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Behind The Numbers

Versatility, productivity make Marleau prized possession

Maple Leafs forward has used durability to amass enviable numbers across 1,500 games

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

One of the most underrated players in the NHL is Toronto Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau, who became the 18th player in League history to reach 1,500 games when he played in a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Unlike the other 17 players to reach this milestone, Marleau, 38, has never been recognized with any League-wide individual award, been voted a First- or Second-Team All-Star, or finished a season in the top 10 in scoring. Instead, Marleau managed to reach the milestone because of three important, underrated qualities: durability, consistency and versatility.

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Behind The Numbers

Hot start has Ovechkin eyeing history with Capitals

Scoring spree puts 65-goal season in play; shot at Gretzky's 894

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is off to the hottest start of his NHL career with eight goals through his first four games.

The goal-scoring binge has introduced the possibility of reaching milestones believed to once be out of reach. Could the forward match his personal high of 65 goals in a season and, if the surge continues, could it be the boost Ovechkin needs to approach Wayne Gretzky's record of 894 NHL goals?

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Behind The Numbers

NHL metrics help players on professional tryout contract show value

Winnik, Franson, Booth, Chiasson among those to take advantage

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Each season, a raft of unsigned veteran players try to extend their NHL career by attending training camp on a professional tryout contract (PTO). It is a last-gasp effort by each player to prove he belongs in the NHL and a risk-free opportunity for each team to see what the player has left.

This preseason was no exception. Veterans across the NHL showed up at camps looking to earn a job; some succeeded, others failed. Here is a look at, and one telling statistic about, the higher-profile players who made the most of their opportunity:

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Behind The Numbers

What to expect from Jagr with Flames in 2017-18

Production should be similar to his 2016-17 season with Panthers

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Even at 45 years old, Jaromir Jagr is an effective offensive player with strong shot-based metrics who is projected to score 43 points this season, possibly more if he's playing on the first or second scoring line for the Calgary Flames.

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Behind The Numbers

Four interesting statistics from preseason

Scoring of Golden Knights, Flames' goaltending struggles among most eye-opening trends

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Though you shouldn't read too much into preseason results, they do give an early indication of the potential impact significant offseason changes may have on the standings.

From this perspective, it appears the Vegas Golden Knights will have no trouble scoring, the Calgary Flames may not have solved their goaltending problem, and the Los Angeles Kings may be far less focused on physical play under new coach John Stevens. 

Here are four interesting stats from the preseason so far:

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Behind The Numbers

McDavid likely to outscore Crosby again this season

Statistical projections based on age, usage, coaching

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

After missing 37 games as a rookie two seasons ago, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy in 2016-17 with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists), 11 more than Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who finished second in the NHL. Based on projections, McDavid (97 points) will outscore Crosby (88) again this season.

Over the past two seasons, Crosby had 174 points (80 goals, 94 assists) in 155 games, and McDavid had 148 points (46 goals, 102 assists) in 127 games. On a point-per-game basis, McDavid was ahead of Crosby, 1.17 to 1.12. Over 82 games, that works out to 95.6 points for McDavid and 92.1 points for Crosby.

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Behind The Numbers

Points regression projected for three Norris finalists

Statistical analysis suggests Burns, Hedman, Karlsson won't reach 70 again

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Three defensemen scored more than 70 points last season, the first time that's happened in the NHL since 1995-96.

Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks had 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning had 72 points (16 goals, 56 assists) in 79 games, and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators had 71 points (17 goals, 54 assists) in 77 games. Burns won the Norris Trophy, and Karlsson and Hedman finished second and third.

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Behind The Numbers

Statistical projections make Price clear favorite to win Vezina

Difference between 2017 winner Bobrovsky, finalist Holtby is minimal

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Great goaltending can have a huge impact on the NHL standings. Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy with a League-leading .931 save percentage last season and helped to boost the Columbus Blue Jackets by 32 points in the standings, from 76 points in 2015-16 to 108.

The impact of great goaltending may be clear, but figuring out which goalies are capable of such outstanding performances can be a bit murky. In particular, what can be expected of Bobrovsky in 2017-18, along with the two other finalists for the Vezina last season, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens?

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Behind The Numbers

Expectations for Matthews, Laine, Werenski in second NHL season

Numbers show offensive improvement by Calder Trophy finalists is modest at best

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) and finalists Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets) and Zach Werenski (Columbus Blue Jackets) each had a superb rookie season. But how much more can be expected in their second NHL season?

History shows expectations of offensive improvement for elite players in their second NHL season should be modest, and that Matthews might be the only one of the three who improves his scoring numbers.

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31 in 31

Winnipeg Jets key statistics

Scheifele's scoring rate, Mason's play at even strength

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Winnipeg Jets.

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