however we wish Laine within the elite tier. For perspective: Alex Ovechkin sits 13th over that span.
The Carolina Hurricanes’ Four-Zero-Zero report
These guys weren’t some cute, cuddly story, enthralling us for one 12 months of Storm Surges earlier than fading again into obscurity. The Hurricanes can play. They possess arguably the NHL’s deepest blueline, we’re seeing indicators of that leap we have been anticipating from sophomore sniper Andrei Svechnikov, the Canes have loved some sturdy goaltending kind Petr Mrazek and James Reimer early on, and coach Rod Brind’Amour’s troops look typically dominant on the assault, producing the fourth-most shot makes an attempt within the league per 60 minutes thus far.
Once more – it’s a tiny pattern measurement, however when it’s confirming an present notion, it’s fascinating. The Hurricanes have been a sleeper Stanley Cup contender coming into the season, and so they completely look the half in the meanwhile. Their victims embody the Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and retooled Florida Panthers, too, so it’s not like Carolina is fattening up on a breezy early-season schedule.
Rasmus Dahlin’s seven factors in 4 video games
My colleague Ken Campbell delved deeper into Dahlin’s begin earlier this week, however, goodness, it’s thrilling to see Dahlin going Full Phenom to start out 2019-20. It shouldn’t come as a large shock. As a rookie, he scored the second-most factors ever by an 18-year-old defenseman. At 19, he’s already exhibiting indicators that he can creep towards his superstar-level ceiling. The Sabres aren’t pelting him with impossibly powerful assignments early on, beginning him within the offensive zone greater than 70 % of the time and never deploying him a lot in opposition to different group’s greatest forwards, however he’s solely been on the ice for a single 5-on-5 objective in opposition to in 4 video games, with the Sabres scoring 4 occasions. The shot-attempt ratios tilt closely towards the Sabres with him on the ice thus far, too.
The defensive assignments will get harder as coach Ralph Krueger realizes how a lot he can belief Dahlin, who tasks to be a powerhouse at each ends of the ice. That mentioned, the present offensive output positive is thrilling. He handles the puck like a ahead. It’s solely a matter of time earlier than he’s contending for Norris Trophies, and it’s thrilling early on to see him trying like an all-star asset.
STATS THAT DON’T MATTER
Sergei Bobrovsky’s Four.77 goals-against common and .859 save share
Yawn. Positive, it’s not excellent to see your new $10-million goalie pulled after one interval in his third begin of the season. However please, don’t panic. Even the slightest little bit of pre-season homework advised us to anticipate a sluggish begin for ‘Bob.’
His careers save percentages by month…
October: .906November: .924December: .919January: .910February: .909March: .933April: .917
Nothing to see right here. Bobrovsky at all times begins slowly. So does the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen, by the way in which, so Leafs followers shouldn’t be frightened about him, both. The Panthers’ luck will appropriate quickly. They rank 27th in PDO thus far, largely due to Bobrovsky’s struggles. He’ll be nice, and so will they.
The Edmonton Oilers’ Four-Zero-Zero report
I’ll absolutely endear myself to the fan base by declaring the quick begin a mirage. I’m sorry, however…simply take a look at the numbers. Edmonton ranks 29th in Corsi at 5-on-5, out-attempted 186 to 140 by its opponents up to now. Edmonton has scored on 14.08 % of its pictures at 5-on-5, good for second within the league. Edmonton ranks sixth in PDO. Three of Edmonton’s 4 wins have come in opposition to groups that missed the playoffs final 12 months: Vancouver, Los Angeles and New Jersey. A giant purpose for the success thus far is a scorching energy play, which has transformed six occasions in 4 video games, good for a 40-percent success fee.
It’s nonetheless encouraging to see the Oilers being so environment friendly with their alternatives – Any Four-Zero begin has constructive takeaways – however there’s a actuality examine coming. The Oilers have been territorially outclassed thus far – not simply cumulatively however in each particular person sport – and it hasn’t proven on the scoresheet but. It can quickly.
The Dallas Stars’ 1-Three-1 report
This group boasts a number of of one of the best younger defensemen within the sport and, after some aggressive low season strikes by GM Jim Nill, its greatest ahead depth in years. The Stars are too good to maintain dropping 4 out of each 5 video games, even factoring within the anticipated regression from goaltender Ben Bishop after his superb 2018-19. The Stars are permitting the ninth-fewest shot makes an attempt per 60 minutes. They’re legitimately struggling to generate possibilities proper now, however they opened the season in opposition to arguably the 2 greatest defensive groups within the NHL, a.ok.a the reigning Stanley Cup finalists, the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. The Stars have additionally confronted two division champions from final season within the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames.
As soon as the schedule softens up, the Stars ought to have a neater time getting pucks towards the opposite group’s internet, and we all know the defensive facet of their sport isn’t an issue. It’s encouraging that Dallas’ most up-to-date outing was by far its greatest. The end result was a shootout loss to the Flames, however the Stars managed the play. They’ll be OK, particularly after they full a four-game street journey that begins Monday.
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Tags: buffalo sabres, winnipeg jets, florida panthers, dallas stars, carolina hurricanes, information, edmonton oilers, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorMatt LarkinMatt Larkin is a senior author at The Hockey Information and has been a part of the group since 2011. He is your one-stop store for deep-dive participant interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy participant rankings, participant security and hair ideas. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey Information Dwell and The Hockey Information Podcast.

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