Over two weeks are now in the books of the new 2011-2012 NHL season, and we've begun to get a picture of how the early season standings will look.
Determining the true contenders and pretenders is still a long way off, nevertheless, a few noteworthy surprises and disappointments have already shaken up the league standings.
Expected powers Boston, Tampa Bay, and Montreal have slipped out of the gate, while up-and-comers like Toronto, Dallas, and Colorado have capitalized on the opportunities and made statements in the early going. Meanwhile, many of the perennial dynasties—particularly Washington, Buffalo, Detroit, and Los Angeles—remain kings of the hill.
On the scoring table, a surprise leader has emerged in the Leafs' Phil Kessel, who has set the pace with 14 points in just seven games played.
Reputable forwards such as Thomas Vanek, Anze Kopitar, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin aren't far behind, but nowhere near the top are typical superstars like Alexander Ovechkin or last year's goal-scoring leader Corey Perry. Tampa Bay's Marc-Andre Bergeron is a rather shocking player to lead all defensemen in scoring as well.
Still, some of the biggest free agent landings of the summer have failed to disappoint with their new clubs. Florida's Kris Versteeg has four goals and eight points; New York's Brad Richards has five points and a plus-two rating; Washington's new net-minder Tomas Vokoun is 6-0-0 with an incredible .944 save percentage and whopping 1.80 GAA.
Looking beyond the simple scoring leaders, however, leads to an even more amazing collection of statistics from the far-reaching corners of the NHL's mumble-jumble of numbers.
It's stats like the Columbus Blue Jackets' record in one-goal games (0-4-1) or Darcy Hordichuk's time on the ice this year (just four minutes and three seconds total in three games played) that really make hockey junkies drop their jaws and raise their eyebrows.
We've picked out 11 more mind-boggling statistics from the first two and a half weeks of the 2011-2012 campaign to examine, no matter how important or pointless they happen to be.