Puck Daddy - NHL


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

Mike Fisher(notes) of the Ottawa Senators, as you know, is the betrothed of country music superstar Carrie Underwood. Last month, we noted how well Fisher had been playing since cozying up to the American Idol. This new comparison arrived via the one of the fantasy stat wizards at Y! Sports this morning:

Before the engagement: 33 GP, 15-14-29, plus-10

Since the engagement: 12 GP, 0-3-3, minus-4

You try playing professional hockey while figuring out what kind of moonshine to stock the bar with at the reception ...


The Pittsburgh Penguins' record when Evgeni Malkin(notes) fails to score a goal this season. He has 13 goals in 41 games for the Pens, but hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 23 -- a slump that's causing some concern, though not apparently in the standings.


The goal projection for Sidney Crosby(notes) of the Pittsburgh Penguins after 30 goals in 47 games this season, blowing away his previous high of 39 in his rookie year. As he told NHL.com, it's all about the shot:

"As an offensive player when you know you've got guys going to the net and driving hard, you're going to shoot more because you know that you'll get opportunities there," added Crosby, who credited a newfound confidence in his shot for his willingness to shoot more.

"I feel like I can score outside a little more than in the past, and that comes with seeing good results . . . any offensive player will tell you that you build confidence the more you see the puck go in, and from different areas as well. You need to have a sense of confidence if you want to score consistently."

His point projection, by the way, brings him just shy of 100.


The combined giveaways credited to Montreal Canadiens defensemen Jaroslav Spacek(notes) and Roman Hamrlik(notes), who are Nos. 1 and 2 in the NHL in that category. They've also combined for 38 takeaways. Giveaways and takeaways are a bit of a subjective category for stats keepers at games, like hits for example. Considering Hal Gill(notes) is sixth in the League in giveaways at 49, wonder if the statistician at Bell Centre is a bit of a harsh judge on this number.


Via Behind the Net, the average goals-against-per-60-minutes of shorthanded hockey for Client Jaroslav Halak(notes) of the Montreal Canadiens, the lowest total for any goalie with at least 30 appearances this season. As for the biggest shorthanded sieves, Craig Anderson(notes) of the Colorado Avalanche and Jonathan Quick(notes) of the Los Angeles Kings have both given up 28 power-play goals this season. Both of their teams have given up 35 power-play goals on the year.


The number of buildings in the NHL that are playing to under 80-percent capacity on average this season, based on the admittedly flawed and manipulated team data on ESPN.com. The under-80 crowd: Carolina Hurricanes (78.6), Florida Panthers (78.2), Colorado Avalanche (77.0), Tampa Bay Lightning (76.4), New York Islanders (74.9), Atlanta Thrashers (72.8) and the Phoenix Coyotes, whose reported attendance is 10,672 on average for a 61-percent capacity. If you think these numbers are stunning, then you probably haven't checked the NBA's yet.


The plus/minus rating for the NHL leader in that category. He's a defenseman. He's team wears red and has a Russian star.

Nicklas Lidstrom(notes)? Better recognize: Your plus/minus leader is Jeff Schultz(notes) of the Washington Capitals, a bit of news that may just send Puck Daddy's noted Schultz critic Dmitry Chesnokov reaching for the Stolichnaya.


Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, you'll find Edmonton Oilers teammates Shawn Horcoff(notes) and Patrick O'Sullivan(notes), who lead the NHL in minus rating as of Jan. 14. In fact, more than a few of the names at the bottom of plus/minuses are surprising:

We're guessing Rick Nash(notes) probably felt his double-digit minus days with the Columbus Blue Jackets were over.


The plus/minus rating on the road for Brendan Witt(notes) of the New York Islanders, which is the lowest in the NHL. But it's the second-lowest player that's a bit of a stunner: Brad Richards(notes) of the Dallas Stars is a minus-16 in 23 road games and a plus-7 on home ice. We're guessing that, like all things in life, this has to have something to do with the quality of available BBQ.


The difference between shots on goal (40) and blocked shots of opponents (120) for Andy Sutton(notes) of the New York Islanders, who leads the NHL in whatever the hell you'd call this arcane bit of trivia. Your NHL leader in blocked shots overall? Dennis Seidenberg(notes) of the Florida Panthers with 132.


The difference between penalties drawn (25) and taken (4) for Dustin Brown(notes) of the Los Angeles Kings, which is the largest difference between the two categories according to Behind the Net's numbers. Interesting note on penalties drawn: Rookie Evander Kane(notes) of the Atlanta Thrashers is second to Brown with 23. 


The number of penalties drawn and taken by Alex Burrows(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks through 46 games this season, via Behind the Net. This might be a stat worth watching after Burrows' enormous gesture of gratitude towards NHL on-ice officials earlier this week. 

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