Stats Plus – Dec 4


-You can win a few bar bets with this one. Which active player born in the United States has played in the most games in the NHL. The answer is Hal Gill who has played 1,105 games. However, Gill has only played in three games with Philadelphia and soon will be passed by Nashville’s Matt Cullen who played game # 1101 on Tuesday, December 3rd.

-As we approach the Winter Olympics, here’s a look at the leading scorer in the NHL from each of the 12 teams in the tournament (all stats as of December 4th):

Austria: Thomas Vanek 18 pts
Canada: Sidney Crosby 38 pts
Czech Republic: Radim Vrbata 24 pts
Finland: Mikko Koivu 23 pts
Latvia: Zemgus Girgensons 7 pts
Norway: Mats Zuccarello 16 pts
Russia: Evgeni Malkin 37 pts
Slovakia: Marian Hossa 20 pts
Slovenia: Anze Kopitar 24 pts
Sweden: Thomas Steen 31 pts
Switzerland: Nino Niederreiter 15 pts
USA: Patrick Kane 32 pts

-Kopitar is still the man in Los Angeles. He leads the Kings with 24 points, a familiar spot for him as he has led the team in points for the previous six seasons. That is the longest current streak in the NHL. The last King other than Kopitar to lead the team in points was Mike Cammalleri who had 80 points in 2006-07.

-Do you really want to be an NHL coach ? If job security is your thing, forget about it. Consider that Jon Cooper took over Tampa Bay on March 25th and has coached 42 games. With that, he already has more seniority than eight other coaches. When Sidney Crosby scored the OT winner at the 2010 Olympics, there were only seven coaches that are currently still with their same team: Barry Trotz (Nashville), Mike Babcock (Detroit), Claude Julien (Boston), Todd McLellan (San Jose), Joel Quenneville (Chicago), Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh), and Dave Tippett (Phoenix).

-Dustin Byfuglien ranks 34th in the NHL in penalty minutes with 38. Derek Dorsett leads the NHL in penalty minutes with 97. Yet, Byfuglien probably causes more damage to his team as all 38 minutes have come on 19 minor penalties which is the most in the league.

-Flyers defenceman Nicklas Grossman is the only player in the NHL that is in the 70-70 club. That is, he is the only one with more than seventy blocked shots (71) and more than seventy hits. (74) No other player in the league is even a member of the 60-60 club although the Leafs Carl Gunnarsson is close with 66 blocks and 56 hits.

-One of the little known streaks that is still going at this time belongs to Zach Parise. Parise has had at least one shot in 238 straight regular season games dating back to November 6, 2009 when the Islanders held him without one. However, he did not have a shot in the game five elimination by Chicago in last year’s playoffs. Parise has scored 223 goals in his career and he is nearing his father’s total of 238 goals for J.P.

-Every now and then, an unexpected player rises and ends up having the game of his life. That happened to Flyers defenceman Alexander Picard on February 1, 2007. Playing against New Jersey, Picard set a new Flyers record when he picked up five assists on all five Flyers goals in a 6-5 loss to the Devils. That is still the most assists in a game by a Philly defenceman. Picard also played 32:42 in that match. Needless to say, he never approached either of those marks ever again.

Stan Nieradka is a sports fan and statistician for Hockey Night In Canada, and contributor of Stats Plus for

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