Due to the overwhelming amount of stats and milestones from around the NHL these past few days, today’s NHL Stat Corner will be split into the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. In this article we will catch up with everything that’s happened in the East.
Maple Leafs’ Power Play Powering Success
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the sixth team since 1996-97 to score multiple power-play goals in five consecutive games. It is also the third time in franchise history they have done so, also accomplishing it in 1981 and 1993. Auston Matthews has the fifth-most goals per game (0.60) in NHL history among players who have at least 350 games played. He has been a big contributor to the recent success, especially with Mitch Marner out of the lineup with an injury. Though a little streaky at times, when he’s on, Matthews’ goal scoring can’t be stopped.
Ondrej Kase scored his 50th career goal. Kase has been a welcomed addition to the Maple Leafs‘ roster for cheap, and when healthy, is a very underrated player. Alex Steeves also recorded his first career point. He is one of the youngsters the team has given a chance to prove himself in the NHL with multiple players out and roles needing to be filled. I think he has done a great job and fans should be excited about him in the near future.
Highs & Lows of an Eventful Year for the Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens set a new franchise record by playing 106 games (regular season and playoffs) in one calendar year. After the NHL taking time off to let the world get back to normal a bit, 2021 has been jam packed with action, including a full 56-game shortened season and a run to the Stanley Cup Final in the same calendar year.
The Canadiens have lost 13 games this season by three or more goals, the worst in the NHL and the most in franchise history through the first 29 games. The Canadiens are the third team to have recorded 13-plus three-goal losses through the first 29 games since 1999, joining the 1999-2000 Atlanta Thrashers and 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings. It has been a very tough 2021-22 season after what the team was able to accomplish despite heavy odds against them.
Islanders Snap Home Losing Streak Off of Sorokin’s Great Start to Career
The New York Islanders are the first team in NHL history to lose their first seven games in a new arena (0-5-2) before finally getting their first victory at UBS Arena. It was a tough stretch and the team wasn’t back to full health once they returned to action. The second-longest road trip in NHL history and the fatigue that comes with being affected with COVID-19 took a toll on the team. They have got themselves back in the win column at home and look to continue to trend upwards.
Ilya Sorokin required the third-fewest games played (GP) to reach 20 wins in franchise history (39 GP) among goaltenders to debut with the Islanders. Only Roland Melanson (34 GP) and Glenn Resch (38 GP) required fewer. If the Islanders didn’t have a 10-game losing streak, Sorokin may have challenged for the best in franchise history.
Zdeno Chara has the third-most GP among defencemen in NHL history with 1,627. He only trails Chris Chelios (1,651) and Scott Stevens (1,635). Returning to his roots, is it likely that Chara finishes his very long career with the team that drafted him so long ago?
Giroux & Hart Holding Flyers Together Through Tough Season
Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers is 7-0-0 in his career when he records 40-plus saves in a game. Some goaltenders need to be engaged throughout the game to play their best, and Hart is a perfect example of this early in his career. He, along with Claude Giroux, have been two of the only constant players this season for the Flyers through a poor start.
Speaking of Giroux, he broke the franchise record for most power-play points with 334. Bobby Clarke held the record previously. In the last year of his contract with the Flyers, this came just in time, as nobody knows what the future holds between Giroux and the Flyers.
Scott Laughton played his 400th career game. Max Willman scored his first career goal. He was called up to earn his shot after multiple Flyers went down to injury and to see if some new, young faces could spark the offence.
Tkachuk Settling in as Senators Captain
Brady Tkachuk recorded the 10th natural hat trick in Ottawa Senators history. It was his first career hat trick. The Lightning have been on the receiving end of three of the 10 natural hat tricks in Senators team history. Sometimes after signing big contracts, players are complacent. It seems as if Tkachuk is only getting started and is going to get much better with experience in the NHL.
Anton Forsberg recorded his first career shutout. It was the eighth time a Senators’ goalie shut out the defending Stanley Cup champions (“GARRIOCH: A tip of the cap as Anton Forsberg gets his first career shutout and Brady Tkachuk scores three in a Senators win”, Ottawa Sun, Dec. 11, 2021). Since 2012, only two other goaltender in the NHL have posted their first career shutout against the defending champions, Alex Nedeljkovic (2021) and Robin Lehner (2012). After deciding to run with Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson, Ottawa may have made the right choice.
Multiple Capitals Climb in the History Books
Alex Ovechkin has scored the most regular-season overtime goals in NHL history with 24, with Jaromir Jagr in second with 19. Lars Eller recorded the second-most points by a Danish-born player (328) in history. He is second to only Frans Nielsen (473). T.J. Oshie has the fourth-most shootout goals in NHL history with 46. Three very impressive accomplishments in their own right, and all big parts of why the team has done so well in an injury-riddled season.
The Washington Capitals required the third-fewest games played to reach 40 points in a season in franchise history (28 GP). All of these great starts have come in recent years, but it is special what the Capitals have done this season on the backs of multiple players stepping up.
Player & Team Stats & Milestones From the Eastern Conference
- The Pittsburgh Penguins have the No. 1-ranked penalty kill in the league, and have killed off 30 consecutive penalties in the past 13 games, extending a franchise record.
- Jon Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning won his 400th game. He required the fewest games in NHL history to 400 career wins (659 games). He passed Bruce Boudreau’s 663-game mark to reach 400 wins as a head coach.
- New York Rangers’ Adam Fox recorded his 100th assist of his career in 151 games, tying Quinn Hughes as the sixth-fastest defenceman to do so. He is also the second-fastest defenceman in franchise history to reach that mark, behind Sergei Zubov (127 GP). Brian Leetch also required 151 games played to reach 100 assists.
- Sebastian Aho is the fastest player for the Carolina Hurricanes to record 30 points in a season (26 GP) since Eric Staal in 2012-13 (24 GP). Aho has recorded five consecutive multi-point games this season, second-most by any player in the NHL to only Connor McDavid (6 GP). Aho ranks third in franchise history in consecutive multi-point games, behind Kevin Dineen (6 GP) and Mike Roger (6 GP).
- Columbus Blue jackets’ Oliver Bjorkstrand recorded the 200th point of his career. He is the 11th player to record that many points with the franchise.
- Detroit Red Wings’ Vladislav Namestnikov scored his 100th career goal.
Cooper has had the pleasure of coaching an incredible franchise in the Lightning to help him surge to 400 career wins behind the bench. Meanwhile two incredible young talents in Fox and Aho continue to lead their teams to amazing starts, putting them at the head of the pack as far as Cup contenders go. Stay up to date with all the stat and milestones from around the NHL when the NHL Stat Corner next comes to you.
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.