This latest edition of the NHL Stat Corner covers the past two days (Friday/Saturday) since the NHL took a one-day break for American Thanksgiving. Scoring highlights this entry with lots more player and team stats and milestones from around the NHL.
Ovechkin Goals Fuel the Capitals
Alex Ovechkin is tied for the sixth-most hat tricks in NHL history (28) with Bobby Hull and Marcel Dionne. Only Wayne Gretzky (50), Mario Lemieux (40), Mike Bossy (39), Brett Hull (33), and Phil Esposito (32) have more hat tricks. Is there a goal category where Ovechkin isn’t near the top? He also moved into 26th on the all-time points list, passing Brendan Shanahan and Guy Lafleur. Ovechkin just continues to show that he is nowhere near being done and is now having fun passing the puck for assists as well.
Ovechkin’s 18 goals in 21 games are the most by any player in at least his 17th season. Initially projected to slow down and possibly finish just short of Gretzky’s all-time goal record, reaching that mark won’t be a problem if Ovechkin continues to score at this rate. He is also one multi-goal game back of tying Mario Lemieux for third all-time after recording the 153rd multi-goal game of his career.
Crosby & Jarry Help Penguins Stay in the Win Column
Tristan Jarry recorded his third shutout in his last five games, and has allowed two goals in his past five starts. Even if there is a fire sale in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later, this is a goalie the team would hate to lose. They have a track record of moving on from elite goalies, but he may be able to help give the Penguins a few more years of contention.
Sidney Crosby has recorded the third-most points all-time against the Islanders (123), doing it in 76 games. Only Jaromir Jagr (155) and Lemieux (131) have recorded more. He also has the most points vs. the Islanders among active NHL players. All Penguins players, coincidence? I don’t think so since these are three of the best players to ever play in the NHL, and always playing in the same division helps them put up a ridiculous amount of points vs. the Islanders. The Islanders have also been bad this season, and goaltending was a huge issue until head coach Barry Trotz came along and put a defensive system in place.
Tons of Blocks, Goals, & Saves in Edmonton
Kris Russell of the Edmonton Oilers became the all-time leader in blocked shots and is the first player to ever reach 2000. He passed Brent Seabrook’s record of 1998 blocked shots, and Russell now sits at 2003 in his career. Russell had six blocks in the game vs. the Vegas Golden Knights and wasted no time reaching this mark, doing it in the first 10 minutes of the game. His career isn’t over yet, and he has lots of time to continue to pad the lead and extend his all-time leading mark.
The Oilers have three players with 20-plus points in the first 20 games of the season for the first time since 1988-89. Leon Draisaitl has 40, Connor McDavid has 36, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has recorded 20 points. Again and again, this Oilers team continues to show comparisons to the dynasty of the 1980s. Only Nugent-Hopkins needed a point to reach this, as the Oilers won their sixth game of 60 when both McDavid and Draisaitl both didn’t score.
Mikko Koskinen has the second-best record to start a season by an Oilers’ goaltender (11-2-0), behind only Grant Fuhr (11-1-1) in 1983-84. Who many criticized for his play during his time in Edmonton, Koskinen stepped up in a major way last night, and his highs have out-weighed his lows this season.
The Oilers are perfect in the Pacific Division, going 7-0-0 thus far. Zach Hyman also recorded his 200th career point on a goal.
Panthers’ Home Streak is Over, But Still Impressive
Only four franchises had a longer home winning streak than the Panthers’ 15 in NHL history. The only teams that had more were the Detroit Red Wings (23) in 2011-12, the Boston Bruins (22) from 1929-30 to 1930-31, and the Philadelphia Flyers (20) in 1976. The Bruins also had 19 in 1970-71 and 16 in 1976. Goaltender Chris Driedger won the first game of that home winning streak for the Panthers and stopped it as a member of the Seattle Kraken. Funny how things play out, but it is impressive nonetheless to be that dominant in any building.
Florida Panthers’ Joe Thornton has moved into sole possession of 13th on the all-time points list with 1532 points, and is one point behind Mark Recchi for 12th. Thornton has been elevated as of late with the injury to Aleksander Barkov, and he continues to show why he loves the game and wants to stick around as long as possible.
Josi Solidifying Career in Nashville
Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators played his 700th career game. He is fourth in franchise history in games played, only behind David Legwand (956), Shea Weber (763), and Martin Erat (723). Soon enough, he will climb all the way to the top after signing a big extension to stay in Nashville. He already sits at third in franchise history in points, 100 behind Legwand for the most. We can all argue who is the best defenceman to ever play for the Predators right now with how close Weber and Josi’s stats are, but in time there will be no question. I think he becomes the second player in franchise history to have his jersey retired.
Mikael Granlund of the Nashville Predators recorded his 400th career point. He continues to put up points and break his normal beginning of the season slump. This is exactly what the Predators need from him if they are going to keep up in the Central Division.
Kings’ Kopitar Dominant Since Day 1
Since entering the league in 2006-07, Anze Kopitar has recorded 20 or more points through the team’s first 20 games of the season for the eighth time with the Los Angeles Kings. He has the sixth-most multi-point games since he began his career with 250. Only Sidney Crosby (366), Alex Ovechkin (354), Evgeni Malkin (299), Patrick Kane (293), and Nicklas Backstrom (258) have more in that time. This is some elite company, and he has continually been underrated by being able to put up these kinds of points as well as still being one of the best two-way players in the game.
Player & Team Stats From Around the NHL
- Sheldon Keefe has the most wins through the first 125 games as a Toronto Maple Leafs head coach in franchise history with 77. Their record under him is 77-35-13.
- Gerard Gallant coached his team to the second-best start in his first 20 games with the New York Rangers with 29 points. Only Phil Esposito (30) in 1986-87 had more.
- The Minnesota Wild have set a franchise record for most goals in consecutive home games with 14. They scored seven against Dallas and seven vs. the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Winnipeg Jets‘ streak of 14 consecutive games without giving up more than three goals came to an end, which was a franchise record.
- The Montreal Canadiens continue their worst start in franchise history with just 12 points through their first 22 games.
- The Detroit Red Wings have the most points this season by players who are 25 years of age or younger with 110. They have gotten 38 goals and 72 assists from those players. Lucas Raymond leads all of them with nine goals and 21 points in 22 games.
- The Calgary Flames have scored the first goal of the game an NHL-leading 17 times this season. The Flames lead the Western Conference at their 20-game mark for the first time since 1993-94. The Oilers later jumped the Flames in the standings after playing their 20th game.
- The New York Islanders have lost eight straight games while being outscored 32-7 in those contests. It is the first time in franchise history that the Islanders have started a season 0-4 at home. They have been outscored 3-1 on their own power plays in November in 29 power-play opportunities.
- It took Andrei Vasilevskiy the second-fewest games in NHL history to win 200 games, doing it in 318 games. The only goaltender who did it faster was Ken Dryden in 309 games. Vasilevskiy has also recorded the second-most shutouts since debuting in 2014-15 with 28. Only Marc-Andre Fleury has recorded more (40).
- Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski recorded his 400th career goal.
- Columbus Blue Jackets’ Jakub Voracek leads the league in primary assists this season with 14. The team has had 20 players score goals this season, and 22 of 24 players record a point.
- Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat played in his 264th consecutive game, the 10th-longest active ironman streak.
- Raymond is also the second teenager to score an overtime goal in Red Wings franchise history, joining Steve Yzerman, who did it 1983.
- Colorado Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen recorded his first hat trick of the season and third of his career.
- Kraken’s Jordan Eberle played his 800th career game.
There has been a ton of news from around the league, player and team-wise. With great starts this season by the Maple Leafs and Rangers, both head coaches have solidified their names among the best to start their careers behind the bench. The Islanders and Canadiens continue their very poor starts, while the Flames and Wild are dominant right now.
Vasilevskiy is once again proving why he’s one of the best goaltenders in the world, while Pavelski has been a big part of the Stars turning their season around. There have been surprises with Voracek and Raymond for the Blue Jackets and Red Wings. Stay up to date with all the latest stats and milestones from around the NHL on the next NHL Stat Corner.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with the NHL Stat Corner and trade talks from around the NHL.