There is so much to talk about that I needed to split the NHL Stat Corner into two this time around. We will look at all the recent stats and milestones from the Western Conference to keep you up to date. We have a couple of teams who are surging, while some players just don’t want to slow down.
Fleury & Jones Leading Blackhawks Resurgence
Marc-Andre Fleury is the third goaltender in NHL history to win 500 games. He is the fastest of the three goaltenders to do so, winning 500 in 901 games. Martin Brodeur required 908 games played and Patrick Roy took 933 games. Of the already very exclusive company Fleury joined, he was the most efficient in reaching that mark. Though his career has taken a couple of turns, he has never faltered.
Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks is the only defenceman to outright lead his team in points this season. He has 23 points in 27 games. Many criticize his defensive game, but players can’t excel in all aspects of the game. That is why he has a partner that can complement his style of play. There are two teams that have a defenceman tied for the team-lead in points, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Arizona Coyotes.
Avalanche Defencemen Dominating the Score Sheets
The Colorado Avalanche are the first team to score seven goals in three consecutive games since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995. The entire team has been unstoppable, but what stands out is how the defence have contributed offensively to the success this season.
Devon Toews’ fourth consecutive multi-point game is tied for the most by a defenceman in franchise history with Jeff Brown from 1988. While Cale Makar is the sixth defenceman since 1930-31 to score 10 goals in a span of 11 games, joining the company of Mike Green (2008-09), Paul Coffey (1985-86, 1984-85, 1982-83), Reed Larson (1980-81), Barry Beck (1977-78), Guy Lapointe (1975-76), and Bobby Orr (1974-75, 1972-73, 1970-71). Toews has contributed a lot lately, but Makar’s tear has him chasing one of the best seasons by a defenceman in NHL history.
Wild Off to Franchise-Best Start
The Minnesota Wild have recorded the most points in their first 26 games of the season in franchise history (39). Minnesota held first in the NHL for the first time since Dec. 18, 2011. The Wild’s eight-game win streak is the third-most in franchise history, and the team scored at least four goals in seven consecutive games before the Los Angeles Kings held them to one goal, snapping the win streak and the goal streak.
Kirill Kaprizov has an assist streak of seven games, the second longest in franchise history behind Jim Dowd (8 GP in 2001-02). The Wild have gotten contributions from their entire team, but Kaprizov stands above the rest when it comes to offence, being a factor each night.
McDavid & Draisaitl Join More Exclusive Company
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are the second pair of teammates in NHL history to record 45-plus points through a team’s first 25 games of the season in more than one season. The only other duo to accomplish this was Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri in 1983-84 and 1984-85. This just speaks to the dominance McDavid and Draisaitl have shown and the elite company of one other pair to do so in NHL history.
The Edmonton Oilers are the only NHL team this season who have yet to lose when scoring the first goal of the game. The tough thing is they haven’t done so very often for a team that has won 16 games. Lately, especially, has been a struggle when allowing the first goal of the game.
Sharks’ Veteran Defencemen Putting in Work
Brent Burns’ 625th consecutive game is the longest games played streak in San Jose Sharks history after he broke the tie with Patrick Marleau. Despite not being as elite as he once was due to age, Burns still goes out on the ice competing and contributing every night.
Erik Karlsson’s 29 career game-winning goals is third among defencemen since his NHL debut in 2009-10, trailing only Oliver Ekman-Larsson (31) and teammate Burns (30). With the talent of Karlsson and Burns on the same roster, you can never count out the Sharks if they were both to get going near the level we are accustomed to from them in the past (“Sharks Erik Karlsson: Lights lamp Saturday”, CBS Sports, Dec. 12, 2021).
Player & Team Stats & Milestones From the Western Conference
- Bruce Boudreau is the second head coach in Vancouver Canucks history to start his tenure 3-0-0. The other was Willie Desjardins.
- The fastest two goals in Seattle Kraken history came when Jaden Schwartz and Morgan Geekie scored 22 seconds apart, topping the previous franchise mark of 43 seconds.
- Jonathan Quick recorded his 56th career shutout. Quick has ended an opponent’s win streak of eight-plus games three times in his career, the most among active goaltenders. He put a stop to the Wild last night, the Sharks in 2009-10, and the Flyers in 2018-19.
- Roman Josi has recorded the second-most multi-point games in franchise history (110), trailing only David Legwand (120).
- Eeli Tolvanen scored the second-latest game-winning goal in Nashville Predators history with 12 seconds remaining in the third period. Martin Erat holds the record with 0:09 left in the third period.
- Max Pacioretty’s five-game goal-scoring streak is tied for the longest in Vegas Golden Knights history with Erik Haula and William Karlsson. He also tied the longest point streak by a Golden Knights’ player this season with seven.
- Marcus Johansson played his 700th career game, the 11th active Swedish-born skater to do so.
- St. Louis Blues’ Nathan Walker recorded his first career hat trick.
Quick just continues to shine this season after many thought he was washed up. A couple of Predators got some more recognition with their scoring abilities, while emergency call-up Walker made the most of his shot with the Blues. Keep your eyes open for the next NHL Stat Corner that will come to you every couple of days and stay up to date with the latest stats and milestones from around the NHL.
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.
You can find more of his work here.