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Behind The Numbers

Peter Budaj's comeback nearly unprecedented

34-year-old goaltender earned starting job with Kings after one NHL appearance in past two seasons before trade to Lightning

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

At age 34, and having played one NHL game during the previous two seasons, Peter Budaj was having a historic comeback season when he was traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26.

Prior to the trade, Budaj had started 51 games, tying him with Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks for second behind Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers (55). That was more than Budaj's combined total of 49 NHL starts since the last time he was a No. 1 goalie, for the Colorado Avalanche in 2010-11.

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Behind The Numbers

Stats reveal NHL all-underrated team

True value of Mikael Backlund, Jakob Silfverberg, Cory Schneider, others shown by numbers

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Most teams have secondary players who make key contributions but don't get a lot of publicity and could be poised to break out.

Statistical analysis is at its best when it serves to find such individuals, including those on the following NHL all-underrated team.

 

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Behind The Numbers

Trade Deadline pickups can make impact

Stats show how five players dealt in in past week can help new teams

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. The underlying numbers can help sort it all out, and provide an interesting perspective on how some of these transactions can affect the final quarter of the regular season.

Let's examine five interesting stats for players who have changed jerseys recently:

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Behind The Numbers

Kevin Shattenkirk fills key role for Capitals

Newly acquired defenseman counted on to have significant offensive impact

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The Washington Capitals filled a very important role with the acquisition of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade from the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

Shattenkirk, 28, will most likely be used in a very specific offense-oriented role, and, as such, should have success in boosting scoring from the blue line.

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Behind The Numbers

Analyzing top NHL Trade Deadline candidates

Brian Boyle of Lightning, Shane Doan of Coyotes could be on move before March 1

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. ET on March 1, and some prominent names have been circulating in the rumor mill, including forwards Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Shane Doan of the Arizona Coyotes and goaltender Jaroslav Halak of the New York Islanders.

Over the past month, we dove into the underlying numbers to gain more insight into a dozen other players rumored to be available before the trade deadline. This week, we use similar statistics to get a better understanding of this next batch of players who potentially could be changing jerseys soon.

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Behind The Numbers

Impact of Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine

Maple Leafs center has edge on Jets forward entering last head-to-head matchup

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets play at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, TSN3, NHL.TV), the final regular-season game between the teams.

It will be the last head-to-head matchup between rookies Auston Matthews of Toronto and Patrik Laine of Winnipeg, who were chosen No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Laine is leading the rookie scoring race with 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists) in 54 games. Matthews is second with 49 points (28 goals, 21 assists) in 58 games.

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Behind The Numbers

Analyzing top NHL Trade Deadline candidates

Patrick Sharp of Stars, Radim Vrbata of Coyotes could be on move before March 1

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1, and some prominent names have been circulating in the rumor mill, including forwards Jarome Iginla of the Colorado Avalanche, Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres, Patrick Sharp of the Dallas Stars and Radim Vrbata of the Arizona Coyotes.

Each of these players would eat up a good chunk of salary-cap space, but based on their underlying numbers, they would add some combination of grit, experience, high shot volumes, and secondary scoring down the stretch.

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Behind The Numbers

Analyzing top NHL Trade Deadline candidates

Martin Hanzal of Coyotes, Gabriel Landeskog of Avalanche could be moved before March 1

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1, and some prominent names have been circulating in the rumor mill, including Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes, Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, Mike Ribeiro of the Nashville Predators and Thomas Vanek of the Detroit Red Wings.

Last week, we dove into the underlying numbers to gain more insight into Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Matt Duchene of the Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues.

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Behind The Numbers

Analyzing top NHL Trade Deadline candidates

Matt Duchene of Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury of Penguins could be moved before March 1

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The 2017 NHL Trade Deadline is March 1, and some prominent names already have been mentioned in the rumor mill, including Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here is a look at some underlying numbers for those players.

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Behind The Numbers

Breaking down NHL scoring race

Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin each has some metrics in his favor

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL scoring race this season could come down to a close finish among the leader, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, and his two closest pursuers, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

With more than two months remaining, there is always the possibility of someone rising up from among the 25 players who have scored 40 points so far, including Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and the scoring leader last season, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. 

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