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Inside the Numbers

Numbers: Iginla heating up after another slow October

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 10:29 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Maybe Calgary captain Jarome Iginla should petition the NHL to start the season later -- say, Nov. 1.

For the third year in a row, Iginla had a less-than-fantastic October. He finished the month with just 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), the third time in as many seasons that he's struggled through the opening month of the season: Iginla has just 8 goals and 20 points combined in 32 games during the past three Octobers and hasn't scored more than 4 goals in any of those three Octobers. It's a big change from the three previous Octobers, when he had 19 goals and 42 points in the same number of games.

The good news for Iginla and the Flames is that November follows October -- and with it comes their captain's scoring touch. He had a pair of goals in Thursday's 4-1 win at Detroit and is 2-2-4 this month, matching his offensive numbers for all of October.

Bruins experiencing historic 'Stanley Cup hangover'

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 12:47 PM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

It seems like the only words heard more often in October than "Happy Halloween" are "Stanley Cup hangover." General managers downplay the concept, coaches try to ignore it and players dismiss it.

But is there really a Stanley Cup hangover? The Boston Bruins certainly are playing like they have one. The Bruins lost for the sixth time in their first nine games when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Montreal on Thursday, dropping them to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

After five games, the Bruins were just 2-3-0 -- the first defending champ since the 2007 Anaheim Ducks to be under .500 after five games. Of the 17 champions crowned since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994, the Bruins are just the fifth to average less than a point a game through five games; the New York Rangers, coming off their Stanley Cup in 1994, had the worst debut -- they were 1-4-0 in a season that was delayed until January by a work stoppage. Though none of the 17 teams won each of its first five games (Detroit went 4-0-1 in 1997), eight had at least three wins.

Numbers: Ovi, Vokoun, Kessel all under microscope

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 10:28 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 5
SOG: 20 | +/-: -1
After the worst five-game start of his NHL career, maybe all Alex Ovechkin needed was a trip to Philadelphia.

While the Washington Capitals are off to the best start in franchise history, winning their first six games for the first time since entering the NHL in 1974, the Caps won the first five without much help from their captain. Ovechkin had just one goal and three points in five games, his poorest start since entering the NHL in 2005.

But Ovechkin has always enjoyed success against the Flyers, and Thursday was no different. He had a pair of goals as the Caps kept rolling with a 5-2 victory, giving him 22 goals and 37 points in 23 games against Philadelphia -- his best figures in both categories against any Atlantic Division team.

Caps make it three straight over Crosby-less Penguins

Friday, 10.14.2011 / 9:51 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been able to win despite the absence of Sidney Crosby, who hasn't played since early January due to a concussion. What they haven't been able to do without him is beat the Washington Capitals.

The Caps made it 3-for-3 against the Penguins since Crosby's injury with a 3-2 overtime win in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Not that they hadn't been playing well against their least-favorite team even with Crosby in the lineup -- the Capitals now are 11-0-2 in their last 13 meetings with the Pens and went 160:07 without allowing a goal until James Neal scored 2:20 into Thursday's game. The last time Washington didn't get at least a point out of a game with the Penguins was March 9, 2008, when the Pens won 4-2 at Washington.

Historic opening for Jagr, Maple Leafs

Friday, 10.07.2011 / 9:54 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 2 | +/-: 0
Jaromir Jagr didn't need long to make history.

Jagr, who made his NHL return Thursday with the Philadelphia Flyers after three seasons in Russia, needed less than a period to get his 1,600th NHL point, an assist on the Flyers' first goal in a 2-1 season-opening victory at Boston. More notably, it was the 31st point he's scored in a season-opener, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Ray Bourque for the all-time lead in opening-night scoring. Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky are next with 27 points.

Jagr also became the ninth player in NHL history to reach the 1,600-point mark. He's now 41 behind Sakic for eighth place.

A look at the first six years of the shootout

Thursday, 07.28.2011 / 9:00 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

We've now had six seasons in which games that remain tied after overtime have been decided by a shootout -- a breakaway competition of three (or more, as needed) rounds in which shooters go 1-on-1 with goaltenders.

Just more than one of every eight games has ended in a shootout since it was adopted in 2005. The stakes can be high -- Philadelphia's run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final never would have happened if the Flyers hadn't beaten the New York Rangers in a shootout on the final day of the season. The New York Islanders made the postseason in 2006-07 by beating New Jersey in a shootout in their season finale.

Last season, the Rangers' 9-3 record in shootouts helped them finish two points ahead of Carolina, which went 5-5, while in the West, the Kings and Stars played in 12 shootouts, but L.A. went 10-2 while Dallas went 5-7 -- more than accounting for the three-point difference between the seventh-place Kings and the ninth-place Stars.

The shootout's six seasons have shown that some players and some teams are better at it than others. Most interesting is the fact that some of hockey's big names have struggled in the shootout, while a number of lesser lights have shone brightly.

Here's a look at some of the best of the shootout at age 6:

Meet the NHL's shootout kings

Tuesday, 07.26.2011 / 3:30 PM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

It's hard to believe, but the shootout has been with us for six seasons. The breakaway competition was adopted in 2005 as a way to settle games that were tied after overtime. It has turned into a must-see -- how many times have you been flicking through TV channels and stopped to watch when you saw teams getting ready to go to the shootout?

Some teams and players have fared far better than others in the shootout -- and the most successful players aren't always the biggest names. 

A look at some off-the-beaten-track NHL marks

Friday, 07.22.2011 / 10:42 AM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Each number related to hockey tells a story of its own, whether it's 1,963 (Wayne Gretzky's career assists, more than any other player's points total); 1,767 (Gordie Howe's record for games played, just 11 more than Mark Messier, who opted to retire before breaking the record) or 625 (Martin Brodeur's regular-season victory total, a number than figures to climb again this season).

If, as the saying goes, every picture tells a story -- well, so do a lot of the numbers few fans ever think about.

With that in mind, here are a few of the more interesting NHL facts and figures involving position players that you might not have known about.

Osgood by the numbers

Tuesday, 07.19.2011 / 1:07 PM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood called it a career on Tuesday -- and what a career it was. The 38-year-old goaltender was a member of three Cup-winning teams with the Wings and is in the top 10 in career victories and the top 25 in shutouts. Osgood's retirement is sure to spark debate as to whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Here's a look at "Ozzie's" career by the numbers. Let the debates begin.

0 -- Career losses by Osgood against Tampa Bay. Osgood was a perfect 17-0-0 against the Lightning, the most wins without a loss by any goaltender active in 2010-11 against another team. Osgood had a 1.87 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage against the Lightning.

Thomas and Lidstrom lead NHL's over-35 club

Wednesday, 07.13.2011 / 4:07 PM / Inside the Numbers

John Kreiser - Columnist

Hockey at the NHL level is a sport for the young, right?

Well … not always.

The number of younger players in the NHL seems to rise every season, but that doesn't mean there's no place for guys whose playoff beards include more than a few gray hairs. While no club would want a roster full of graybeards, there's a sizeable contingent of talented players 35 and over who are more than capable of keeping up with the kids.

Using the NHL's postseason All-Star team format, here's a look at the best of today's over-35 crowd:
First | Prev | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Next | Last


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