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First-quarter stats paint interesting picture

by Rob Vollman

A quarter of the 2015-16 NHL regular season is complete, and a look at the numbers reveals some rather interesting statistics at the individual, team and League levels.

Rob Vollman is a pioneer in the field of hockey analytics and the co-author of Hockey Abstract. His innovations include Player Usage Charts on Home Plate Save Percentage. He will contribute a regular column to throughout this season.

Here are a dozen of the most compelling:

Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators

The Stat: 5 shootout goals, most in the NHL.

Going into this season, Ryan had 11 goals in 39 shootout attempts, and has already set a personal high with five shootout goals. No one else has scored more than two, including teammates Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejad. Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, one of the players for whom Ryan was traded to Ottawa, also has two shootout goals.

Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers

The Stat: At age 43, leads the Florida Panthers with 16 points.

The day Aaron Ekblad was born, Jagr had already scored 525 NHL points. He actually played two NHL games against Guy Lafleur, and has been playing longer than nine NHL franchises have existed, including his own. Most impressive, Jagr has scored 180 points in 246 games since turning 40, which is more points than all but three of his current teammates.

Career Scoring, Florida Panthers
Player GP PTS
Jussi Jokinen 761 472
Brian Campbell 940 464
Dave Bolland 426 208
Jaromir Jagr in his 40s 246 180
Willie Mitchell 881 175

Kris Russell, Calgary Flames

The Stat: 33.2 shifts per game, first in the NHL.

The seven players who have played the most shifts per game include three defensemen from each of the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs, and the workhorse of the Los Angeles Kings, Drew Doughty.

Player Team GP Shifts Shifts/GP
Kris Russell Calgary 21 698 33.2
Drew Doughty Los Angeles 20 663 33.2
T.J. Brodie Calgary 12 393 32.9
Mark Giordano Calgary 21 682 32.5
Matt Hunwick Toronto 21 669 31.9
Dion Phaneuf Toronto 21 667 31.8
Morgan Rielly Toronto 21 658 31.3
Brent Seabrook Chicago 21 650 31.0
Alex Pietrangelo St. Louis 21 649 30.9
Alexander Edler Vancouver 21 646 30.8

Russell also leads the League with the most power-play ice time without his team scoring a goal, with 32:41.

The Calgary Flames

The Stat: Outscored 60-27 during the final two periods of games, the widest discrepancy in the NHL.

The Flames have outscored opponents 18-14 in the first period, but have been outscored by 33 goals through the second and third periods, the widest margin by 13 goals. This is in stark contrast to last season, when Calgary outscored opponents 99-68 in the third period.

Worst Goal Differential in 2nd and 3rd Periods, 2015-16
Team GF GA Diff
Calgary Flames 27 60 -33
Anaheim Ducks 22 42 -20
Columbus Blue Jackets 37 52 -15
Carolina Hurricanes 30 43 -13
Philadelphia Flyers 24 34 -10

Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets

The Stat: 12.0 shots per 60 minutes, ninth in the NHL.

It's unusual for a 19-year-old rookie to rank among the League leaders in any category, but Ehlers has been taking a lot of shots. He averaged 13.2 shots per 60 minutes through the first 17 games on a line with Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele, and is averaging 6.4 shots per 60 minutes on a line with Alexander Burmistrov and Chris Thorburn.

Andrew Desjardins, Chicago Blackhawks

The Stat: 218 minutes played without being on the ice for any of his team's goals.

Chicago has scored 57 goals in 2015-16, but none with Desjardins on the ice. He has played 18 games and averaged 12:07 of ice time per game, but the Blackhawks have no goals in any man-power situation, allowing 14.

Most Ice-Time Without Own Team Scoring, 2015-16
Player Team GP TOI GF GA
Andrew Desjardins Chicago 18 218:03 0 14
Chris Wagner Ana/Col 14 128:00 0 7
Viktor Tikhonov Chicago 11 113:07 0 4
Landon Ferraro Detroit 10 95:34 0 4
Shawn Thornton Florida 11 95:10 0 0

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

The Stat: 14 game stars, first in the NHL.

For all of Henrik Lundqvist's statistical achievements this year, none is more impressive than being awarded 14 game stars through the first quarter season, four more than any other player.

Data source:

Be warned, however, that a reliance on spectacular goaltending has sometimes signaled a collapse for the team, based on previous League leaders Mike Smith in 2011-12, Ryan Miller in 2012-13, and Semyon Varlamov in 2013-14.

The New York Rangers

The Stat: 4 man-games lost to injury.

Fortune has certainly smiled on the Rangers. At 5-on-5, they lead the League with a 10.9 shooting percentage and a .961 save percentage, for a 107.0 SPSV, and have escaped the first 20 games almost completely free of injuries.

With four man-games lost to injury through the first 20 games, the Rangers are tied for fourth for fewest man-games lost to injury by a team in any 20-game stretch in the past six years.

Fewest Man-Games Lost (MGL) to Injury in a 20-game stretch, 2010-11 to Present
2010-11 Carolina 3 to 28 2
2010-11 Ottawa 17 to 36 3
2014-15 Boston 37 to 56 3
2010-11 Dallas 1 to 20 4
2015-16 NY Rangers 1 to 20 4

Data Source:

The Minnesota Wild

The Stat: The only team without an empty-net goal.

Despite an 11-5-3 record, the Minnesota Wild are the only NHL team without an empty-net goal.

In contrast, the Dallas Stars have nine empty-net goals, which matches Minnesota's total for last season, and the Montreal Canadiens have two players with three empty-net goals each, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec. Montreal and Dallas are the only two teams to not allow an empty-net goal.

Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

The Stat: 1.5 shooting percentage, lowest in the NHL (minimum one goal).

After scoring on 10.2 percent of his shots throughout his seven-season NHL career, Voracek had one goal in 67 shots to start the season.

Voracek's 1.5 percent shooting percentage was the lowest in the League among players with at least one goal. Another surprise is that three of the five lowest shooting percentages among forwards are playing for the Anaheim Ducks.

Lowest Shooting Percentage among Forwards, 2015-16
Player Team Goals Shots SH%
Jakub Voracek Philadelphia 1 67 1.5%
Nick Foligno Columbus 1 51 2.0%
Jakob Silfverberg Anaheim 1 51 2.0%
Ryan Kesler Anaheim 1 44 2.3%
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim 1 41 2.4%
Minimum 1 goal

John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

The Stat: 19 assists, tied for first in the NHL.

After 37 assists in 117 games in the top Swedish league, and 29 assists in 65 NHL games last season, Klingberg has 19 assists in 21 games, which is tied for the League lead.

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have been on fire and have boosted the scoring of everyone fortunate enough to share the ice with them. This even extends to Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, the only two goalies in the League with two assists.

The Boston Bruins

The Stat: 32.3 percent power-play success rate.

Boston is the first team to score 20 power-play goals this season, and in 62 opportunities, the fifth fewest in the NHL. This is a big improvement from last season, when the Bruins scored 38 goals in 213 opportunities, which ranked 27th in the League.

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