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Scott Cullen

TSN.ca Analytics

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Credit for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Stamkos sniping, Quick stopping pucks, lineup news, Fantasy tips and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – The Oilers centre had a couple of assists for the third straight game and has 10 points (3 G, 7 A) in the past five games. As a No. 1 overall pick, in 2011, Nugent-Hopkins comes under a lot of scrutiny. Because Edmonton hasn’t had anything resembling success during his short tenure, he takes a lot of criticism.

But, let’s be fair. He is tied for the scoring lead from that draft class, with No. 1 pick Gabriel Landeskog and since 2000, there are a dozen players who had more than 181 points through their age 21 season. Considering that the Oilers have a dozen games remaining, RNH could easily climb to 11th and a point-per-game finish would put him ninth.

Anyway, given that production, it’s way too soon to start wondering about whether Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be a No. 1 centre. If he’s not already, ranking 24th among centres with 49 points, then he’s on the cusp at age 21.

Steven Stamkos – The Lightning sniper had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over Montreal, and has 10 points (7 G, 3 A) in the past nine games. Stamkos is tied for second in the league with 39 goals, but his shooting percentage (16.6%) and goals per game (0.55) are down, closer to 2010-2011 levels, which is still very good, but not quite as otherworldly as 2011-2012 through 2013-2014 (19.5%, 0.68 goals per game).

Jonathan Quick – Stopped all 25 Arizona shots sent his way in a 1-0 Kings win. Since Valentine’s Day, Quick has a .942 SV%, which ranks third in the league among goaltenders with at least 240 minutes played:

 

TOP GOALTENDER SV% SINCE FEB. 14

 
GOALIE TEAM GP SV% ADJ. SV%
Andrew Hammond  Ottawa 12 .955 .956
Carey Price  Montreal 14 .943 .945
Jonathan Quick  Los Angeles 14  .942 .941
Cam Talbot  N.Y. Rangers  13  .940 .942
Ben Bishop  Tampa Bay  .940 .941
Cory Schneider  New Jersey  13  .939 .952
Corey Crawford  Chicago  10  .939 .942
Devan Dubnyk  Minnesota  15  .937 .938
Tuukka Rask  Boston  12  .934 .937
Roberto Luongo  Florida 8 .933 .936
 

ZEROES

Jonathan Bernier – Not all his fault, but the Maple Leafs goaltender allowed three goals on four shots before getting yanked 8:08 into the game at Edmonton.

Mike Weber, Rasmus Ristolainen - A tough night for the Sabres defence pair, spending most of their night matched against Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, as Weber (10 shot attempts for, 29 against, 25.6%) and Ristolainen (11 for, 29 against, 27.5%) were victims in Ovi's shooting gallery.

LINEUP NEED TO KNOW

Rasmus Ristolainen – The second-year Sabres defenceman has played more than 28 minutes in each of the past two games.

Chad Ruhwedel – The undrafted free agent defenceman, who was signed in the spring of 2013, played his first game of the season for the Sabres, and picked up an assist, in a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington. Ruhwedel had 31 points (8 G, 23 A) and was plus-1 in 59 AHL games before he was promoted.

Brian Flynn – The Montreal winger suffered a facial injury after playing just 20 seconds at Tampa Bay and did not return.

SHORT SHIFTS

Capitals LW Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a goal on 10 shot attempts (8 SOG), and then the winner in the shootout, giving Washington a 4-3 win over Buffalo; the rookie has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past four games…Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin didn’t record a point, but registered 22 shot attempts (9 SOG) at Buffalo…Oilers LW Benoit Pouliot scored a pair of goals in a win over Toronto, giving him 16 goals in 46 games this season and, as always, he has positive shot differentials (50.8 SAT%, +3.4 Relative SAT%)…Oilers RW Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over Toronto, giving him 11 points (4 G, 7 A) during a five-game point streak…Oilers G Ben Scrivens stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 4-1 win over Toronto...Kings D Andrej Sekera had a stellar possession game (21 shot attempts for, 5 against, 80.8%) against Arizona.

FIRSTS

Andy Andreoff – A third-round pick of the Kings in 2011, Andreoff scored his first NHL goal – the only goal in a 1-0 win against Arizona – in his 15th career game.

FANTASY FOCUS

It’s a busy night, with nine games on the schedule. Here are some players to consider for your lineup:

Patrick Sharp – He’s way overdue, shooting a career-low 6.2% this season, but Sharp has been moved up to play with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on Chicago’s top line. That’s worth a look, isn’t it?

Jonathan Huberdeau – One point behind Nick Bjugstad for the Panthers’ scoring lead, Huberdeau has eight points (2 G, 6 A) in seven games this month.

Andrej Nestrasil – Nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past nine games, while playing more than 16 minutes per game, for the Hurricanes rookie.

Steve Downie – With injuries hitting the Penguins’ forward lines, the league’s penalty minute leader was skating with Sidney Crosby at the morning skate.

Drew Stafford – Playing in Winnipeg has helped Stafford regain some offensive flair and he’s put up five points (4 G, 1 A) in the past six games.

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.comwww.puckalytics.com, and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca