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Greg Wyshynski

Stunning Numbers: Stanley Cup playoff heroes and goats edition

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

Stunning Numbers is an occasional look at stats and figures from around the NHL.

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Before we begin, I wanted to pour a little out for the San Jose Sharks last night.

I mentioned on Twitter last night that they're snake-bit, and that's somewhat true: Two second-period goals deflected off the sticks of Sharks defensemen, and so many chances that were an inch away from being converted.

But at the same time, the better team (at least at this point in the season) won the series. The Sharks looked haggard out there; pucks skipping over sticks, ill-advised passes, meandering plays in their own zone. Whether it was the grind of the President's Trophy season or the grinder the Ducks put them through, San Jose looked absolutely gassed last night.

The Ducks deserved the win. The Getzlaf Line may be the best in the playoffs thus far. Jonas Hiller is going to get Bryzgalov money one day (or force a Giggy trade) for this effort. And don't look now Detroit Red Wings fans, but it's possible the Ducks have rebuilt the best defense in the NHL (Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Whitney, Chris Pronger, James Wisniewski, Francois Beauchemin) because that unit is certainly playing that way.

As for the Sharks ... Joe Thornton refused to meet the media last night. So there you go.

On to some interesting digits from the postseason and beyond ...

8

The number of No. 8 seeds to win a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series since 1994: The San Jose Sharks (1994, 2000), New York Rangers (1995), Ottawa Senators (1998), Pittsburgh Penguins (1999), Montreal Canadiens (2002), Edmonton Oilers (2006) and the Anaheim Ducks (2009).

15-11

Since the lockout, the San Jose Sharks' playoff record in games where Joe Thornton scores at least a point. The Sharks are also 4-2 when Thornton scores a goal, which is probably more significant for the fact that Joe Thornton has six playoff games with a goal since the lockout.

2

The number of game-winning goals in Game 7s for both Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils and Chris Drury of the New York Rangers, tying them with Claude Lemieux of the San Jose Sharks for the most for active players.

26:32

Average ice time per playoff game for Sergei Gonchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins, leading all players in the 2009 postseason. Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks and Braydon Coburn of the Philadelphia Flyers were tied for second at 26:29 per game.

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55.7

The faceoff winning percentage for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their six-game series win over the Philadelphia Flyers, up from 49.1 in the regular season. Sidney Crosby had a 63.5 faceoff winning percentage, up from 51.3 in the regular season; Jordan Staal had a 55.7 winning percentage, up from 47.0 in the regular season.

18

The number of blocked shots credited to Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers in six games against the Penguins. Teammate Braydon Coburn had 14.

5

The number of penalties drawn by Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins to lead all skaters in the playoffs. He's also taken a penalty, so his "plus/minus" in penalties averages out to four, tying him with Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils and Dave Bolland of the Chicago Blackhawks heading into tonight's Game 7s.

31

The number of penalty minutes earned in three games by Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. For perspective, the Bruins' leader in PIM during their seven-game series against the Habs last year was Zdeno Chara with 12.

10

Via Behind The Net's wonderful stats, the average number of feet from the net for Matt Cullen's three shots in the Carolina Hurricanes' series against the New Jersey Devils; followed by Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings (1 shot, 15 feet) and Brad Winchester of the St. Louis Blues (5 shots, 15.8 feet). At the other end of the spectrum? Jan Hejda of the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose one shot in three games traveled 112 feet.

1.21

Goals against average for Washington Capitals rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov. Lost in the circus of the last 48 hours is the fact that Varlamov has that GAA, a .954 save percentage and two shutouts in a series in which he didn't even start Game 1. One of the best stories of the postseason, without question.

52:02

The amount of overtime played in the first round, heading into Tuesday's Game 7s. Only six games have gone to overtime, including two in the New Jersey Devils/Carolina Hurricanes series.

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24:46

Time the Vancouver Canucks spent trailing the St. Louis Blues during their four-game first-round sweep.

Zero

Time the Detroit Red Wings spent trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets during their four-game first-round sweep.

3

The number of Detroit Red Wings besides Chris Osgood who didn't have at least a point in their sweep of the Blue Jackets: Brett Lebda, Kirk Maltby and Darren Helm.

9

The number of Columbus Blue Jackets on the team roster who were outscored by goalie Steve Mason, he of the one assist in four games.

7

The number of Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winners in the last 20 years that never won another major NHL award besides the Selke: Joe Mullen, Ron Francis, Alexander Mogilny, Pavol Demitra, Paul Kariya, Pierre Turgeon and Pavel Datsyuk.

14

Since relocating from Atlanta in 1980, the number of opening-round series losses for the Calgary Flames. Including this year's 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

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