Did you know that:
Detroit's Chris Chelios could replace Lester Patrick as the oldest player to play for a Stanley Cup champion? Chelios would be 44 years and four months old; Patrick was 44 years and three months old when pressed into duty in New York Rangers' net during the 1928 Final.
Carolina defenseman Glen Wesley is the current active player to have played the most career playoff games, 144, without winning the Stanley Cup? Filling out the top five: Jeremy Roenick, Los Angeles, 136; Scott Mellanby, Atlanta, 132; Curtis Joseph, Phoenix, 131; Keith Primeau, Philadelphia, 128.
The New Jersey Devils posted the greatest rally to win a division championship since the NHL went to a two-conference, four-division format in 1974-75? The Devils, who the Atlantic Division title on the last night of the 2005-06 regular season were 19 points behind the Division leader on January 6. The 1993-94 Detroit Red Wings, who won the Central Division after trailing Toronto by 18 points as late as December 2, had held that distinction.
San Jose's Joe Thornton had more assists (96) in 2005-06 than the 2003-04 leading scorer had total points? Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning led NHL scorers in 2003-04 with 38-56--94. Thornton's assist total is the NHL's highest since Boston's Adam Oates had 97 in 1992-93.
The Devils are the first team to finish a season with a winning streak of 11 games? The 1954-55 Red Wings and 1986-87 Montreal Canadiens shared the old mark of nine.
There were 29 individual point streaks of 10 games or more in 2005-06? There were just seven such streaks in 2003-04.
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The NHL's seven 100-point scorers in 2005-06 were the first in any NHL season since 2002-03 and the most since 12 players scored 100 or more points in 1995-96?
Twenty-three players scored 82 points or more, thus averaging at least one point per game over the 82-game season? There were five such scorers in 2003-04.
Five players scored 50 goals or more in 2005-06? There were no 50-goal scorers in 2003-04.
Six players scored 40-49 goals in 2005-06? There were three such players in 2003-04.
Thirty-six players scored 30-39 goals? There were 17 such players in 2003-04.
There were 79 individual, single-game performances of three goals or more in 2005-06? There were just 46 "hat tricks" in 2003-04.
Of the 1,230 games, 873 (or 71%) were fight-free? In 2003-04, there were 724 such games (59.0%).
Scoring by NHL forwards in 2005-06 increased by 1,028 goals, 1,373 assists and 5,259 shots over the 2003-04 totals?
On Opening Night of the New NHL, Dallas came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Los Angeles, 5-4? On the final night of the regular season, New Jersey came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Montreal, 4-3.
There were 584 lead changes in NHL games this season, up from 451 in 2003-04? That's a 30% increase.
Only three teams had fewer than 426 power plays in 2005-06 and that Chicago and Carolina shared the League lead for advantages with 541? In 2003-04, Nashville led the League with 426 advantages and was one of only three teams to receive as many as 400.
Joe Thornton is the first player in NHL history to win the scoring title while playing for two different teams? Boston (23 games, 9 goals, 24 assists, 33 points, "even"), San Jose (58 games, 20-72--92, "plus-31"). Totals: 81 games, 29-96--125, plus-31.
Ottawa's Dany Heatley is the fourth veteran in NHL history to score at least 50 goals in his first season for a new team? The others: Alexander Mogilny, 55 (1995-96 Canucks); Wayne Gretzky, 54 (1988-89 Kings), Danny Grant, 50 (1974-75 Red Wings).
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Sergei Fedorov of Columbus played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the first Russian born-and-trained player to reach that milestone?
The Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf became the third rookie defenseman in league history to record 20 goals? He joins Barry Beck (1977-78 with Colorado) and Brian Leetch (1988-89 with NY Rangers).
The Rangers' Petr Prucha became the fourth rookie this season to reach the 30-goal mark, following Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Marek Svatos? The only other time in the past 20 years that four freshman scored 30 goals was in 1993-94 (Mikael Renberg, Jason Arnott, Bryan Smolinski, and Alexei Yashin).
Goal-scoring at even-strength per 60 minutes played increased by 17% over 2003-04? The League averaged 5.4 goals per 60 minutes of even-strength play in 2005-06 vs. 4.6 per 60 minutes of even-strength play in 2003-04.
The elimination of the two-line offside pass, the return of the "tag-up," and the waving off of icing for a pass that is deemed receivable were rule changes that produced almost 13,000 fewer stoppages this season than in 2003-04? There were 6,700 fewer icings and 6000 fewer offside/offside passes this season from those three infractions as a result of these rule changes -- an average 10 fewer stoppages per-game.
Stick fouls reached the lowest level in more than 30 years? Stick fouls (crosschecking, high-sticking and slashing) were down by 27% from 2003-04. There were an average of 1.9 stick foul penalties per-game in 2005-06 -- the lowest average per-game since the 1973-74 season (also 1.9 per-game).
Supplementary discipline incidents were reduced by 50% and reached the lowest level in 10 seasons? 21 players were suspended (51 total games) for supplementary discipline incidents -- a reduction by more than 50% from the 43 suspensions (96 games) in the 2003-04 regular season. The 21 supplementary discipline suspensions in 2005-06 is the lowest number since there were 16 such player suspensions during the shortened season in 1994-95.
Match penalties were down by more than 50% - lowest number in 26 years? There were seven match penalties for attempt to injure and deliberate injury in 2005-06 as compared to 16 such penalties in 2003-04. The number of match penalties reached the lowest level since there were 6 such penalties in 1979-80 (when there were 46% fewer games played).