Stunning numbers from first month of the NHL season
During the 2021-22 NHL season we will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers from around the league. Here is what has stood out to us through the first month of the season...
The Vegas Power Play
More like power-less play at this point (nailed it).
Injuries to most of their key players have caused a slower than expected start for the Golden Knights as they enter the weekend with a 5-5-0 record through 10 games.
They have also yet to score a power play goal in those 10 games. Part of that is the absence of Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and now William Karlsson. Part of it is the fact they have only had a league-low 19 power plays in 10 games, far below the league average and far below every other team in the league. Either way, it is an entire calendar month without a single power play goal for a Stanley Cup contender.
Edmonton’s nearly unstoppable power play
On the other end of the spectrum we have the Edmonton Oilers, who have already converted on 50 percent of their power play opportunities, scoring on 15 of their 30 chances. It was the best unit in the league a year ago, and there seems to be no stopping it this season, either.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are the two best offensive players in the world and they are both playing on top of their games right now.
McDavid has a point in all 10 Oilers games, including eight multi-point games, while Draisaitl has a point in nine of those games. That includes six multi-point games and four three-point games.
They are both on 180-point paces over 82 games.
Chicago’s horrible starts
The Blackhawks are off to a terrible 1-9-2 start this season which is made even more disappointing by the fact they actually tried to build a good team. Not only is the season off to a bad start, most games get off to bad starts.
Friday’s loss to Winnipeg was the third time this season they gave up a goal in the first minute of a game, the third time they trailed by two goals in the first six minutes, and the sixth time they trailed by any margin in the first six minutes. All of that in just 12 games.
They have spent 403 minutes (56 percent of the time in their games) this season playing from behind, most in the NHL. Only two other teams (Montreal and Vancouver) have spent more than 350 minutes trailing this season.
Arizona almost never has the lead
The Arizona Coyotes tore their roster to the ground this offseason and it had to be a clear indication that this was going to be a long season.
They are 0-10-1 entering play on Saturday.
Not only have the yet to win a game, they have played with the lead for 49 minutes this season. That is only 7 percent of the season.
Stunning goalie performances
The Florida Panthers look great, and Sergei Bobrovsky has been a huge part of that with a .948 save percentage entering the weekend.
This is the first time in three years he has played like the $10 million per year goalie the Panthers signed him to be.
In Carolina, where the Hurricanes collected 18 out of a possible 18 standings points through their first 9 games, Frederik Andersen is having a huge bounce back season to help drive their great start with a perfect 8-0-0 record and .949 save percentage.
Meanwhile, in San Jose, James Reimer has been a pleasant change for a Sharks goalie in recent years and owns a league-best .950 save percentage through his first five starts.
Those are the top-three goalies in save percentage right now: James Reimer, Frederik Andersen, and Sergei Bobrovsky.
Nobody expected that at any point this season.
Alex Ovechkin is not slowing down
He has 10 goals in 10 games and is a top-five scorer through the first month of the season. He is going to be in the top-three of the NHL’s all-time goal list before the end of the season. Wayne Gretzky’s record is within striking distance in a couple of years.
Troy Terry’s point streak
The Anaheim Ducks need something positive and it is coming from an unlikely source so far this season as Troy Terry has a 10-game point streak entering the weekend. He has recorded at least one point in all but one Ducks games this season (their first game). He has never had more than 20 points in a season. He already has 13 points in 11 games this season.