Another week has come and gone in the NHL Playoffs and the second round is starting to heat up. Along with all the goals, points and wins, there are once again numbers that may fly under the radar as the playoffs trudge along. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the noteworthy numbers from the past week.
With a 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their series, the New York Rangers set a playoff record for most consecutive games with a one-goal differential. The record – you guessed it – is 10 consecutive games.
With the low scoring affairs the Rangers have been involved in, Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 1.59 goals against average to go along with a .940 save percentage. If the team in front of him could put up some offence, the Rangers could still be a Cup favourite in these playoffs.
One reason for the Rangers loss in Game 3 was their inability to win face-offs. The Rangers combined for only 18 wins in the circle while the Capitals managed to win 40 draws in their 1-0 victory over New York.
It seems face-offs are quite a problem for the Eastern Conference contenders as they rank 15th in this year’s NHL playoffs at 45.2% on the draws – only the Islanders have a worse winning percentage.
The first two games of the Anaheim-Calgary series were completely lopsided as the Ducks walked all over the Flames to jump out to a 2-0 series lead. But that wasn’t anything new for Flames fans – so long as they knew their club’s record heading into the Honda Center in Southern California.
The Flames have lost 22 straight meetings in Anaheim – a number that showed in their two losses to open the series. The Flames were outscored 9-1 in the first two games and even if they make it to Game 5, they’ll be in tough in California once again.
The NHL’s seen teams trail 2-0 in series 291 times. In the second round alone, Minnesota, Montreal and Calgary all started their series down by the same count. Only 37 times in the history of the NHL have teams come back from 2-0 to win the series. That’s only 12.7% – so I’d say it’s not looking great for these three clubs.
The last time a team came back to win a series from 2-0 down, it was the Philadelphia Flyers beating the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in 2010. Surely, there’s a cinderella story in this year’s playoffs, right?
One key characteristic to a good team is special teams. Powerplays and penalty killing can ultimately change the outcome and the momentum of games. While the Washington Capitals haven’t been the highest scoring team in these playoffs, their special teams have come through for them.
The Caps are ranked first in the playoffs when it comes to killing off penalties. At a rate of 95.4%, the next closest team still in the playoffs are the Anaheim Ducks (89.5%). If Washington can continue along with these kinds of numbers, they could be a real test coming out of the East.
For more, follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes or his THW column at @Tape2TapeTHW.
- Week 1: Five Noteworthy Numbers From the NHL Playoffs
- Week 2: Five Noteworthy Numbers From the NHL Playoffs
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.