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Behind The Numbers

Wrapping up 2016 with statistical bow

15 analytic highlights of NHL's calendar year

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent

The time has come to take a look at some of the numbers that helped shape 2016.

In ascending order, here are 15 statistics calculated from Jan. 1 through Dec. 14, 2016, including the final three-plus months of the 2015-16 regular season, the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (in applicable cases), and the beginning of the 2016-17 season

1 -- The number of Dallas Stars games decided in the shootout, of the 17 tied at the end of regulation. It was a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 7, 2016. A full year of 3-on-3 overtime didn't have the same impact on the Philadelphia Flyers, who took a League-leading 12 of 23 tied games to the shootout.

10.8 -- The relative SAT percentage for Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. This is calculated as Boston's share of all shot attempts when Bergeron is on the ice at 5-on-5, which is 59.6 percent, relative to when he isn't, 48.8 percent. In absolute terms, the Bruins outshot their opponents 1,061 attempts to 720 when Bergeron was on the ice. Bergeron also led the NHL with 995 faceoff wins.

Video: VAN@CGY: Backlund nets SHG to collect hat trick

15 -- Shorthanded goals scored by the Calgary Flames, four more than any other team, an improvement from five in 2015. Center Mikael Backlund leads the NHL with seven shorthanded points in 2016, forward Michael Frolik has six and captain Mark Giordano leads defensemen with five.

19 -- Power-play goals allowed by the Carolina Hurricanes, out of 196 shorthanded situations, for a League-leading 90.3 penalty-killing percentage. No other team allowed fewer than 34 power-play goals or had a power-play percentage above 85.7 percent.

37 -- The NHL-leading plus-minus of defenseman Ian Cole of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cole led the League with a plus-31 in regular-season games and was a plus-6 in the 2016 playoffs. 

54 -- Goals scored by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, including a League-leading 48 in regular-season games and six in the playoffs. This is up from 26 in 2015, and it is the first time Crosby has led the NHL in goals in a calendar year.

Video: ARI@PIT: Crosby waits, bats puck in out of midair

55.6 -- The SAT percentage for the Los Angeles Kings, the highest in the NHL by 2.3 percent over the Penguins (53.3 percent). At 5-on-5, the Kings outshot opponents 3,532 attempts to 2,821. Los Angeles is the unquestioned "King" of possession-based hockey, also confirmed by a League-leading zone start percentage of 55.6 percent, having taken 1,251 faceoffs in the offensive zone and 998 in the defensive zone.

66 -- Wins by the Penguins, including a League-leading 50 in the regular season, up from 37 in 2015, and 16 on the way to winning the 2016 Stanley Cup. 

64 -- Power-play goals scored by the Flyers. With the man-advantage, the top three point-scorers in the NHL were center Brayden Schenn with 31, forward Wayne Simmonds with 30, and forward Claude Giroux with 29. Forward Jakub Voracek was tied for seventh with 25, and Shayne Gostisbehere is one back of the lead among defensemen with 24, behind Kris Letang of the Penguins.

79 -- Assists by Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, including a League-leading 61 in regular-season games, plus 18 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ranked second behind teammate Brent Burns, who had 20. Thornton led the NHL with 89 regular-season assists in 2006, 88 in 2007 and 70 in 2009.

Video: CAR@SJS: Marleau scores 12 seconds into the game

84.1 -- The zone start percentage for Mike Ribeiro of the Nashville Predators, the highest in the NHL. In the regular season, Ribeiro lined up for 398 faceoffs in the offensive zone and 78 in the defensive zone at 5-on-5, as well as 71 in the offensive zone and 11 in the defensive zone in the playoffs.

89 -- Man-games lost to injury by the Washington Capitals as of Dec. 11, 2016, as tabulated from official NHL reports. In contrast, three teams lost more than 300 man-games to injury; the Winnipeg Jets (306) Montreal Canadiens (344) and Edmonton Oilers (357).

110 -- Crosby's League-leading point total in 2016, including a League-leading 91 in regular-season games and 19 in the playoffs. Crosby previously led the NHL with 118 regular-season points in 2006, 126 in 2010 and 114 in 2013.

403 -- League-leading number of shots taken by Burns of the Sharks in 2016, including 325 in regular-season games, tied with Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin for the League lead, plus 77 more in the playoffs. 

2,286 -- Shots faced by Martin Jones of the Sharks in regular-season games and the playoffs; he saved 2,107 for a save percentage of .922. Jones led the League in games played (85), wins (50) and shutouts (eight). The Sharks allowed 171 goals against in the regular season, the fewest in the NHL, down from 236 in 2015, which ranked 25th.

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