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Year in Review: 15 stats that helped define 2015

by Rob Vollman

As 2015 races toward its conclusion, looks at some of the people and moments that have shaped the year.

The time has come to take a look back at the numbers that helped define the calendar year.

In ascending order, here are 15 statistics calculated from Jan. 1 through Dec. 23, 2015, which includes the latter part of the 2014-15 regular season, the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (in applicable cases), and the 2015-16 season through Dec. 23.

1.93 -- The goals-against average for Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, the best in the NHL. Price was the leading goaltender in most statistical categories, including his .934 save percentage and 10 shutouts. Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild shared the lead with 10 shutouts.

4.8 -- The average number of shots Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals took during a game. He recorded at least one shot in all 91 games during the calendar year, which included a run to the second round in the playoffs, and was kept to a single shot on four occasions. Through 91 games, Ovechkin led the League with 58 goals and 439 shots, and missed the net 228 times, including hitting the crossbar or post 15 times.

5 -- The League-leading number of Ottawa Senators with at least 60 regular-season points in the 2015 calendar year: defenseman Erik Karlsson and forwards Mark Stone, Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan. The Senators also were the only team to employ fewer than 10 defensemen and 20 forwards in 2015.

6 -- Of the 19 players claimed on waivers in 2015, the Arizona Coyotes were involved in six. General manager Don Maloney claimed forwards Mark Arcobello, Craig Cunningham, Tye McGinn and Viktor Tikhonov, and forward Brandon McMillan and defenseman David Schlemko were claimed by the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars, respectively. No other NHL team was involved in more than three waiver transactions in 2015.

8 -- The number of goaltenders employed by the Buffalo Sabres in 2015: Chad Johnson, Anders Lindback, Michal Neuvirth, Linus Ullmark, Jhonas Enroth, Matt Hackett, Andrey Makarov and Robin Lehner. In contrast, the New Jersey Devils used two goalies in 2015, Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid.

9.4 -- The SAT Relative percentage of Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, best in the League. That metric is calculated as the difference between the percentage of shot attempts the Red Wings were responsible for when Datsyuk was on the ice, a League-leading 59.7, and 50.3 percent when he was not.

27 -- The highest plus/minus in the 2015 calendar year (regular season only) was posted by Senators defenseman Marc Methot. Prior to Jan. 1, 2015, Methot had an NHL career plus/minus of minus-2. When playoffs are included, the leader is Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews at plus-31.

Rasmus Ristolainen
Defense - BUF
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 24
SOG: 87 | +/-: -4
37 -- The number of points scored by the highest-scoring player for the Buffalo Sabres in the 2015 calendar year, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Even when considering regular-season games only, every other NHL team had at least one player with 40 points, and the Canadiens had seven.

50 -- The number of skaters used by the Toronto Maple Leafs, who led the League by employing the greatest number of defensemen (17) and forwards (33) in the 2015 calendar year. Four other teams used more than 40 skaters.

56.4 -- The SAT percentage for the Los Angeles Kings in 2015, meaning the Kings took 56.4 percent of all shot attempts in games they played. The Kings had 3,737 shot attempts to 2,888 for their opponents, giving them an edge of 849 shot attempts on the year. This was the fourth straight year Los Angeles led the League in SAT.

72.6 -- The percentage of games in which Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks scored during the 2015 calendar year. Kane missed significant time with a clavicle injury at the end of the 2014-15 season, but he scored in 13 of 24 regular-season games after Jan. 1 and then scored in 16 of 24 games during the march to the Stanley Cup. This season, Kane scored in 26 straight games from Oct. 17 to Dec. 13, and in six of the other 10 games.

77.9 -- The percentage of shifts Mike Ribeiro of the Nashville Predators started in the offensive zone in 2015. Ignoring neutral-zone faceoffs and on-the-fly changes, 475 of Ribeiro's 610 shifts began in the offensive zone. Four other players started at least 70 percent of their shifts in the offensive zone, including Ribeiro's linemate, Filip Forsberg. In contrast, teammate Paul Gaustad started 12.2 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone in 2015, lowest in the NHL.

101 -- The number of points Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars has scored in 81 games since Jan. 1. That's an average of 1.25 points per game, better than the 1.06 points-per-game output that earned him the Art Ross Trophy for the 2014-15 season. Benn also led the League with eight shorthanded points in 2015, and his 46 goals ranked second to Ovechkin's 57.

107 -- The number of man games lost because of injury for the New York Rangers throughout 2015, the fewest in the League. In contrast, Colorado lost more than 400 man games to injury (regular season only). Another sign the Rangers were the luckiest team of 2015 was their League-high 1024 SPSV% (shooting plus save percentage).

1,144 -- The number of faceoff wins by Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. No other player won 1,000 faceoffs in the regular season. Bergeron won 59.2 percent of his draws in 2015, behind only Jim Slater of the Winnipeg Jets, who won 62.8 percent.

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