Monday, October 19, 2015

Statisfaction: NHL Number Crunch, October 20

A smattering of numbers as we begin the third week of the NHL's 2015-2016 campaign:

1. Columbus has a minus-17 goal differential. They've allowed nine more goals (30) than the next most porous defense (Boston, 21) in the NHL. Of course there is an even more glaring number when it comes to the 'Jackets. They are 0-6-0 as they prepare to host the Islanders on Tuesday.Their record is bad, but there have been worse in NHL history. The '43-44 Rangers lost their first 11 games.

2. The Montreal Canadiens are off to their best start in franchise history (6-0-0) and they've allowed seven goals in six games for the lowest GAA in the NHL. Is this team ready to win a cup? And a more pressing matter: Is this team ready to break the record for most consecutive wins to start an NHL season? The current record in 10, held by the '93-94 Leafs and the 2006-2007 Sabres.

3. PP Gurus? At 38.9 % the Boston Bruins have the NHL's best power play percentage through the season's first two weeks. The league's current average is 19.1 percent. And Torey Krug has been a big reason for that.

4. BIG BLANK: Pittsburgh (0-17 in five games) and Anaheim (0 for 13 in five games) are the only two teams that have yet to score a power play goal.

More: Crosby, Pens PP Desperate for Goals

5. There has already been 13 shutouts in the NHL this season. Two goalies (Martin Jones, 2, San Jose and Michal Neuvirth, 2 Philly) have more than one. The NHL record for shoutouts in a single season? Let's just say Jones and Neuvirth have a long way to go.

6. Bad Between the Pipes: There are four goalies with a GAA of higher than five but only one of them has a GAA of higher than six. That's Philly's Steve Mason who has a 6.12 GAA and a .825 save percentage in two starts (68 minutes).

7. 3-on-3 an End-All? Of the 14 regulation ties in the NHL this year, 10 have been settled with an overtime goal, with the other four being settled in shootouts. That means 71.4 percent of OT games are ending with the 3-on-3 format before the shootout.

Last year 306 games were decided with overtime goals, while another 170 went to a shootout. (55.5%)