The 10 Most Eye-Popping Statistics from the 2013 NHL Season
Stats aren't everything in the NHL, but that doesn't make some numbers any less impressive or eye-popping. The 2013 season has had its fair share of ups and downs and interesting numbers have been born from the truncated season.
From the resurgence of Alexander Ovechkin to the ridiculous season-opening win streak pieced together by the Chicago Blackhawks, this year has not been short on stat-driven story lines.
Here's a look at some of the most intriguing and telling stats from the 2013 NHL season thus far.
Chicago Blackhawks Go Unbeaten in 24 Games
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For half of the lockout-shortened 2013 NHL season, it didn't look like the Chicago Blackhawks were going to lose a game. They collected 43 out of a possible 46 points while winning contests in every conceivable way.
They brutally outscore opponents one night, and then put on a defensive clinic the next. Goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery—considered a weakness on the team according to preseason predictions—have both been stellar as well.
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, 2013 could very well be remembered as the year of Chicago's half-season dominance.
Plus-45 Goal Differential for the Chicago Blackhawks
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When the Chicago Blackhawks racked up points in 24 games in a row, they managed to pad some impressive team stats along the way.
The standout number would be their accumulative plus-45 goal differential. It's one thing to win a hockey game, and it's another to dominate outright. For the most part, that's what Chicago has done in 2013.
No number is more indicative of that fact than the 45 more goals they've scored than allowed.
One Regulation Loss for the San Jose Sharks at Home
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The San Jose Sharks have been almost automatic while playing at home so far in 2013.
As of April 8, the team had only dropped one game in regulation while playing in front of the hometown faithful, putting together a 14-1-5 record—good for the best home-winning percentage in the NHL.
The Sharks are on quite the hot streak as of late, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, willing themselves back into the playoff equation. If the team ends up making it to the dance, they'll owe a lot of credit to their immaculate home record.
The Colorado Avalanche's Awful 2-15-3 Road Record
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The Colorado Avalanche are mired in one of the most forgettable seasons in franchise histor, and are a mess in every conceivable way,
While the team has been respectable at home—they've posted a 10-6-2 record while playing at the Pepsi Center—they've been positively abysmal on the road.
A 2-15-3 road record is pathetic, even for a bottom-feeding squad like Colorado.
Drafting a player like Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon in June may ease the sting of missing the playoffs again in Denver, but only managing two roads wins is a hard pill to swallow for this young and promising team.
New Jersey's 10 Points Lost in OT and the Shootout
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The New Jersey Devils are currently in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference, sitting only two points back of the eighth place New York Islanders. Only six points separate the team from the fifth place Toronto Maple Leafs, and only eight points separate the Devils from the conference-worst Florida Panthers.
In other words, it's an absolute logjam of a playoff race.
With the lockout shortening the season, every single lost point is amplified. If New Jersey ends up missing the playoffs, they'll surely look at the seven shootout loses and three overtime losses and wish for some of those points back.
Sergei Bobrovsky's Numbers Across the Board
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Sergei Bobrovsky has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 NHL season, giving the Columbus Blue Jackets a quality starting netminder for the first time since the first half of the 2008-09 season. Back then, Steve Mason was tearing it up through his first 30 games or so as a rookie.
Since then Columbus has sported some of the worst goaltending in the league.
Enter Bobrovsky, who is responsible for his team's recent surge into the playoff picture in a sardine tin-like Western Conference.
His 2.12 GAA and .927 save percentage have him in line for Vezina Trophy consideration.
Alexander Ovechkin Reemerges as an Offensive Powerhouse
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Remember when all the cool kids were talking about how Alex Ovechkin's days as an elite goal scorer were over? About how defenses had finally solved the Russian Machine, and how he was a coach killer with a bad attitude?
The "Great 8" has returned to form with a vengeance in 2013, displaying the fire and competition level that made him one of the NHL's go-to faces in the mid-2000's.
He's found the back of the net 25 times and added 18 assists, showing flashes of the old AO while leading his Washington Capitals to the top of the Southeast division.
.917 Winning Percentage When Leading After One for L.A. Kings
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If the Los Angeles Kings are leading after the first period, odds are that the slash is going in the win column for the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
The team is 22-13 and currently sits in second in the Pacific Division, thanks in no small part to the ability to grab onto leads and lock them down. Defending leads and making goals stand are trademarks of successful teams, and the Kings know how to do these things at an elite level.
Winning Despite Injuries in Ottawa
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The Ottawa Senators are currently missing their best player at every position. Norris winner Erik Karlsson went down with a gruesome Achilles tendon injury (worst combination of words ever), and may not return this season.
That was after Jason Spezza herniated a disc in his back, also forcing the star center out for the season.
Starting goaltender Craig Anderson (and current stat leader in almost every major goalie category) missed substantial time with an ankle sprain, but is set to return this weekend (per senators.nhl.com).
Injuries usually derail a season—feel free to check in with the Florida Panthers to see how years like this usually turn out—yet the Senators have fought through the injury bug and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, despite playing in the ultra-competitive Northeast Division.
The Med Bay That Has Become the Detroit Red Wings
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It would take less time to list the players that the Detroit Red Wings haven't lost for extended periods of time due to injuries this season than to list the players that have—it's just been that kind of year in Detroit as they try to adjust to life after Nick Lidstrom.
Todd Bertuzzi, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Ian White, Henrik Zetterberg and Jonas Gustavsson have all missed time for the Red Wings.
All told, Detroit has lost 186 man-games to injury—that's good for first in man-games lost, and a whopping 23 games more than the second closest team (per The Globe and Mail).