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Photo Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Record Breaking Numbers

Offence. Offence. Offence. The 2021-22 season has seen a resurgence in offence and it is great to watch.

NHL scoring is the highest we’ve seen since 1995-96 when an NHL game averaged 6.28 goals/game.

Through 1,134 games this season games are averaging 6.15 goals/game, even higher than the 6.05 of 2005-06.

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Teams are averaging 3.075 goals/game. If you look at hockey-reference.com it says it is 3.12 goals/game, but they are including shoot out goals. I don’t include those as they go are not registered as official goal totals for NHL teams or individual players. In classic NHL fashion they include SO goals in the GF on their standings page, but when you click on the team stat page they are accurately not included. Remember to always click on the “Stats” page to get the official goal totals of each team. But I digress.

It is wonderful seeing an uptick in goals.

The Florida Panthers are the first team since the 1995-96 Penguins (4.41) to average over four goals/game. The Panthers are at 4.16, followed by Toronto (3.83) and Colorado (3.79). A total of 18 teams are averaging 3.00 goals/game or more. Los Angeles (2.81) and Dallas (2.90) are the only teams in the playoff mix under 3.00.

The 2006 season had a significant increase in goals from previous years, and part of that was due to increased power play chances and more power play goals. Eleven teams in 2006 averaged over six PP opportunities/game and all 30 teams were over 5.01 PPO/game. Five teams finished with 100+ PP goals and 20 teams had 80+. Chicago was last with 52.

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This season the Avalanche lead the NHL with 3.41 PPO/game. Eleven teams are averaging more than three PPO/game, while Arizona averages the fewest at 2.48. Not surprisingly, we are seeing significantly fewer PP goals this year than in 2006. The Avalanche lead with 60 and six teams have 53. So anyone suggesting offence is up due to power play goals and opportunities is incorrect. I still believe there should be more power plays each game. I don’t need to see teams average six/game, but having one more PP for each team and pushing them over four PPO/game would be more reflective of how the game is played today.

INDIVIDUALS…

Mar 30, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) carries the puck in on Los Angeles Kings defensemen Sean Durzi (50) during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With teams scoring more, we are seeing many players have career years and breaking personal highs and franchise bests.

Jonathan Huberdeau set the new standard for assists by a left winger. Kevin Stevens had 69 in 1992 with the Penguins. Johnny Gaudreau and Artemi Panarin each have 65 this season and we could see the top-three left-wing assists totals off all time occur this season. Amazing.

Huberdeau likely won’t break Luc Robitaille’s single-season point record by a left winger (125), but he could surpass Alex Ovechkin’s 112 point-season in 2008. Huberdeau needs 10 points in his final 12 games to tie Ovechkin and 11 to surpass him, and then he’d have the most points by a left winger since Robitaille in 1993 and be fifth all time.

— Johnny Gaudreau needs one point to break his own Calgary Flames record for most points by a left winger. Gaudreau’s next point will be his 100th and he’ll become the ninth member of the Flames organization to reach the century mark. If he scores 12 points in his final 11 games he will pass Joe Mullen (111) and finish with the second-best point total in franchise history. Kent Nilsson had 131 points in 1981.

— Panarin’s 65 assists broke his previous record of 63 for most assists by a New York Rangers left winger. He’ll need a huge finish with 15 points in his final 10 games to become the seventh Ranger to score 100 points and first since Jaromir Jagr (123) in 2006.

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— Auston Matthews broke Rick Vaive’s Toronto Maple Leafs single-season goal-scoring record last night. Vaive had 54 goals in 1982, and Matthews has 56 after scoring twice last night. He has 11 games to reach 60, and needs nine goals to match Alex Ovechkin’s 65 goals from 2008. Matthews is poised to become only the third Maple Leaf to score 100 points and join Doug Gilmour and Darry Sittler, who each did it twice. His 97 points are the most by a Maple Leafs since Gilmour had 111 in 1994.

Roman Josi scored this 85th, 86th and 87th point last night, and in the process broke Paul Kariya’s (85 points in 2006) Nashville Predators record for most points in a season. Josi has amassed 34 points in his last 17 games. He’s been on an amazing tear and he will become the ninth D-man in NHL history to score 90 points and needs 13 points in his final 12 games to join Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, Brian Leetch and Denis Potvin as the only D-men to score 100 points. What is most impressive about Josi is he doesn’t have 100-point forward on his team.

Orr had at least one of Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk and Ken Hodge score 100 each season and often had two and even all three do it.

Coffey had Wayne Gretzky, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and Mario Lemieux.

Potvin had Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy.

MacInnis had Theo Fleury and Brian Leetch had Messier.

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Josi leads the Preds with 87 points, while Matt Duchene has 74.

Cale Makar set the Avalanche record for most goals by a D-man with 24, and he needs seven points to tie Steve Duchene’s record for most points at 82.

Kirill Kaprizov has had the most productive season in Minnesota Wild history thus far with 87 points. Marian Gaborik had 83 in 2008. Kaprizov needs three goals to break Gaborik’s single-season goal record of 42. Dollar Bill Kirill needs 13 points in their final 13 games to reach 100 points.

— If Kaprizov and Josi reach 100 points that would leave only four NHL franchises who have never had a 100-point player? Can you name all four? (Answer at bottom.)

Trevor Zegras (51) needs six points to tie Bobby Ryan and seven points to set the Anaheim Ducks record for most points in a season by a rookie.

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— Tanner Jeannot (24) needs two goals to tie Filip Forsberg and three goals to set the Predators rookie record for most goals.

Connor McDavid needs nine points to break his personal record of 116 points. McDavid also is chasing 50 goals for the first time in his career. He needs eight in the final 10 games. He needs 12 points to become the sixth player in the last 25 years to score 120 points in a season. He’ll join Sidney Crosby (120), Mario Lemieux (122), Joe Thornton (125), Jaromir Jagr (121, 123, 127) and Nikita Kucherov (129).

Leon Draisaitl needs one goal to set a new career-high with 51. In March he broke Marco Sturm’s record for most goals by a German player (243) and currently sits at 249. He has already smashed the points record and seems destined to become the first German player to score 500 goals and 1,000 points. He needs 10 points in the final 10 games to set a new personal best of 111 points.

There might be other franchise records offensive players have broken or are chasing, and if so let me know.

It has been great to watch the increase in offence. I’m not opposed if we see even more next season.

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OILERS QUICK HITS…

Apr 7, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) moves the puck between LA Kings left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) and center Trevor Moore (12) in the third period at Crypto.com Arena.

The Oilers took a big step towards earning home ice advantage in the first round with their 3-2 victory in LA last night. The Oilers are three points up on the Kings with one game in hand. If Edmonton goes 5-5 in its final 10 games, then the Kings need to go 7-2 to pass them. Oilers currently own the tiebreaker with four more regulation wins so the Kings would need 100 points if the Oilers go 5-5 and finish with 99.

The Oilers could set a franchise record tomorrow with a victory over Colorado. It would be their 10th consecutive win on home ice breaking their 2017 record. The NHL record is 23 set by the 2012 Detroit Red Wings.

The Oilers have won six in a row after sweeping the Ducks, Sharks and Kings. A win tomorrow would mark only the 10th time in franchise history they’ve won seven in a row.

They won nine in a row in 2001.

Won eight in a row on three different occasions in 1984 and twice in 1985.

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They’ve won seven in a row in 1984, 1986 and 1987.

Since 1987 they’ve only won seven games in a row once. Another small milestone to chase tomorrow night.

***If Kaprizov and Josi reach 100 points then four franchises remain without a 100-point player in a single season.

New Jersey: Patrik Elias has record of 96 points in 2001.
Columbus: Artemi Panarin holds record of 87 points in 2019.
Vegas: William Karlsson has record of 78 points in 2018.
Seattle: Yanni Gourde is current leader with 41 points in their inaugural season.

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