We unveil a new segment today: Around the League. Every Thursday we’ll discuss what’s transpired over the last week in professional hockey.
It’s only one week but scoring is up, I love it and hope it continues.
- Atlantic division teams are averaging 3.08 Goals Per Game
- NE teams are averaging 2.72 GPG
- SE teams are scoring at a 3.00 GPG clip
In the west:
- Central teams are averaging 3.55 GPG
- NW teams are potting 3.61 GPG
- Pacific teams are at a 3.45 GPG clip
Last season the GPG scoring amongst divisions went like this:
- Atlantic: 2.88
- NE: 3.02
- SE: 2.95
- Central: 3.00
- NW: 2.80
- Pacific: 2.79
Granted it’s very early in the season, but so far western teams are scoring at a much higher rate, and hopefully it continues.
In the 1980/81 season, Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor became the only line in NHL history to all score 100+ points. Dionne had 135, Taylor 112 and Simmer had 105. They would have done it the year before as well, if Taylor had been healthy. He had 90 points in only 61 games, while Simmer had 101 points in 64 games and Dionne had 137.
There are some great lines in the NHL, but the Capitals might have the most explosive trio we have seen in some time. Through three games Alex Ovechkin (9), Nicklas Backstrom (8) and Alex Semin (7) have combined for 24 points. Of course they won’t continue this pace, but if they all stay healthy I think they will make a strong push for it.
Considering only three players in the league scored 100 points last year, the odds seem miniscule that the Caps trio can match the DST line, but it sure would make an intriguing story line. Semin’s ability to stay healthy will be their biggest obstacle in my mind.
Surprises of the week
- Ray Emery won all three games he started.
- The Wings, Devils and Canucks weren’t leading their divisions; rather they were in the basement.
- The Canadiens lead the league with six fights; they had 45 last season.
- The Sharks are second with five fights and they only had 42 last year. The Oilers had 69 tilts last season, which put them 3rd behind Anaheim and Philly.
- Eric Nystrom has more goals that Jarome Iginla.
- The Flames are 3-0, yet Dion Phaneuf (-4) and Robyn Regehr (-5) are a combined -9. They have been brutal five-on-five.
- The Oilers’ Sam Gagner didn’t score until the 16th game last year, and didn’t get his second goal until the 30th game of the season. He already has two this year.
- The Avalanche is 2-0 and they’ve only given up two goals.
- Five Western teams have yet to lose (I don’t count the lame OTL point) and I only picked two — Flames, Blue Jackets — to make the playoffs. The Avalanche, Blues and Coyotes have yet to lose as well.
Leader through the week
Here are the top ten in points, goals, assists and other stats.
- Five: Ovechkin and Mike Richards
- Four: Semin
- Three: Henrik Sedin, Brooks Laich, Wojtek Wolski, Radim Vrbata, Patrick Marleau, Devon Setoguchi, James Neal and Matt Stajan.
- Eight: Backstrom
- Five: Matt Carle
- Four: Ovechkin, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Daniel Sedin, Martin Havlat and Paul Mara.
- Three: 18 players tied.
- Nine: Ovechkin
- Eight: Backstrom
- Seven: Semin
- Six: H.Sedin, Laich, and Carle.
- Five: Thornton, Heatley, Richards and Anze Kopitar.
- +6: Ovechkin
- +5: Eric Nystrom, Brandon Dubinsky, Adam Pardy and Backstrom.
- +4: Erik Johnson, Marian Gaborik, Milan Jurcina, Jan Hejda and Carle
- Three: Stajan, Richards and Setoguchi.
- Two: Andrew Brunette, Keith Tkachuk, Mikael Samuelsson and Laich.
- One: 63 tied with one
- 14: Darcy Hordichuk
- 12: Andrew Alberts
- 11: Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz and Luke Schenn
- 10: Ryan Callahan, Cal Clutterbuck, Johan Franzen, Tim Gleason, Travis Moen, Doug Murray, Brooks Orpik and Marc Staal.
- 19: Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin
- 17: Ovechkin
- 16: Mason Raymond and Marian Gaborik
- 15: Mike Cammalleri, Brad Richards, Brian Gionta and Samuelsson.
- 13: Five tied with 13.