This edition of the Stat Corner covers Wednesday Night Rivalry and a big Thursday schedule. All but seven teams took the ice over the past two days, so I will get you caught up with all the stats and milestones that you may have missed. A couple of teams matched their franchise-best starts, while other players are reaching franchise marks.
Goals were Everywhere for Bruins & Islanders
Patrice Bergeron and Brock Nelson both scored four goals on the same night. It marked the first time there were two 4-goal scorers on the same night since Nov. 2, 2005. The goal scorers were Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat on that day. Scoring has been on the rise over the past few years since Jamie Benn won the Art Ross in 2015-16 with 89 points. This means more hat tricks and more four-goal games, even from unexpected players like these two.
It was Bergeron’s seventh career hat trick and his first four goals of the season. Nelson, on the other hand, scored his sixth goal of the season on his fourth tally of the night. It was the first four-goal performance of his career. Most known for his performance when playoffs start, he is still an effective player during the regular season. If I were to choose where to play better, regular season or playoffs, I’d choose the postseason because that’s where the real prize is.
Connor Clifton played his 100th career game. He has stepped into a bottom pairing role for the Bruins and is counted on defensively to block shots and make hits. He was on the ice killing penalties for almost 60 minutes last season, so his time on the ice and contribution to the team may increase if he can once again prove he is an efficient penalty-killer.
Leon Draisaitl Helps Oilers Have Franchise-Best Start
Edmonton Oilers tied their best start to a season from 1985-86 at 8-1-0. The team just continues to win despite their starting goaltender Mike Smith out with an injury. Mikko Koskinen has stepped up in a big way, while everyone is playing their role very well. The top-6 has scored at will, regardless of the line combinations. While the third line has provided more than enough scoring so far and finally given Edmonton a deeper forward group. Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci have performed better together than anyone expected, and Evan Bouchard has taken on a big role on the top defensive pairing.
Leon Draisaitl is the first player with 20 points through the first nine games of a season since Mario Lemieux in 2002-03. This is in large part due to the incredible Oilers’ power play that is 46.4 percent. Four of his nine goals and seven of his 20 points on the season have come on the man advantage.
Aleksander Barkov & Panthers at the Top
The Florida Panthers have the sixth-longest point streak to begin a season since 2000-01 in history at 10 games (9-0-1). Their longest run to begin a season came in 1996 when they started on a 12-game point streak (8-0-4). The start this year is the best 10-game start in franchise history with 19 points. Their next matchup comes on Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes who are 9-0-0. Both streaks are on the line, but both have a chance to stay intact with a Hurricanes win in extra time.
Aleksander Barkov tied Olli Jokinen for the most goals in franchise history with 188. He is leading the team in goals this season with seven and has 17 more than his teammate Jonathan Huberdeau.
Player & Team Stats From Around the League
- The Hurricanes tied the franchise record of nine consecutive wins. They tied the Montreal Canadiens for the third-longest win streak to open a season.
- Alex Ovechkin scored on his 150th different goaltender, Spencer Knight, to move his career goal total up to 740.
- Jordan Eberle recorded the first hat trick in Seattle Kraken history and first at Climate Pledge Arena. It was the fourth hat trick of his career.
- Jeff Carter became the 14th active player to appear in 1100 games.
- Gabriel Landeskog’s 301 assists as a member of the Colorado Avalanche moved him into 10th on the franchise all-time list.
- Joel Hofer recorded his first win in his NHL debut for the St. Louis Blues.
- Seth Jarvis scored his first career goal for the Hurricanes.
- Washington Capitals’ Connor McMichael scored his first career goal.
After a nice kick-start in goals, Bergeron and Nelson will look to continue to find the back of the net and help their teams compete in tough divisions. It seems like Ovechkin just never stops scoring goals, and is one away from tying Brett Hull for fourth all-time. A couple of firsts including Hofer with an opportunity to play after Ville Husso went on COVID-19 protocol, while Carter shows his resilience and longevity in the absence of top players in Pittsburgh. The weekend is here, so stay caught up after all the action after it’s done.
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.