Thursday, October 13, 2016

Five on the Fly: Opening Day Statisfaction from Matthews and More

With the spotlight shining bright, the NHL season began on Tuesday night. Here's five stats that caught our eye from the NHL's opening night:

Special thanks to for most of these screen caps

1. Auston Matthews may never do this again

Nobody could have predicted that Auston Matthew's NHL debut would be this strong. Now, we start to predict what type of a season he will have. Will the 19-year-old encounter a few speed bumps along the way or is he headed for a 300-goal season? Ah, he'll be fine. It's the Leafs we're worried about. How do you lose a game when one of your players pots four? The last time it happened was in January of '14 when Eric Nystrom had four in Calgary.

We're sure you've read enough about Matthews today, so we'll leave you with this one stat before we move on:

2. Blackhawks' Schmaltz, Hinostroza Struggle in Opener

The Blackhawks have left the door open for kids like Nick Schmaltz, Tyler Motte and Vincent Hinostroza to make a difference in the early going. They're up against the cap and they need some entry-level deals to make the cut. Well, the kids opened to some mixed results on Wednesday in Chicago. Ryan Hartman scored his first career goal in his 9th NHL game, Tyler Motte bagged an assist and rookie d-men Gustav Forsling and Michal Kempny looked pretty solid. But Schmaltz and Hinostroza, who played with Jordin Tootoo, had a rough night against the Blues. Check out these possession numbers for the three:

3. Sharks Drive Possession vs. Kings

The L.A. Kings were the best possession team in the NHL regular season at 5 on 5, holding a corsi for of 56.4% in 2015-16, while the Sharks came in at 9th with a CF% of 51.7%. Small sample size, one game is, but are the Sharks and the Kings teams headed in different directions this year? The score was tight in San Jose's 2-1 win, but San Jose drove possession all night. New additions Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko seem to be fitting in nicely. Here are the possession numbers from last night's game:

4. Three rookies scored in their NHL debut last night

Auston Matthews wasn't the only one who lit it up last night. Edmonton's Jesse Puljujarvi and Chicago's Adam Hartman also broke through to notch their first NHL goals. Here's all the rookies who scored points:

File under: Aberration?

Kyle Brodziak, Ryan Reaves and Scottie Upshall were absolutely fantastic for the Blues last night in Chicago. Upshall even chipped in a goal. How often will we see Brodziak and Co. driving possession better than Tarasenko this season?