Stanley Cup Playoffs: NHL Players with Impressive, but Underpublicized Stats
Two otherworldly individual shutout streaks came to an end during Thursday night’s NHL playoff action.
Odds are attentive followers are aware that New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist went through 152 minutes and 23 seconds of pristine defense. That was until a Zdeno Chara slapper trickled through him in the second period of his team’s series opener against Boston.
But you may not have known that, on the other coast, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Slava Voynov entered his team’s second-round series with zero opposing goals against in the 2013 postseason.
He kept that peerless streak going through the team’s 2-0 shutout of San Jose in Game 1. But in Game 2 on Thursday, near the halfway mark of regulation, he was finally on the ice for a defensive drawback.
Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks for Voynov’s first shared goal against of the tournament after the sophomore defenseman had played nearly 160 minutes without one dating back to the start of the Vancouver series.
Voynov is one of a handful of second-round participants who have posted a solid number with supportive contest in a less-publicized category during the 2013 playoffs. Whether it is in the area of pure goal prevention, faceoffs, real-time stats or penalties drawn, here are some details on the young King and other performers.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this report were found via nhl.com and are through games of Thursday, May 16.
His team-high eight assists and 10 points through eight postseason outings have doubtlessly turned heads. But Derick Brassard is also helping the New York Rangers more than any other individual in another column of the scoresheet.
The Blueshirts have been allotted 31 power-play opportunities so far, five of which Brassard has drawn, all during the first round.
First, when New York was trailing the Capitals in the series, 2-0, Brassard put Joel Ward in the bin for high-sticking at 10:50 of the first period. One stanza later, he rewarded his associates with the sixth man advantage of the night by taking an elbow from Steve Oleksy.
When the Rangers faced elimination on back-to-back nights, he drew an elbowing call on Eric Fehr in Game 6 and two separate slashing infractions by Troy Brouwer in Game 7.
Underrated Pittsburgh winger Pascal Dupuis enters Friday’s action tied for No. 10 on the shooting percentage leaderboard with 27.3 percent success, the quotient of six goals on 22 shots. Those 22 stabs at the opposing net tie him for No. 24 so far in this tournament.
In addition, out of 338 skaters to have seen playoff action in 2013, Dupuis is one of only 44 to be averaging at least three shots on goal per game.
Collectively, his output in each of those departments speaks to consistency in the way of effort and success.
In a similar vein, Patrick Sharp of Chicago has attained 20.7 percent success through his team’s first six postseason outings, with six connections on 29 tries.
Niklas Hjalmarsson and Slava Voynov
Only two participating defensemen have logged more than 100 minutes of ice time while confining the opposition to a single goal in that span. They are L.A.’s Slava Voynov, who has played 176:10 so far, and Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson, who has but one blemish in 123 minutes and 35 seconds of action.
Hjalmarsson has been on the ice for roughly 33 percent of the Blackhawks' action but only 12.5 percent of the defensive setbacks. Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya and Brent Seabrook have all accumulated less action and, though impressively stingy themselves, have each seen either three or four enemy tallies on their watch.
Voynov has participated in roughly 35 percent of L.A.’s action and, as part of the other 65 percent, watched helplessly from the bench as 12 red lights flashed behind Jonathan Quick.
At the other end, both have had a hand in multiple goals for their own team, Hjalmarsson assisting on a pair and Voynov scoring three while setting up another.
There is no need for a newsflash when the Selke Trophy finalists―Patrice Bergeron, Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews―have taken their share of faceoffs and sit among the top 10 in winning percentage.
But there is one other player currently taking part in the second round who shares a common thread with those three. San Jose’s Joe Pavelski has taken at least 100 draws in the playoffs and won at least 55 percent of them.
By winning 14 out of 25 against the Kings on Thursday, Pavelski barely hit triple digits in the way of faceoffs taken in this tournament. Through six games played, he has won 58 out of 100 draws.
Granted, second-tier Senators defenseman Chris Phillips has brooked his share of setbacks on the penalty kill, being on duty for four opposing power-play conversions in a team-high 19:31 of shorthanded ice time.
However, entering Game 2 of the Pittsburgh series, Phillips is nine seconds away from breaking the 100-minute mark in even-strength playoff ice time. In that amount of time, good for third on the team, he and his colleagues have not authorized a single opposing strike.
Just as he was in the regular season with 115, Tommy Wingels is the Sharks' body-checking leader with 30 so far in the playoffs. If not for overtime, that collection would amount to a precise average of five hits per game.
Even more impressive, Wingels has played third-line minutes at 85:34 at this point. That easily translates to at least one hit for every three minutes of action.