Year after year, the NHL produces some truly mind-boggling statistics.
It’s one thing to know who leads the league in scoring or which goaltender has the lowest goals-against average. It’s another altogether to know which team is giving up nearly half of its total goals in the third period, or which defenseman has given the puck away far more than any player in the league.
Here are nine of the most interesting stats so far (updated through Dec. 5):
0-for-3: Florida Panthers F Jonathan Huberdeau’s shootout line
Huberdeau – as seen in this feature published last week – has worked on his scoring touch. But his shootout game still needs a little work; the electrifying Panthers winger has misfired on all three of his attempts so far this season. He and Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg are the only players to not score once on a minimum of three shootout attempts.
2-8-2: The Philadelphia Flyers’ record when outshooting foes
So much for more shots equaling more offense. The Flyers have been incredibly unlucky so far this season, winning just two of 12 games in which they have outshot their opponents. That includes five such games during their recent 10-game losing skid; in two other games during that streak, they registered just one fewer shot than the opposition.
16.7: The Buffalo Sabres’ win rate when leading after one period
Going into the first intermission with a lead usually bodes well for an NHL team; all but two teams have a winning percentage greater than 50 percent when ahead after 20 minutes. But not those Sabres, who buck the trend here with a dismal 1-3-2 mark when outscoring their opponent in the first. Of course, it could be worse; they're 1-11-0 when trailing after 20.
30.6: New Jersey Devils F Brian Gibbons’ shooting percentage
On a sustainability scale of 1-10, with one being "probably unsustainable" and 10 being "guaranteed to keep happening," Gibbons' shooting rate comes in somewhere between -50 and -75. The undrafted 29-year-old remains one of the most heartwarming stories in the league this season, but don't expect him to fill the net as often as he has so far.
38: The Nashville Predators’ third-period goals against
How's this for a strange stat? Despite coming into the day in a tie for second overall in total points – and ranking a healthy 11th league-wide in goals against – the Predators are even with the lowly Arizona Coyotes for the most third-period goals allowed in the league. In fact, those 38 goals represent 48.7 percent of all goals the Preds have allowed this season.
43: The Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-on-5 goal total
It has been a trying season for the two-time defending champs, who are struggling to produce offense. The Penguins finished second in the league in five-on-five goals a season ago (185) but sit tied with the Colorado Avalanche for 28th overall with just 43 five-on-five tallies through 29 games. As hard as it is to imagine, the Pens have one of the league's worst offenses this season.
61.38: Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette's faceoff win rate
Some forwards can carve out a nice career simply by being money on faceoffs – and in that regard, Vermette is one of the best in the business. The Ducks veteran is winning faceoffs at a league-leading rate, edging out Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly (61.18 percent) for top spot. But Vermette is still below the 62.25-percent success rate he posted a season ago.
62: Giveaways by San Jose Sharks D Brent Burns
It’s unfathomable to most Sharks fans to see Burns struggling this mightily. Not only is he stuck on one goal through his first 29 games, but he’s also on pace to lead the league in giveaways for the second year in a row. And while the latter statistic won’t surprise many – he had a whopping 153 turnovers a year ago – it stands out a lot more when he isn’t producing on offense.
158: Washington Capitals D Brooks Orpik’s total hits and blocked shots
Combining the two non-scoring statistics in which defensemen are expected to contribute the most – hits and blocked shots – is a great way to assess which blue-liners are most active on the back end. And none are more defense-oriented than Orpik, whose 158 combined hits and blocks are nine more than runner-up Luke Schenn of the Coyotes.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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