It's hard to believe, but we've already passed the halfway mark of the 2009-10 season and are headed for home -- or, more precisely, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which start in mid-April.
Here's a look at some of the most interesting numbers from the first half of this season's 1,230-game schedule:
Shorthanded goals by the Edmonton Oilers, the only team in the League that hasn't scored while playing a man down. All 30 teams were scored on at least once while on the power play.1 --
Games won by the Toronto Maple Leafs when the score was tied at the end of regulation. The Leafs were 1-9 in games decided after 60 minutes -- including an 0-7 mark when the game was decided during the five-minute overtime period.2 --
Penalty-shot goals scored by the San Jose Sharks in their 5-2 victory against Washington on Dec. 30 -- the first time in 27 years that two players on the same team scored on penalty shots in one game. In all, the Sharks had three of the seven penalty-shot goals in the first half.
Teams that did not have a shutout in the first half. Carolina, last in the NHL, was one -- but the others were the defending Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings, who've been among the top eight in the West all season. Three teams (Calgary, Columbus and New Jersey) avoided being blanked in the first half.5 --
Shutouts by New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, tying him with Ilya Bryzgalov of Phoenix and Ryan Miller of Buffalo for the League lead. Brodeur's fifth shutout came in the Devils' 41st game on Tuesday and gave him an NHL-record 11 seasons with five or more, breaking the mark he'd held with Terry Sawchuk and Dominik Hasek. Of course, his third shutout was the 104th of his career, breaking a tie with Sawchuk for the most in NHL history.6 --
Shootout wins by the Pittsburgh Penguins in as many opportunities, the most by any team in the NHL. Marc-Andre Fleury has been in goal for four of the six wins -- allowing just one goal in 13 attempts -- and Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with five shootout goals. 6 --
Times the Detroit Red Wings were shut out in the first half, the most of any team. Detroit was shut out just three times all last season and had been blanked just seven times in the previous four seasons combined.
Game-winning goals by Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone, the most by any player in the League. It's an especially impressive achievement considering that the Bolts have won just 16 games.9 --
Goals scored by the Red Wings on Nov. 11 in a 9-1 win against Columbus, the most scored by any team in a game this season. The Wings' big night spoiled Blue Jackets' coach Ken Hitchcock's 1,000th NHL game.13 --
Shots on goal by Washington's Alex Ovechkin against San Jose on Oct. 15. That was the most shots in a game by any player in the first half. Ovechkin scored once in the Caps' 4-1 victory.14 --
Wins by the New Jersey Devils, without a loss, when leading after one period -- the only such perfect record in the League. The Devils are also 22-0-0 when leading after two periods, the most wins among the four teams that are perfect when leading after 40 minutes.15 --
Games played by the Dallas Stars that went past regulation, the most of any team in the first half. The Stars also had a League-high 11 losses in games that went past 60 minutes, including eight (also tops in the League) in shootouts.20 --
Games in which a team lost or was taken to overtime after leading by three or more goals. Ten teams lost after leading by three or more goals; 10 others were taken to OT or a shootout but managed to go home with two points. The Islanders were tops with four blown leads, though they won three of the games; Calgary blew a 5-0 first-period lead and lost 6-5 in OT at Chicago on Oct. 12.22 --
First-period goals allowed by Chicago and Phoenix in the first half; leaving them tied for the fewest surrendered by any team in its first 41 games. New Jersey was the stingiest in the second period with 26 goals allowed; Calgary was tops in the third period with 24. 26 --
Goals by the Rangers' Marian Gaborik, the most by any player in the first half of the season. Gaborik had more goals in the first half than he had points (23) in 2008-09, when he missed most of the season with injuries while playing for the Minnesota Wild.29 --
Times in their first 41 games that the Leafs allowed the first goal, the most of any team. Toronto were 6-16-7 in those games. 30 --
First-half wins by the Devils, the most of any team (Chicago reached 30 wins on Tuesday, in its 43rd game). The Devils were 16-6-0 at home and 14-4-1 away from the Prudential Center.59 --
Goals scored by the Sharks in the second period of their first 41 games -- the most goals scored by any team in any period during the first half. Washington led all teams in the first period with 49, while Atlanta was tops in the third period with 55.61 --
Shots by the Maple Leafs against the Islanders on Nov. 23, by far the most of any team this season. Isles goalie Dwayne Roloson stopped 58 in New York's 4-3 OT win, the most saves by a goaltender since Quebec's Ron Tugnutt made 70 in March 1991.78 --
Goals scored by the Red Wings in their 21 first-half wins. In contrast, the Wings managed only 30 goals in their 20 first-half losses.
Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist