Just back from holidays and I was going to write about Jaromir Jagr’s recent scoring resurgence, but the Fantasy Frog beat me to it (thanks Eric!). It looks like Gomez and Jagr are starting to make some noise together. So here are some other quick thoughts in the fantasy world...
Alexei Zhitnik recorded his first point (short-handed no less) last night after going 32 games without one. That, combined with Miroslav Satan’s 666th NHL point, are surely signs that the apocalypse is near.
I’ve dug up some revealing statistics (all stats prior to Thursday night’s games) with an Eastern Conference slant, some relevant to a poolie and others are just puzzling:
The league’s top two power play minute getters are Atlanta’s Tobias Enstrom and Ilya Kovalchuk. Both are averaging over six power play minutes per game. On the flip side, Maple Leafs defender Hal Gill is leading the NHL averaging over five and a half minutes a game short-handed.
Dany Heatley leads the NHL by a wide margin in the plus minus category with a plus-32. The next best are Niklas Lidstrom at plus-23, then two more Sens; Joe Corvo and Jason Spezza with a nice plus-22.
Buffalo’s Jochen Hecht has 22 points, but none have come on special teams. Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen has scored 16 of his 18 points via the power play.
Apparently Vinny Lecavalier likes home cooking. He has scored 69 per cent of his points (38 of 55) at home. Conversely, Marc Savard has scored 72 per cent of his points on the road (28 of 39). Ilya Kovalchuk has scored 30 of his 47 points as a visitor (64 per cent).
Montreal’s Mike Komisarek leads the league in blocked shots with 118. He is also third in hits with 118, making the Habs defenseman a valuable commodity in pools that count those two categories.
Rod Brind’Amour once again leads the NHL in face-off wins with 540. Mats Sundin is far back in second with 471.
The referees giveth: The Hurricanes have received the most power play opportunities with 199. Los Angeles is second with 183 man advantage opportunities.
The referees taketh away: Carolina and Anaheim have allowed the most power play goals against with 42.
If you want to see goals in the third period of a hockey game, tune in to a Carolina match. The ‘Canes have scored the most goals in the third period with 49 and allowed the second most with 47 in the final frame. Tampa Bay has allowed a league high 51 goals against in the third period and another three in OT.
Atlanta, Toronto and Los Angeles have allowed the most goals against in the first period with 36.
The New York Islanders have scored a league low 16 first period goals. Detroit leads the league with 42 opening frame tallies. The Isles, along with the Rangers and Oilers are averaging a league worst 2.3 goals for per game.
Philadelphia and Florida allow an NHL worst 32.6 shots against per game. Atlanta gives up the third most with an average of 32.2 shots against. Despite having a defence that permits a lot of shots, goaltender Kari Lehtonen has been smoking hot of late. He was named the NHL’s second star of the week, after going 4-0 with a 1.96 goals against average and 0.935 save percentage.
Martin Gerber has taken back the number one job in Ottawa. Gerber took over after Emery was forced to leave the game against Carolina on December 12th. Since then, Gerber has a stellar 5-1 record, while Emery lost his only appearance 4-3 in overtime to Chicago. Over Gerber’s last seven appearances, his goals against average is 1.88 and has a save percentage of 0.942. Ottawa and Detroit are both 8-1-1 over their last ten games.