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Stunning numbers: Avalanche dominance, Campbell’s start, and more

Liam McHugh, Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp unveil this week's NHL Power Rankings, where the Pens and Isles are coming on strong and Colorado rides 'the best line in hockey' to the top spot.

During the 2020-21 NHL season we will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers from around the league. Here is what has stood out to us lately...

The Avalanche are dominating

The Colorado Avalanche are starting to play like the dominant force we expected them to be at the start of the season.

Over their past 20 games they have compiled a league-best 15-2-3 record (by far the best mark in the league during that stretch) and are playing at a level that no other team in the league has matched.

Since that stretch began on February 25, the Avalanche own the league’s best shot attempt differential, best shots on goal differential, and best goal differential.

The numbers since February 25:

  • Shot attempts: 1,365 for and 892 against (60.4 percent)
  • Shots on goal: 766 for and 481 against (61.4 percent)
  • Goals differential: 84 for and 43 against (66.1 percent)

Not only are all of those numbers the best in the league, they are the only team with a better than 57 percent share in any of those categories.

If you are one of the people that think that statistical dominance has something to do with how shots are counted in Colorado, it should also be pointed out their numbers on the road during that stretch are also the best in the league and nearly identical to what they do at home.

Bottom line: The Avalanche are one heck of a hockey team.

Goalie madness!

Let’s check in with some stunning goalie numbers, shall we?

• In Toronto, Jack Campbell has taken over the the Maple Leafs’ net and owns an 8-0-0 record. He has a .951 save percentage in those games, allowing only 11 goals in his appearances. It is by far the best stretch of his career and it is a nice reminder that as long as the Maple Leafs get decent goaltending they should be a contender.

• In Detroit, the Red Wings actually have a winning record (8-6-0) with Jonathan Bernier in net. They are 4-15-5 in the games he does not play. Go back to the start of the 2019-20 season and they are only 6-37-7 in the games he does not play. Truly stunning.

• There is a similar situation playing in Buffalo where the Sabres 6-5-3 this season with Linus Ullmark in goal, but only 1-18-3 without him. Since the start of the 2019-20 season they are 14-35-9 without Ullmark in goal.

• Then there is also this...

• Entering play on Saturday Philadelphia Flyers goalies have an .829 save percentage since March 1, by far the worst mark in the league. The next lowest mark is Anaheim at .877. The gap between the Flyers and the next lowest team (Anaheim) is the same as the gap between Anaheim and the team with the fifth best save percentage during that stretch (Minnesota at .925).

More stunning numbers around the NHL

• When the Boston Bruins’ top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand is not on the ice during 5-on-5 play the team averages just 1.55 goals per 60 minutes. They have been outscored by 11 goals in those minutes without them.

• In Chicago, the Blackhawks have outscored teams by a 26-18 margin when Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat are on the ice during 5-on-5 play. When neither is on the ice the Blackhawks get outscored by 22 goals (26-48).

• Connor McDavid is a little off the 100-point pace, but his 64 points in 38 games still put him on track for 94 points in a 56-game season. That point per game pace would be a 138-point pace over an 82-game season.

• After scoring nine goals and four assists in 52 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning a year ago (averaging nine minutes per game), Carter Verhaeghe already has 17 goals and 15 assists in 37 games for the Florida Panthers this season while playing 17 minutes per game. The Panthers signed him for a $1 million salary cap number. Simply one of the best signings of the offseason.

• The Minnesota Wild have climbed the West Division standings and look to be headed for the playoffs despite scoring on only 10 percent of their power plays, the worst mark in the league.

• The Nashville Predators are playing their way back into playoff contention in the Central Division despite having a penalty kill percentage of only 72 percent. That is the worst mark in the league.

(Data in this post via Natural Stat Trick)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.