STATS ‘N STUFF by Stan Nieradka (Twitter: @smn013)
- There is a dwindling group in the NHL this season that is currently down to six players. Those six are the last remaining players that have actually played a game in the 1990’s. Those half dozen are Jaromir Jagr, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Roberto Luongo, Matt Cullen and Zdeno Chara. They are the only ones that have played this season. That number still can grow if Jarome Iginla signs and Michal Rozsival comes off the long term injured reserve for the Blackhawks. Rozsival was the surprise but he played the 99-00 campaign for the Penguins.
- One of hockey’s long standing records probably will fall in the 17-18 season and that is Gordie Howe’s 1767 games played. Jaromir Jagr is currently fourth with 1,720 games played thru November 16th. If he plays 48 of the Flames last 62 contests he will jump over Ron Francis in third (1731), and Mark Messier (1756) and tie Mr. Hockey.
- One of the most surprising stats this season is seeing that Penguins teammates Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are tied for the fourth-worst worst plus/minus in the entire NHL among the 727 skaters that have played in 2017-18. Each player has a minus-12 rating through games played on Thursday. In his previous 12 seasons, the only time Crosby finished a minus was in his rookie year of 2005-06 when he was a -1.
- Another strange situation involves defending Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns who has not scored this season. He has taken the most shots (71) of anyone without a goal this season after clicking 29 times in 16-17.
- In his short time in the NHL, Auston Matthews has done a lot of impressive things but recently had three streaks come to an end. Since the NHL inexplicably ends any streak when a player misses a game for any reason (unlike baseball where a hitting streak can continue even if a player has four walks or four sac bunts during a game) Matthews saw his shot streak and plus/minus streak come to an end after his game against Vegas. Matthews had gone 21 straight games being an even or plus player since Game One against Washington in the playoffs, while he had taken at least one shot in each of his 104 games played, including the post-season. He did end one of his streaks legitimately against the Golden Knights as he took a penalty for the first time in 44 games.
- Also allow me to stand on the soapbox to plead to the NHL to fix their web site and make it useful. Over the last two years, it has gotten progressively worse despite complaints from many people such as Ray Ferraro and Steve Simmons. Even in the game release league notes they have inaccuracies. For example, under the section listing Three goals or more games, they have Alex Ovechkin with just one hat trick but fail to list his four goal game which he had back on October 7th . This is unacceptable. Please do something and fast. Your credibility is at stake.
Stan Nieradka is a sports fan and statistician for Hockey Night In Canada, and contributor of Stats ‘N Stuff for TMLfans.ca