We’ve see approximately a third of the 2008-09 NHL season completed at this point, so it’s a good time to take a step back, break down some statistics, and see what kind of anomalies have occurred so far this season.
The following statistically abnormalities are broken down into sections based on whether they have helped, hurt, or disgusted fantasy owners so far this season.
***The following statistics are accurate as of the 1:30pm E.S.T. Thursday, December 4th, 2008***
Jeff Carter has 18 goals in 24 games this season.
Carter is on pace for 60 goals this season which is more than double his previous personal best of 29 in 2007-08. He is on also on pace to absolutely obliterate many of his previous personal records including: points (with 84), penalty minutes (with 60), powerplay goals (with 16), short handed goals (with 6), and shots on goal (with 381).
David Backes is currently second in the league among forwards in penalty minutes with 73 in 23 games.
He only trails currently suspended Sean Avery in this stat category. He’s currently averaging 3.17 penalty minutes a game (which is on pace for 257 for the year). While this total is by no means outlandish in the NHL, it is a vast increase from his previous penalty minute totals in 2007-08 (when he had 99) and 2006-07 (when he had 37). He has not broken the hundred penalty minute marker yet in his career. Taking into account his pace for 28 points, seven powerplay goals, and 116 shots on goal this season; Backes has proven to be a decent multi-category player in Roto leagues thus far this season.
Mikael Samuelsson is fourth in scoring among Red Wings this season with 21 points in 24 games.
He’s on pace for 70 points this season despite the fact that he’s never had more than 45 points in a season thus far in his seven year career. He is also on pace to set personal records in assists (with 54), penalty minutes (with 60), and shots on goal (with 253).
Nicklas Lidstrom is on pace for 50 points this season.
While 50 points is far from unacceptable for a defender, people have come to expect at least 60 points from this guy if not 70-plus. The last time he scored less than 60 points was in the 2003-04 season when he finished with 38. Other than this season, he has only scored less than 55 points (over the course of a full season of play) once in his 16 year career. This occurred in the 1992-93 season, when he had 41 points in 84 games.
Martin Brodeur has played at least 65 games a season for the past 12 seasons.
Brodeur has been as consistent of a 65-plus game goalie as the league has probably ever seen. The only time he didn’t play at least 65 games in a season was the first three years of his NHL career (in seasons 1991-92, and 1993-95), during which time he played a cumulative 91 games.
Rod Brind’Amour is currently minus-18 on the season.
He is ranked last in the NHL in plus/minus and has continued to drop like a rock in this category since the beginning of the season. His current minus-18 rating is a worse rating than he’s ever finished a season with (his career worst is minus-13 attained in 1999-00 with Philadelphia & Carolina), and can be projected as an astonishing minus-58 rating over 82 games this season. He has had a positive rating in only two out of the first 25 games of this season. As a Selke Trophy winner in two of the last three seasons, Brind’Amour’s plus/minus rating is unexpectedly bad thus far this season.