This is a feature that will run about every two weeks with improbable stats and situations in the National Hockey League.
- Dion Phanuef at a staggering .956 would have the highest on ice sv% of any NHL defenseman with 30 or more games played.
- that after leading the Ducks in scoring in the 2011-12 season, and finishing fifth in scoring last year, Teemu Selanne would be 12th in points this year.
- of the top 10 players in PIMs one would be both a first round pick, and a teenager; Tom Wilson.
- also among the top 10 players in PIMs Radko Gudas would be the only one playing more than 20 minutes per night.
- US Olympian Cam Fowler would not only lead the Ducks in total ice time, but shorthanded TOI/G as well.
- despite fewer games and trailing the overall points race Patrick Kane would lead the NHL in road points.
- of the top to players in points at home, only two would appear in the top ten for road points: Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby.
- Blake Wheeler would have the highest points total of any right wing against his division.
- the Phoenix Coyotes would be the only team without a shorthanded goal.
- based on Capgeek.com rankings, the top 10 spending teams would all be in the playoffs, 2 of the bottom ten (Montreal, Colorado) would be in leaving just 4 playoff teams in the middle 10.
- the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators would be the only teams without even one shootout win.
- 40% of the Washington Capitals wins would come via the shootout, higher than any other team currently in a playoff spot.
- the 26th place Florida Panthers would have as many wins in 41 games this season as in the 48 game lockout shortened season.
- the Nashville Predators would be the only team to not allow a shorthanded goal.
- the Calgary Flames would be the only NHL team to play three full games without a penalty, and all three would be in November: 3rd against the Blackhawks, 20th against the Blue Jackets, and 30th against the Ducks.
- the Minnesota Wild would be the only team to make it to the new year without a bench penalty.
- 4 of the 5 most teams with the most PIMS would be in a playoff position while only three of the five least penalized would be.
The five most interesting stories to watch from now until the the trade deadline.
- How far will the dismantlement of the Colorado Avalanche go? I was shocked to see Calder Trophy candidate Kevin Shattenkirk shipped out. Stuffed into the wagon along with him was 23 year old power-forward Chris Stewart, and a conditional pick. Going the other was was Erik Johnson a defensemen with a great pedigree, who has lost his luster. Paul Statsny is rumored to be available,
- What will the NHL’s newest owner do with his team? He stated on NHLLive today he was more likely to make future moves than put band-aids on this season, but with players like Statsny, Brad Richards, and who knows who else coming or potentially coming on the market, will he say I want that one! Brad Richards, Ed Jovonovski, and others could contribute to the team for a while.
- Who blinks first? The Western conference is so tight you can probably get almost anything from those who are determined to succeed now. We’ve see the Avalanche run up the white flag while the Kings have been really quiet. With Carolina having played two more games than the Sabres they have to be looking over their shoulders. If they decide to keep restocking via the draft Cole, Samsanov, Pitkanen, and Jokienen could fetch some decent picks or prospects.
- What Will Lou Do? The New Jersey Devils general manager has perhaps the hardest calls to make this silly season. He’s got a team that’s playing world beating hockey and is following teams down dark alleys and going through their pockets for loose points, but the odds of getting to the playoffs are really stacked against them. Purely from the cap management point of view, shaking the team loose of Rolston’s contract or one of the other larger contracts on the books for next year could keep them from being an embarrassment to the NHL again next year as they were when they were icing understrength rosters thanks to injuries and cap issues.
- Hands down the most interesting issue of the off season is what happens to the big name UFAs. As we saw with Bouwmesster recently they are the players that will have reverberations on and off the ice for years to come no matter what call is made. Brad Richards, Shea Weber, Ilya Bryzgalov, Simon Gagne, are all the type of player that when healthy can push an organization from bubble to playoff team and playoff team to contender or cup favorite. If not signed, all four of these guys will be free to sign anywhere they please July 1st. There are lost of people who think Richards would look great in a Sabre’s uniform so would Weber for that matter either of the two when added to Miller, Vanek and Myers gives you a hell of core. The Predators and Lightning are pretty firmly in the playoffs, but an offer too good to refuse is always possible.
Bonus story: How many more times will someone at Versus make the histerical statement that the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have the hottest rivalry in the NHL?