Stunning numbers from the 2020-21 NHL regular season
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...
Connor McDavid’s 100 point season
• The most stunning number from this season is still the fact that Connor McDavid managed to top the 100-point mark in a 56-game season. Say what you want about the quality of the North Division, but if it were simply that aspect that resulted in him putting up these numbers then it stands to reason that every other star offensive player in the division would have seen a dramatic spike in their production.
That simply did not happen. Most of the top offensive players in the division either performed at a similar rate when compared to a season ago, or actually saw a drop in their offense.
The most likely explanation is that an all-time great player hit one of his peak seasons and played like the dominant force he is.
• HIs 1.89 point per game average would have projected to 154 points over a full 82-game season.
Over the past three years he has scored at a 1.60 pace that projects out to 132 points per 82 games.
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• He enters the weekend with a 20-point lead over the next closest player (teammate Leon Draisaitl) and a 35-point lead over the next closest non-Oilers player. The gap between McDavid and Mitch Marner in third place is the same as the gap between Marner and Nino Neiderreiter, the 105th ranked point producer in the league.
The last time a player won the scoring title by at least 20 points in a season was Jaromir Jagr during the 1997-98 season when he finished with 127 points, 20 points more than Teemu Selanne.
• There have only been 14 100-point seasons in the NHL since the start of the 2012-13 season, Edmonton teammates McDavid (four) and Draisaitl (two) have combined for six of them.
Other stunning numbers from the season...
• Vegas and Colorado had the two best goal differentials in the league at plus-67 and plus-64. No other team in the league had a mark better than plus-43 for the season. How impressive are those numbers for Vegas and Colorado? In the NHL’s most recent 82-game season only one team (Tampa Bay) had a mark higher than plus-64. The Avalanche and Golden Knights did that in 56 games.
• Thanks in part to the emergence of superstar rookie Kirill Kaprizov the Minnesota Wild jumped from 15th in the league in goals to eighth overall. It is just the second time in the entire existence of the Wild franchise that they finished a regular season in the top-10 in goals scored.
• Auston Matthews scored 41 goals in 52 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not sure what else to add as to how stunning that is.
• After starting the season with just two wins in their first 15 games the Ottawa Senators finished the regular season with a 21-16-4 record over their final 41 games. Way better than anybody expected this season.
• Since acquiring Taylor Hall from the Sabres, the Boston Bruins have outscored teams by a 15-1 margin with him on the ice during 5-on-5 play. With Patrice Bergeron on the ice the Bruins are outscoring teams by a 17-6 margin during 5-on-5 play. That means over the past 20 games the Bruins have a 32-7 goal edge when one of their top two lines is on the ice. That makes them pretty tough to beat.
[Related: Taylor Hall, Bruins peaking at right team]
• Sidney Crosby averaged a point-per-game for the 16th consecutive season to start his career. Only one other player (Wayne Gretzky) can boast such a streak. Gretzky went for 19 seasons to start his career. The only players in league history with more point per game seasons overall are Gretzky (19) and Gordie Howe (17).
• Patrick Marleau broke the NHL record for games played in a career. He has also played in 910 consecutive games, currently the fourth longest consecutive games played streak in the NHL. He is also one of three players in the league that currently have a streak of at least 900 games. Florida’s Keith Yandle has a streak of 922 games, Marleau is at 910, and Phil Kessel is at 900. It is possible that all three can break Doug Jarvis’ record of 964 games next season.
[Related: Patrick Marleau games played record]
• Jaccob Slavin played 52 games this season. He logged more than 1,195 minutes and averaged 22:59 minutes per game. He did that while playing a huge role against the other team’s best, and most talented players all season in a top-pairing defense role. He took one penalty all season. Just one. That penalty: A puck over the glass penalty. If there was ever a slam dunk Lady Byng winner, this is it.
• Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar finished the regular season with 44 points in 44 games, a point per game average. It is just the seventh time since the 2005-06 season that a defenseman has played at least 40 games in a season and averaged more than a point per game.