Cullen: Behind the numbers after a quarter of the NHL season Talent Blog
11/24/2009 5:38:15 PM
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So, what's happening in the NHL as the season is a quarter of the way completed?

Let's dig into the stats for some info and offer up some picks for the first quarter awards. 

Don't forget to check out the updated NHL Power Rankings and Player Rankings.

First, at the quarter point of the season, here are my picks for the NHL Awards

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington

Runners Up: Zach Parise, LW, New Jersey; Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles

Ovechkin remains the leader in my player rankings, putting up numbers worthy of an MVP, especially if he can keep the 70-goal pace!

Chris Pronger, D, Philadelphia

Runners Up: Mike Green, D, Washington; Dan Boyle, D, San Jose

Pronger's rejuvenated in Philly, has turned around the career of Matt Carle, and possibly Ray Emery, in the process.

Ryan Miller, Buffalo

Runners Up: Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose; Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix

James van Riemsdyk, LW, Philadelphia

Runners Up: John Tavares, C, N.Y. Islanders; Michael Del Zotto, D, N.Y. Rangers

Tavares has more points, but in a lot more ice time.

Jack Adams
Barry Trotz, Nashville

Runners Up: Cory Clouston, Ottawa; Joe Sacco, Colorado

Surprising success gets early notice for Coach of the Year.  Rarely does this remain static throughout the year.

Average Time on Ice Per Game
Jay Bouwmeester, D, Calgary 26:43
Joe Corvo, D, Carolina 26:38
Chris Pronger, D, Philadelphia 26:35
Duncan Keith, D, Chicago 26:31
Dan Boyle, D, San Jose 26:24

Seriously, Joe Corvo?

Trailers (minimum 10 games)
Brian McGrattan, LW, Calgary 3:17
David Koci, LW, Colorado 3:27
Wade Belak, LW, Nashville 4:08
Tim Conboy, D, Carolina 4:08
Eric Godard, RW, Pittsburgh 4:33

Obviously, Conboy couldn't take any of that precious ice time from Corvo.

Ryan Callahan, RW, N.Y. Rangers - 88
Chris Neil, RW, Ottawa - 88
Stephane Robidas, D, Dallas - 84
Dustin Brown, RW, Los Angeles - 77
Matt Greene, D, Los Angeles - 75

No huge surprises here.

Blocked Shots
Brett Clark, D, Colorado - 75
Andy Sutton, D, N.Y. Islanders - 70
Jay McKee, D, Pittsburgh - 69
Chris Pronger, D, Philadelphia - 63
Dennis Seidenberg, D, Florida - 61

Is Pronger giving his all in an effort to make Team Canada?  Last year, he led the Ducks with 122 blocks in 82 games (1.49 per game).  This year, it's more than twice the rate, with 63 in 21 games (3.00 per game).

Fighting Majors
Matt Carkner, D, Ottawa - 9
Paul Bissonette, LW, Phoenix - 9
Zenon Konopka, C, Tampa Bay - 8
Jared Boll, RW, Columbus - 8
Brandon Prust, RW, Calgary - 8

Someone's gotta do it, apparently.

Roughing Minors (according to
Steve Downie, RW, Tampa Bay - 8
Chris Neil, RW, Ottawa - 6
Colton Orr, RW, Toronto - 5
Derek Dorsett, LW, Columbus - 5
Ryane Clowe, LW, San Jose - 5
Tom Kostopoulos, RW, Carolina - 5
David Backes, RW, St. Louis - 5

Minutes Per Point Production (minimum 10 games)
James van Riemsdyk, LW, Philadelphia - 13:23
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Atlanta - 13:49
Marian Gaborik, LW, N.Y. Rangers - 14:33
Brad Richards, C, Dallas - 15:05
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington - 15:18
Brian McGrattan, LW, Calgary - 15:21
Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles - 15:33
Zach Parise, LW, New Jersey - 15:50
Rich Peverley, C, Atlanta - 15:52
James Neal, LW, Dallas - 15:54

So, coach Stevens, why doesn't JVR get more ice time?

Power Play Points
Joe Thornton, C, San Jose - 14
Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles - 14
Tomas Kaberle, D, Toronto - 14
Ales Kotalik, LW, N.Y. Rangers - 13
Brad Richards, C, Dallas - 13
Dany Heatley, LW, San Jose - 13
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay - 13

St. Louis is doing that with the league's 23rd-ranked power play.

Leaders (minimum 100 faceoffs)
Zenon Konopka, Tampa Bay - 64.1%
Paul Gaustad, Buffalo - 63.3%
David Steckel, Washington - 61.4%
Scott Nichol, San Jose - 60.9%
Manny Malhotra, San Jose - 60.2%
Jonathan Toews, Chicago - 60.1%
Rich Peverley, Atlanta - 58.9%
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit - 58.3%
Patrice Bergeron, Boston - 57.4%
John Madden, Chicago - 57.4%

Konopa does more than scrap, it appears, and Peverley does more than just score.

Trailers (minimum 100 faceoffs)
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh - 34.2%
Brian Boyle, N.Y. Rangers - 34.4%
Derick Brassard, Columbus - 35.8%
David Backes, St. Louis - 39.5%
Patrick O'Sullivan, Edmonton - 39.6%
Chris Kelly, Ottawa - 39.8%
Jarome Iginla, Calgary - 40.0%
James Sheppard, Minnesota - 40.0%
Andrew Cogliano, Edmonton - 40.5%
Justin Abdelkader, Detroit - 40.8%

Is a permanent move to the wing in order for Malkin, or can the Penguins just have a designated faceoff man playing on his wing?

Missed Shots
Jeff Carter, C, Philadelphia - 51
Henrik Zetterberg, C, Detroit - 42
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington - 41
Brad Richards, C, Dallas - 40
Shea Weber, D, Nashville - 40
Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles - 35
Ryan Callahan, RW, N.Y. Rangers - 34
Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago - 34
5 tied at 33

Roman Hamrlik, D, Montreal - 34
Jaroslav Spacek, D, Montreal - 29
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh - 27
Jason Strudwick, D, Edmonton - 26
Brian Rafalski, D, Detroit - 25
Steve Sullivan, RW, Nashville - 25

Admittedly, Crosby has the puck more than most, but he was 14th in the league in giveaways last year.  Hamrlik is the other repeater from last year's "top" 15.

Ryan Kesler, C, Vancouver - 29
Maxim Afinogenov, RW, Atlanta - 26
Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas - 24
Jason Blake, LW, Toronto - 24
Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit - 23
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay - 23
Mark Streit, D, N.Y. Islanders - 23

Some additional deeper stats that interest me (from the site:

Penalty Differential (Drawn Minus Taken)
Patrik Kaleta, RW, Buffalo - 16
Dustin Brown, RW, Los Angeles - 10
Mikhail Grabovski, C, Toronto - 10
Steve Downie, RW, Tampa Bay - 8
Mason Raymond, LW, Vancouver - 8
Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit - 8
Devin Setoguchi, RW, San Jose - 8

Hal Gill, D, Montreal - Minus-9
Jeff Carter, C, Philadelphia - Minus-8
Rostislav Klesla, D, Columbus - Minus-8
Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim - Minus-8
Sami Lepisto, D, Phoenix - Minus-8

5-on-5 Goal Differential Per 60 Minutes (Minimum 10 games)
Mike Knuble, RW, Washington - 3.58
Mathieu Perreault, C, Washington - 3.33
Tyler Kennedy, RW, Pittsburgh - 3.30
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington - 3.28
Zach Parise, LW, New Jersey - 2.99
Brandon Prust, RW, Calgary - 2.83
Brian McGrattan, LW, Calgary - 2.61
Brian Sutherby, C, Dallas - 2.43
Matt Carle, D, Philadelphia - 2.35
Pavel Kubina, D, Atlanta - 2.31

Tim Conboy, D, Carolina - Minus-6.64
Garnet Exelby, D, Atlanta - Minus-5.22
Derek Boogaard, LW, Minnesota - Minus-4.99
Robert Nilsson, LW, Edmonton - Minus-4.56
Kyle Chipchura, C, Montreal - Minus-3.63
Georges Laraque, RW, Montreal - Minus-3.35
Andrew Peters, RW, New Jersey - Minus-3.17
Rod Brind'Amour, C, Carolina - Minus-2.92
Brad Richardson, C, Los Angeles - Minus-2.75
Valtteri Filppula, C, Detroit - Minus-2.67

5-on-5 Shot Differential Per 60 Minutes (Minimum 10 games)
Mikhail Grabovski, C, Toronto - 15.2
Petr Prucha, RW, Phoenix - 14.6
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, Toronto - 13.9
Shean Donovan, RW, Ottawa - 13.1
Tomas Kaberle, D, Toronto - 12.9
Colin Fraser, C, Chicago - 12.7
Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago - 12.6
Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, Ottawa - 12.4
Peter Regin, C, Ottawa - 12.3
Niklas Hagman, LW, Toronto - 12.0

Chris Stewart, RW, Colorado - Minus-22.1
Donald Brashear, LW, N.Y. Rangers - Minus-20.1
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Atlanta - Minus-17.9
John-Michael Liles, D, Colorado - Minus-17.4
Robert Nilsson, LW, Edmonton - Minus-17.3
Andrew Cogliano, C, Edmonton - Minus-16.9
Ethan Moreau, LW, Edmonton - Minus-15.8
Aaron Voros, RW, N.Y. Rangers - Minus-15.8
Steve Eminger, D, Anaheim - Minus-15.0
Mike Brown, LW, Anaheim - Minus-14.7

Scott Cullen can be reached at

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