• Although Detroit and the New York Rangers have not yet qualified for the playoffs, they still have a realistic chance. If they they both make it, it will mark the first time since 1995-96 that all six of the Original Six will have made the playoffs in the same season.
  • Colorado apparently has two penalty killing units. The one at home is ranked first in the NHL at 92.1 %. That would be the best home penalty killing in a season since 1998-99 when Boston killed 92.4 % of the attempts against them. That was also Ray Bourque’s last full season with the Bruins. On the other hand, those penalty killers do not travel well as on the road they are 30th, killing just 69.4 % of the attempts against them.
  • In 1974-75, Dave Schultz of the Broad Street Bullies set an NHL record with 472 penalty minutes in a season. As of April 25th, there are five teams this season (NYR, NYI, Chic, Det & Nash) that have less minutes as a team than Schultz had by himself.
  • Speaking of fights,despite the shortened season, there still have been four teams that have had more fights this season than a year ago. No surprise that Toronto is one of them while Tampa Bay, Nashville and Carolina are the others that were more willing to drop ‘em in 2013.
  • Back on February 16th, the Edmonton Oilers rifled 56 shots on Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov. Not only is that the most shots by any team this season, it is the most in a game since Toronto put 61 on the Islanders on November 23, 2009.
  • This week, New Jersey was officially eliminated from playoff consideration. They are the third team in the last ten years to have been a Stanley Cup finalist then missed the playoffs entirely the following campaign. They join an ignominious group with Anaheim (2003 finals, out in 2004) and Edmonton. (2006 finals, 2007 out) For Edmonton, they take over the mantle of longest playoff drought from the Maple Leafs as the Oilers are now without a playoff game since losing to Carolina in the 2006 finals.
  • Tampa Bay has had a strange season. They will likely finish 14th in the Eastern Conference despite having a goal differential of just +2. (145-143 as of April 25th) Consider that the Islanders are 18 points better and officially in the post season with an identical goal differential. (137-135)
  • Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 31 goals and is the only player with more than 15 goals who has more power play goals (16) than even strength goals. (15) The two best goal totals of players who haven’t relied on PPG are Jonathan Toews who has just two power play goals out of his 22 and Pascal Dupuis who has two out of his 20.
  • How important are special teams ? Well as of Tuesday’s games completed, there are only three teams in the league that are in the top ten in both power play % and penalty killing % and two of them will miss the playoffs. Philadelphia and Edmonton are the the two teams that are out while only Los Angeles will qualify.
  • Home ice didn’t influence referees a whole lot in 2013 as the home team has had only 142 more power play attempts in the 687 games played through Tuesday, April 23rd. The home team has taken better advantage of it scoring on 19.9 % of the attempts with the road team scoring on just 16.5 %.

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

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