Around the league – Oct 8 2009

We unveil a new segment today: Around the League. Every Thursday we’ll discuss what’s transpired over the last week in professional hockey.

It’s only one week but scoring is up, I love it and hope it continues.

  • Atlantic division teams are averaging 3.08 Goals Per Game
  • NE teams are averaging 2.72 GPG
  • SE teams are scoring at a 3.00 GPG clip

In the west:

  • Central teams are averaging 3.55 GPG
  • NW teams are potting 3.61 GPG
  • Pacific teams are at a 3.45 GPG clip

Last season the GPG scoring amongst divisions went like this:

  • Atlantic: 2.88
  • NE: 3.02
  • SE: 2.95
  • Central: 3.00
  • NW: 2.80
  • Pacific: 2.79

Granted it’s very early in the season, but so far western teams are scoring at a much higher rate, and hopefully it continues.

Triple Crown

In the 1980/81 season, Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor became the only line in NHL history to all score 100+ points. Dionne had 135, Taylor 112 and Simmer had 105. They would have done it the year before as well, if Taylor had been healthy. He had 90 points in only 61 games, while Simmer had 101 points in 64 games and Dionne had 137.

There are some great lines in the NHL, but the Capitals might have the most explosive trio we have seen in some time. Through three games Alex Ovechkin (9), Nicklas Backstrom (8) and Alex Semin (7) have combined for 24 points. Of course they won’t continue this pace, but if they all stay healthy I think they will make a strong push for it.

Considering only three players in the league scored 100 points last year, the odds seem miniscule that the Caps trio can match the DST line, but it sure would make an intriguing story line. Semin’s ability to stay healthy will be their biggest obstacle in my mind.

Surprises of the week

  1. Ray Emery won all three games he started.
  2. The Wings, Devils and Canucks weren’t leading their divisions; rather they were in the basement.
  3. The Canadiens lead the league with six fights; they had 45 last season.
  4. The Sharks are second with five fights and they only had 42 last year. The Oilers had 69 tilts last season, which put them 3rd behind Anaheim and Philly.
  5. Eric Nystrom has more goals that Jarome Iginla.
  6. The Flames are 3-0, yet Dion Phaneuf (-4) and Robyn Regehr (-5) are a combined -9. They have been brutal five-on-five.
  7. The Oilers’ Sam Gagner didn’t score until the 16th game last year, and didn’t get his second goal until the 30th game of the season. He already has two this year.
  8. The Avalanche is 2-0 and they’ve only given up two goals.
  9. Five Western teams have yet to lose (I don’t count the lame OTL point) and I only picked two — Flames, Blue Jackets — to make the playoffs. The Avalanche, Blues and Coyotes have yet to lose as well.

Leader through the week

Here are the top ten in points, goals, assists and other stats.

Goals

  • Five: Ovechkin and Mike Richards
  • Four: Semin
  • Three: Henrik Sedin, Brooks Laich, Wojtek Wolski, Radim Vrbata, Patrick Marleau, Devon Setoguchi, James Neal and Matt Stajan.

Assists

  • Eight: Backstrom
  • Five: Matt Carle
  • Four: Ovechkin, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Daniel Sedin, Martin Havlat and Paul Mara.
  • Three: 18 players tied.

Points

  • Nine: Ovechkin
  • Eight: Backstrom
  • Seven: Semin
  • Six: H.Sedin, Laich, and Carle.
  • Five: Thornton, Heatley, Richards and Anze Kopitar.

Plus/Minus

  • +6: Ovechkin
  • +5: Eric Nystrom, Brandon Dubinsky, Adam Pardy and Backstrom.
  • +4: Erik Johnson, Marian Gaborik, Milan Jurcina, Jan Hejda and Carle

PP Goals

  • Three: Stajan, Richards and Setoguchi.
  • Two: Andrew Brunette, Keith Tkachuk, Mikael Samuelsson and Laich.
  • One: 63 tied with one

Hits

  • 14: Darcy Hordichuk
  • 12: Andrew Alberts
  • 11: Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz and Luke Schenn
  • 10: Ryan Callahan, Cal Clutterbuck, Johan Franzen, Tim Gleason, Travis Moen, Doug Murray, Brooks Orpik and Marc Staal.

Shots

  • 19: Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin
  • 17: Ovechkin
  • 16: Mason Raymond and Marian Gaborik
  • 15: Mike Cammalleri, Brad Richards, Brian Gionta and Samuelsson.
  • 13: Five tied with 13.
  • oilfeild

    just a unrelated question does anyone know what is going on with Brendan Shanahan is he going to play this year I took him in a pool as a 25th pick and i'm just wondering, also michael nylander any one know anything about him what is his future in the nhl, or is there one? thank you
    GO OILERS GO

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Do you think that the League will ever have another reorganization so that Crosby and Ovechkin can go head-to-head for the stanley cup? You'd think Bettman would make it happen, if only for the ratings.

  • Sammy D

    How much of Librarian Mike are we willing to part with to get Ovie? So far the bids are left and right nut… Anyone want to throw in some elbows, maybe an ankle?

  • z

    it perturbs how Crosby is marketed nonstop and he is such a wet blanket. the guy is a real dud personality wise and not that fun to watch in the grand scheme of things.

    jryan is right, check out the tsn top10 on ovechkin and tell me who should be face of the league.

    i guess tim hortons and reebok cant turn a quick buck off of sentimental canadian grandmas with Ovalchicken like they can with Crosbar.

  • Colin

    I'm hoping the flames and canucks can keep up the suckstastic play.

    Yes the flames are 3-0 but if they keep playing like crap it'll catch up to them eventually. Maybe they'll pull an oilers and do what the oil did after their early undefeated streak last year. We can only hope.

    The Avs crap depth should make them pretenders relatively quick.

    IMO thus far the division is wide open, the Oil need to pick up some points in case/before the flames/canucks get it together.

    I'm going to say trends continue tonight and the Oilers will play well, the flames will suck and their goalie will hold them in it.

    4-2 oilers.

  • Yes them Coyotes are surprising many. It is actually not surprising, Bryzgalov is a good goalie and they have a lot of young good talent. I think many teams are expecting a cake wake playing them then the coyotes beat their pants off.

    I wish it would happen with the Oilers, people thinking it'll be an easy win then surprise! after 60 mins it is the Oil who are on top. Hopefully the Flames let in 5 5on5 goals tonight.

    • Me too. Sorry Mike.

      You know, as great a player as Ovie is, and as dynamic a personality he has, he sure is funny looking. That's really the only knock on him.

      In these ways I'm a lot like Ovie too, except I'm not a great player, and I don't have a dynamic personality.

  • roadrunner

    Hmmm…(sigh)
    I'm a bit disappointed. I come to the site from time to time to get some dirt or some insight or analysis.

    I can get this info from NHL.com or any newspaper.

    Slightly amatuerish isn't it? And how does it relate to the Oil?

    **tsk tsk tsk**

    • Yes, quite. I don't also like how the hockey team is playing, this recent spell of weather and I am not also impressed with this season of Entourage so far. As everything is the fault of this website, I chide you heavily for your efforts. Shame.

      • oilfeild

        HAHAHA… YEAH!!!
        (good post, but thats all I got, nothing to add… Frankly I give a xhit what sMacK does in practice… but i do like the idea of using storts as a backup fo option on the 3rd/4th, hhaha wrong thread, whoops)

    • Ender

      Go to Hockey buzz if you want complete nonsense. Here you get perspective, news and some laughs.

      Go to hockey buzz to read about erroneous prophecies and mildly retarded theories.

    • Ender

      You'll have to forgive us for the past few days; our attention is a bit unfocused what with the new site going up. It's generally a lot more centered on current issues with the Oilers and some of it you really can't get anywhere else. Gregor and Brownlee are very plugged in to the team and will actually take the time to answer questions from doofuses like us; that's not something you get from any other MSM outlets. In addition, Willis lays down some amazing statistical analysis that I haven't seen anywhere else, many times even about Oilers prospects that no one else has the commitment involved to research.

      This is actually a premium site, my friend. Hang out a bit and you'll see. Again, don't judge on just this week.

    • JRyanMac

      I think alot of people are highly underating the Yotes this year. They were a very competive team up until the 65 (roughly) game mark last year. Off ice issues doesn't neccesarly = on ice issues.

  • Vaclav

    The last time we've seen a line like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin would be the Sens top line in 2005/06 when Spezza had 90 points and Alfredsson and Heatley had 103 points. Not a triple crown line but one of the most dominant top lines in the NHL in many years.