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Fantasy Five: NHL.com's new fantasy statistics

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Have you ever sat at home and wondered how many multipoint efforts Sidney Crosby has had this season? Or how often Tim Thomas has allowed just one goal in a game? Or how many times Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have both recorded a point on the same goal? Well, you're questions finally have answers. On Wednesday, NHL.com released a new set of fantasy specific statistics that will allow you to search for the some of the most interesting stats you can possibly think of.

Today's Fantasy Five will look into some of these statistics and how they affect your fantasy roster. Be sure to continue to use these new statistics to your advantage, as it provides us with plenty of stats that many of us have questioned, but were never able to actually find the answers to -- from a players last three seasons total stats to their on pace stats, you can find it all.

1. One of the most eye-popping statistics comes from one of the more surprising players in 2010-11: Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec currently leads the NHL with seven games of allowing just one goal. Tim Thomas, Carey Price, Jonathan Quick, Sergei Bobrovsky and Kari Lehtonen all have had six games in which they allowed one goal. Pavelec, who collapsed and suffered a concussion in the Thrashers' season-opener, has been one of the great stories in the NHL this season. He has a sparkling 1.71 GAA and .947 save percentage to go along with a solid 9-5-2 record while taking over the top goaltending spot in Atlanta from Chris Mason.

Conversely, Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who has made 18 starts this season, leads the NHL with 10 games in which he's allowed more than four goals -- not exactly a category you want to lead in. Pavelec, on the other hand, has had just one start in which he allowed more than four goals (four goals against in an overtime loss to the Blackhawks on Nov. 6). Pavelec has really come out of nowhere this season -- he is approaching his career-high of 14 wins from 2009-10, and his career GAA and save percentage are 2.95 and .912 respectively, so clearly, this quite an amazing season from the 23-year-old keeper. He looks like a sure bet to be an All-Star this season -- and if the Vezina Trophy voting took place today, he'd likely be a big part of that discussion.

2. Five skaters are currently on pace for 100-plus points: Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. The last time the NHL saw five players in triple-digit points was in 2006-07, when seven accomplished the feat -- Crosby, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Dany Heatley, Martin St. Louis, Marian Hossa and Joe Sakic. However, this season, Sid the Kid has raised his game to a new level.

The Penguins captain is on pace for an absurd 71 goals and 137 points. The last time a player recorded that many points was in 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux had 161 and Jaromir Jagr put up 149 -- both for Pittsburgh. The last time a player scored more than 70 goals was 1992-93, when Sabres forward Alexander Mogilny and Jets rookie Teemu Selanne each scored 76 goals. You see what I'm getting at here right? Crosby is having a remarkable season; potentially the best in nearly 20 years. Obviously, he may not keep going at this incredible pace, but it sure would be special to see him put together a season that would go down in history.

3. Only nine defensemen have multigoal games this season, and only three of them are owned in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues: Chris Pronger (98 percent), John-Michael Liles (89 percent), Niklas Kronwall (82 percent), Ed Jovanovski (58 percent), Jordan Leopold (57 percent), Brent Burns (53 percent), Paul Martin (49 percent), Joe Corvo (14 percent) and Milan Jurcina (1 percent). This statistic may be a result of good luck rather than skill -- Jurcina has just 2 goals on the season, Jovanovski has 4 (three of them in one game -- Jovo is the only blueliner to have a hat trick this season) and Martin has 3.

Regardless, it's a pretty rare feat to accomplish -- even Dustin Byfuglien, who leads all d-men with 10 goals, has yet to have more than one in a game. However, Big Buff does lead all defensemen in multipoint games with eight. Kris Letang and Liles are right behind Byfuglien with seven each. Byfuglien doesn't stop there, he also leads all d-men with 19 games in which he's recorded at least one point, and he's the only everyday defenseman who has had at least one shot on goal in every game this season (Andrei Markov also accomplished this, but he only appeared in seven games this season -- Buff has played 28 games).

Byfuglien has proved he's probably a top-5 fantasy defenseman for the rest of the way, but remember, if you're fortunate enough to own a blueliner that gives you a two-goal performance, cherish it, as it doesn't happen very often -- even for Byfuglien.

4. To no one's surprise, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are the most dangerous pair in the NHL -- both players have recorded a point on 27 of Tampa Bay's 86 goals this season, tops in the League. That means that both Marty and Stammer are posting a point in more than 30 percent of their team's goals. Next on the list are the Sedin twins in Vancouver -- Daniel and Henrik have points on 26 of their team's goals. After these two combinations, there is a bit of a drop-off -- Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, Dallas' Brad Richards and James Neal and Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have all recorded points in 20 of their team's goals.

While none of these players come as a shock on this list, it's certainly worth noting because it shows the value of having two elite linemates on a fantasy squad. If you're able to acquire any of these guys to make up the pair, you'd be golden in the goals and assists categories. This "point pairs" statistic is important for any player combo, not just the elite group, so be sure to use this search engine for players further down on the list as well.

5. Plus/minus is usually the hardest fantasy category to predict, and this season is no different. Most of us couldn't expect Ilya Kovalchuk to be second-to-last on the list with a minus-17 this season, or San Jose's Patrick Marleau to be in the bottom five with a minus-16 rating, but that's the way it goes. The Devils have clearly struggled this season, which leads to Kovy's and many other Devils players' poor plus/minus. But the Sharks, who are four games over .500, have several talented players in the minus the season (Dan Boyle, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski). This is mostly a result of poor defensive play, but it doesn't take away the fact that these guys still produce tons of points -- thanks largely in part to San Jose's power play. You take the good with the bad.

However, if you look at the team at the bottom of the standings, you're usually guaranteed a few guys will be at the bottom of the plus/minus list. Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski is dead last in the category with a minus-20 rating. Even more in depth, in 17 of his 24 games, Wisniewski has had a minus rating. Despite 15 points on the season, the former Blackhawk has had just three games with a plus-rating. Marleau and Kovalchuk rank second behind Wisniewski with 16 games with a minus-rating.

As stated previously, plus/minus is never easy to predict year-to-year, you just have to stick with your guns and hope they aren't on the ice when the opposition tallies.


TOP 100 FANTASY FORWARDS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Alex Ovechkin
5. Evgeni Malkin

CUBETA'S COMPLETE TOP 100 FORWARD RANKS