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(Page 3 of 11)
Inside the Numbers

Flyers hope for change against Brodeur-less Devils

Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 11:40 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers don't have to go far to find each other -- they're all of about 75 miles apart.

Understandably, there's not a lot of love lost between the teams as they prepare for their Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup (NBCSN/TSN2). The game at Prudential Center in Newark is also the opener of a home-and-home series -- the teams meet again Friday at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers are still looking for their first win against their division rivals this season.

Here's a statistical look at this Rivalry Night matchup:

Nightmare in New Jersey: The trip up the New Jersey Turnpike used to be an easy win for the Flyers -- they won in seven of 10 visits during the first three seasons after the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey for the 1982-83 season. But those days are long gone. Since play resumed after the 2004-05 work stoppage, the Devils are 20-5-1 against the Flyers in New Jersey in the regular season, including a 12-5-1 mark since they moved to Prudential Center in the fall of 2007.

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Looking back at Chicago's historic streak

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 1:45 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The greatest start in NHL history has come to an end.

The Chicago Blackhawks came into Friday's game at Colorado having gotten points in each of their first 24 games, by far the longest streak from the start of a season. But two nights after edging the Avalanche 3-2 in Chicago, the Blackhawks were overwhelmed in the return match in Denver. Colorado scored five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-2 victory, handing Chicago its first regulation loss since last March 25.

Chicago's streak was formed from equal parts balanced offense, big games by big players, solid defense and excellent goaltending. For the first half of this season's 48-game schedule, the Blackhawks were unbeatable in any game not decided in a shootout.

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Stamkos, Crosby poised to set 48-game marks

Friday, 03.08.2013 / 9:50 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The first half of the 2012-13 has flown by. It's been a fantastic one for the Chicago Blackhawks, who have yet to lose in regulation, as well as for the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens, who are leading their divisions at the midway point after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Some teams from whom much was expected, such as Philadelphia and Washington, are trying to dig out after poor first halves.

Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby are poised to break the 1994-95 records established for goals and points, respectively, in a 48-game season. (Photo: Gregory Shamus/NHLI)

The race for the 16 playoff spots figures to be tighter than ever -- no team enters the weekend more than seven points out of a postseason berth.

Here's a look at some of the key first-half numbers:

0 -- Shootouts involving the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals, the only three teams that have yet to take part in a tiebreaker. At the other end of the spectrum, the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks have had seven games decided in shootouts; the Sharks and Ducks are both 4-3, while at 2-5 the Canucks haven't been quite as good.

1 -- Games that were scoreless after 65 minutes. Phoenix beat San Jose 1-0 in a shootout on Feb. 9 in the 29th scoreless game to go to the tiebreaker since the adoption of the shootout.

2 -- Overtime goals by Marian Gaborik of the Rangers and Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks. They're the only players who've scored more than once in OT. In all, 40 games have been decided in the five-minute extra period.

3 -- Hat tricks by members of the Anaheim Ducks, the most by any team so far this season. No other team has more than two of the 18 three-goal games this season.

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History on Avs' side in rivalry with Blackhawks

Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 10:05 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks reach the halfway point of their season Wednesday, and they have yet to lose a game in regulation. But none of their success has come at the expense of the Colorado Avalanche. The teams open a home-and-home series at United Center on this week's NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry before heading to Denver for the rematch on Friday.

Chicago has gotten points in each of its last 29 games, passing the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens for sole possession of the second-longest streak in NHL history. However, they've struggled against Colorado -- the Avalanche went 3-1-0 against Chicago in each of the past two seasons and won both trips to the United Center last season.

Here's a statistical look at this week's Rivalry Night matchup:

Avs back on top: Colorado's success against the Blackhawks in the previous two seasons has moved the Avalanche ahead of Chicago in the all-time series between the franchises. The Avalanche, who entered the NHL as the Quebec Nordiques in 1979, have won 52 of the 108 meetings. Chicago has won 47, while nine ended in ties. Colorado has had a more substantial edge since moving to Denver in 1995 -- the Avs have won 36 of the 63 games played, lost 24 and tied three. The Blackhawks have struggled badly in the Mile High City, winning just nine times, losing 20 and tying twice.

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Hot List: Kadri rewarding Toronto's patience

Monday, 03.04.2013 / 9:44 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been waiting for Nazem Kadri to become the impact player they hoped he'd be when they took him with the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. If last week is any indication, their patience is paying off.

Nazem Kadri
Center - TOR
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 21
SOG: 47 | +/-: 11
Kadri enters the week as Toronto's leading scorer with 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 22 games. That includes six points in the Maple Leafs' three games last week -- highlighted by his first NHL hat trick in Thursday's road victory against the Islanders.

Defensive problems have hampered Kadri's development, but the lessons he learned with the AHL Toronto Marlies appear to be taking hold. Not only is Kadri the Leafs' leading scorer, but he's also in the top-15 in the NHL in plus-minus rating at plus-11.

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Blackhawks' 20-game start among best in history

Friday, 03.01.2013 / 9:53 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks are off to the best 20-game start in NHL history -- they are the only team in League history to get points in each of their first 20 games. But in terms of where they rank among the best-ever 20-game segments, regardless of when they occur in a season, they're a step behind the best.

No team has won 20 in a row -- the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins hold the record with 17 consecutive wins, two of which came in overtime. The Blackhawks improved to 17-0-3 by beating St. Louis 3-0 on Thursday, giving them 37 points, one short of the most ever in a 20-game segment at any point in an NHL season. The Montreal Canadiens went 19-1-0 (38 points) in a 20-game segment of the 1967-68 season, still the best of any team in that number of games. Four other teams went 18-1-1 for 37 points; only the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings did so after the re-introduction of overtime. Seven more had 36 points; two were 16-0-4 and five teams went 17-1-2.

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Wednesday night doubleheader features streaks

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 11:56 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

For the second time in as many weeks, NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry presented by Coors Light features an East-West doubleheader.

The Capitals and Flyers open the night when they renew hostilities at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The nightcap features the Detroit Red Wings opening a road trip with a visit to Los Angeles. Both games can be seen on the NBC Sports Network in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.

Though they're not in the same division, the Flyers and Capitals are separated by a mere 120 miles -- and though the Flyers dominated the early years of the series, the Caps have made up some ground in since the arrival of Alex Ovechkin eight years ago. Detroit's recent domination of its series with the Kings has moved the Red Wings back in front in their all-time series, which began in 1967.

Here's a statistical look at Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader:

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Blackhawks' season-opening run hasn't been easy

Friday, 02.22.2013 / 9:57 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

  • The Chicago Blackhawks will take the ice against San Jose on Friday night hoping to eclipse the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks when it comes to most games from the start of a season earning at least one point.

The Hawks enter the night tied with the Ducks of six years ago, having earned at least one point in each of their first 16 games. They passed the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers' season-opening run of 15 straight games (12 wins, 3 ties) with a 4-3 shootout win against Vancouver; that came two days after a 3-2 win against Los Angeles moved them past the '43-44 Montreal Canadiens (14 games; 11 wins, 3 ties).

SHARKS-BLACKHAWKS ON NHLN-US

Chicago, still unbeaten in regulation, squares off with San Jose on Friday night. Watch live at 8:30 PM ET on NHL Network-US.

But while the Blackhawks' 13-0-3 mark includes two overtime wins and a 2-3 mark in shootouts, it's not unfair to say that their season-opening run has been the most difficult of the four.

To start with, the Hawks played 10 of their first 12 games on the road (they were 8-0-2) before coming back to the United Center for a seven-game homestand. In contrast, Anaheim had 10 of its 16 games at home (7-0-3), Edmonton played eight of its 15 games at the building now known as Rexall Place (7-0-1) and the wartime Canadiens went 8-0-1 while playing nine of 14 at the Forum. Chicago's schedule included two trips to California, each of which also included a stop in Phoenix, as well as a two-game journey through Western Canada.

The Blackhawks have walked a lot of tightropes. Ten of their 16 games have been one-goal contests, including seven that went past regulation -- they are 2-0 in OT and 2-3 in shootouts. Anaheim also had 10 one-goal games, seven of which weren't decided in regulation. In contrast, Edmonton played just two one-goal games (and three ties), while Montreal had only one game decided by a single goal (plus three ties).

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First quarter sees power surges … in some places

Friday, 02.15.2013 / 9:39 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The NHL season reached the quarter mark this week. It's been a tough quarter for the defending champion Los Angeles Kings and the Washington Capitals, a brilliant one for the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. Power-play production is up, at least for some teams, but overall scoring is just about the same as it was last season -- and there's a surprise name at the top of the scoring race.

Here's a look at some of this season's trends though the first quarter:

Scoring: The average first-quarter game saw teams combine for an average of 5.34 non-shootout goals, barely changed from the 5.32 per-game total from last season. But this season's number has been dropping as teams get more used to their systems after a shortened training camp. The first two weeks saw an average of 5.55 goals per game; after that, it was 5.12.

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Red Wings, Blues add latest chapter to classic rivalry

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 10:00 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues should know each other pretty well by now.

Not only do the Red Wings and Blues both play in the Central Division, they'll be seeing each other for the fourth time in less than four weeks when they get together at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday Night Rivalry presented by Coors Light (NBCSN/TSN2). The Red Wings were routed 6-0 in St. Louis on opening night, but earned a 5-3 win in Detroit on Feb. 1 and beat the Blues 5-1 in St. Louis six days later.

After going 6-1-0 in January, the Blues are trying to snap a slide that has seen them lose all five games this month, including the two to the Red Wings. Detroit is trying to extend a three-game winning streak that began with the victory at St. Louis last week.

Here's a statistical look at two teams who've been battling each other for more than 45 years.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis