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Cullen: A look at NHL's December leaders

Scott Cullen
1/3/2012 4:45:58 PM
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Finishing up the year 2011, these are the NHL players that were best and worst statistically in the final month of the year.

It's no great surprise to Henrik Sedin at the top of the monthly scoring list, but how about Matt Moulson ranking third? After a slow start, Jarome Iginla picked his game up, helped along by Olli Jokinen, who now leads the Flames with 32 points in 40 games on the season.

Leading Scorers

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. GP G A PTS
1. Henrik Sedin Vancouver C 15 2 20 22
2. Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh C 13 6 14 20
3. Matt Moulson N.Y. Islanders LW 14 9 9 18
4. Jarome Iginla Calgary RW 16 7 11 18
5. Pavel Datsyuk Detroit C 15 5 13 18
6. Daniel Sedin Vancouver LW 14 10 7 17
7. Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay C 13 10 7 17
8. Marian Hossa Chicago RW 13 8 9 17
9. Olli Jokinen Calgary C 16 7 10 17
10. Zach Parise New Jersey LW 14 7 10 17

An outstanding month for Del Zotto and solid representation from Detroit, with four entries, but none from Boston after the Bruins comprised eight of the top ten in November.

Plus-Minus Leaders

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. GP +/-
1. Michael Del Zotto N.Y. Rangers D 15 +17
2. Marian Hossa Chicago RW 13 +13
3. Pavel Datsyuk Detroit C 15 +12
4. Scott Hartnell Philadelphia LW 13 +11
5. Kevin Bieksa Vancouver D 15 +11
6. Ian White Detroit D 15 +11
7. Duncan Keith Chicago D 13 +11
8. Jonathan Ericsson Detroit D 15 +11
9. Derek Stepan N.Y. Rangers LW 15 +10
10. Dan Cleary Detroit RW 15 +10
11. Todd Bertuzzi Detroit RW 15 +10

Hey, who would have guessed that Columbus players would rank poorly in plus-minus? Oh, everyone. Well, how about Michael Grabner who, in addition to scoring 34 goals as a rookie last season, was also a plus-13 for the Isles?

Plus-Minus Trailers

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. GP +/-
596. Antoine Vermette Columbus C 14 -8
597. James Wisniewski Columbus D 13 -8
598. Jeff Carter Columbus C 13 -8
599. Tom Kostopoulos Calgary RW 16 -9
600. Tomas Kopecky Florida RW 15 -9
601. Marc Methot Columbus D 14 -9
602. Rick Nash Columbus LW 14 -9
603. Michael Grabner N.Y. Islanders RW 13 -9
604. Milan Jurcina N.Y. Islanders D 14 -10
605. Niklas Hagman Anaheim LW 13 -11

Leaving the arbitrary end point of a single month out of the consideration, it's unsustainable for a player to shoot at such a high percentage over the long haul. In short, don't expect these players to keep finishing with the same measure of success. It's more encouraging for the likes of Gaborik and Stamkos, who will continue to get a lot of playing time and, consequently, opportunities, but not as much for role players like Brunette, Ebbett and Paille.

Shooting Percentage Leaders (min. 3 goals)

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. G %
1. Andrew Brunette Chicago LW 3 33.3
2. Andrew Ebbett Vancouver C 3 33.3
3. Jiri Hudler Detroit RW 7 30.4
4. Nazem Kadri Toronto LW 3 30.0
5. Marian Gaborik N.Y. Rangers RW 11 29.7
6. Curtis Glencross Calgary LW 8 29.6
7. Valtteri Filppula Detroit C 5 29.4
8. Ryan Jones Edmonton LW 6 27.3
9. Daniel Paille Boston LW 3 27.3
10. Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay C 10 25.6

It should only be a matter of time before Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith find the net. Even if they aren't high perentage shooters, they aren't zero percentage shooters either. Kyle Turris is worth noting because, although he hasn't scored yet for the Senators, with 19 shots in seven games, the chances are there.

Shooting Percentage Trailers

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. G SHOTS
596. Jamie Langenbrunner St. Louis RW 0 23
597. Kaspars Daugavins Ottawa LW 0 25
598. Brian Boyle N.Y. Rangers C 0 26
599. Kyle Turris Ottawa C 0 26
600. Jay Bouwmeester Calgary D 0 26
601. Ryan Suter Nashville D 0 28
602. Simon Gagne Los Angeles LW 0 29
603. Duncan Keith Chicago D 0 31
604. Sheldon Souray Dallas D 0 40
605. Drew Doughty Los Angeles D 0 40

Malkin is once again the far and away the leader, while Alexander Ovechkin makes a return to the Top 10, ranking second behind Malkin. Interesting to see the likes of Dustin Brown and Tyler Kennedy getting so many shots on goal, while Erik Karlsson continues to create from the Senators' blueline.

Leaders in Shots Per Game

RANK PLAYER TEAM POS. GP SOG SOG/GP
1. Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh C 13 69 5.3
2. Alexander Ovechkin Washington LW 14 63 4.5
3. Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey RW 14 60 4.3
4. Dustin Brown Los Angeles RW 15 63 4.2
5. Jarome Iginla Calgary RW 16 67 4.2
6. Rick Nash Columbus LW 14 57 4.1
7. Erik Karlsson Ottawa D 15 60 4.0
8. Zach Parise New Jersey LW 14 56 4.0
9. James Neal Pittsburgh LW 13 52 4.0
10. Tyler Kennedy Pittsburgh RW 13 52 4.0

Josh Gorges and Rostislav Klesla are the only repeats from November in the Top 10, while a puck-mover like Liles is a bit of a surprise entry in the Top 10.

Leaders in Blocked Shots Per Game (min. 7 GP)

RANK PLAYER TEAM GP Blocks Blocks/GP
1. Marc-Edouard Vlasic San Jose 13 42 3.2
2. Travis Hamonic N.Y. Islanders 14 42 3.0
3. Eric Brewer Tampa Bay 13 39 3.0
4. Steve Staios N.Y. Islanders 7 21 3.0
5. Chris Phillips Ottawa 14 41 2.9
6. Niklas Hjalmarsson Chicago 13 38 2.9
7. John-Michael Liles Toronto 9 24 2.7
8. Johnny Boychuk Boston 12 31 2.6
9. Rostislav Klesla Phoenix 9 23 2.6
10. Mark Stuart Winnipeg 14 35 2.5

Boston's goaltending has been ridiculous. Ondrej Pavelec has been outstanding for Winnipeg while backups Josh Harding, Sergei Bobrovsky, Ray Emery and Jean-Sebastien Giguere are pushing for more playing time with their strong play. Giguere has been most successful in getting more action.

Save Percentage Leaders (min. 5 GP)

RANK PLAYER TEAM GP SV%
1. Tuukka Rask Boston 6 .975
2. Tim Thomas Boston 7 .946
3. Henrik Lundqvist N.Y. Rangers 10 .944
4. Ondrej Pavelec Winnipeg 11 .939
5. Josh Harding Minnesota 5 .938
6. Sergei Bobrovsky Philadelphia 5 .935
7. Tomas Vokoun Washington 8 .930
8. Ray Emery Chicago 8 .930
9. Evgeni Nabokov N.Y. Islanders 6 .930
10. Jean-Sebastien Giguere Colorado 8 .929

In the absence of Mark Giordano, Jay Bouwmeester has been logging big minutes for the Flames, while Dan Boyle has continued to play quite a bit, especially considering that he had a broken bone in his foot.

Leaders in Time on Ice (min. 7 GP)

RANK PLAYER TEAM GP ATOI
1. Jay Bouwmeester Calgary 16 28:04
2. Ryan Suter Nashville 14 27:28
3. Ducan Keith Chicago 13 27:24
4. Shea Weber Nashville 11 27:00
5. Dan Girardi N.Y. Rangers 15 26:49
6. Francois Beauchemin Anaheim 13 26:13
7. Paul Martin Pittsburgh 7 26:08
8. Brian Campbell Florida 15 26:03
9. Dan Boyle San Jose 13 25:49
10. Erik Karlsson Ottaawa 15 25:45

Of course, the list is tough guys and those on the fringe of the lineup.

Trailers in Time on Ice (min. 7 GP)

PLAYER TEAM POS. GP ATOI
Zac Rinaldo Philadelphia RW 12 6:50
Tim Sestito New Jersey C 12 6:49
Brad Staubitz Minnesota RW 14 6:45
Jason Jaffray Winnipeg C 7 6:21
Ryan Reaves St. Louis RW 8 6:10
Cody McLeod Colorado LW 12 5:53
Brian McGrattan Nashville LW 7 5:21
Kevin Westgarth Los Angeles LW 9 5:09
Cam Janssen New Jersey RW 10 4:22
Darcy Hordichuk Edmonton LW 8 4:06

A great month on the draws for Jerred Smithson and Joe Thornton brings the star power to the list.

Faceoff Leaders (min. 50 Face-offs)

RANK PLAYER TEAM FO %
1. Jerred Smithson Nashville 94 67.0
2. Joe Thornton San Jose 122 63.9
3. Rich Peverley Boston 75 62.7
4. Adam Hall Tampa Bay 93 62.4
5. Marty Reasoner N.Y. Islanders 104 61.5
6. Joe Pavelski San Jose 161 60.9
7. Jeff Halpern Washington 135 60.7
8. Petteri Nokelainen Montreal 78 60.3
9. Patrice Bergeron Boston 231 60.2
10. Zenon Konopka Ottawa 90 60.0

It takes time to learn how to take draws in the NHL, three of the bottom four were rookies, while Foligno (and Benn) are wingers that shifted to centre

Faceoff Trailers (min. 50 Face-offs)

PLAYER TEAM FO %
Daymond Langkow Phoenix 248 41.9
Jamie Benn Dallas 195 41.5
Nik Antropov Winnipeg 106 41.5
Marcus Johansson Washington 80 41.3
Mike Santorelli Florida 122 41.0
Josh Bailey N.Y. Islanders 145 40.0
Sean Couturier Philadelphia 83 39.8
Nick Foligno Ottawa 73 39.7
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton 124 37.1
Matt Read Philadelphia 73 37.0

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.



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