I finally return to my favorite feature column.
If I told you in September that
- on 2/12 there would be three teams in playoff spots, including the Canadiens, Senators, and Leafs with the Calgary Flames knocking on the door
- the best penalty kill in the NHL would belong to the Carolina Hurricanes.
- the Montreal Canadiens would be 2nd in times shorthanded, with 197 times through 57 games
- the Dallas Stars would not only have a worse powerplay than the Boston Bruins but be in the bottom third of the league
- the Columbus Blue Jackets would be the only team in February with zero shorthanded goals allowed.
- three of the top five NHL teams in five on five goals for would be outside the the playoffs
- nearly one quarter of the teams holding a playoff spot including the Saint Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators would have an even or negative goal differential.
- Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators would be tied for second in blocked shots per game.
- Brayden Schenn would lead the NHL in powerplay goals
- that Sidney Crosby would tied for 86th in powerplay assists
- Jeff Carter would lead his team and the NHL in game winning goals, including one third of the tallies for the Kings
- three of the top five rookies in the NHL in scoring would all play on one team: Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews, and William Nylander
- Peter Budaj would have his best career save percentage, the Kings in a playoff position, 26 wins, and the lead in shutouts.
- two goalies would hold 30 win seasons, Devan Dubnyk and Sergei Bobrovsky, in less than 45 games played and also both be in the top 5 in total saves.
If I told you any of this in September would you have believed me?
Look for the next episode of Two Man Forecheck soon!
We’ll talk: Mike Illitch and his legacy, Claude Julien, expansion, the New York Islanders and more. Give my co-host @TheOffWing a follow and catch up on what he’s writing at TheOffWing.com .