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Scott Cullen

TSN.ca Analytics

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Kuznetsov making the leap for Washington, Hellebuyck a difference-maker for the Jets, Huberdeau, Giordano, Parise, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington’s rising star centre had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win at Boston; he has nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past eight games. He has 37 points in 39 games this season, nearly half-a-point-per-game better than last season.

Here are the forwards with the biggest points-per-game increase in production compared to last season (minimum 20 games played each season):

 

FORWARDS WITH BIGGEST POINTS-PER-GAME INCREASE SINCE LAST SEASON

 
PLAYER TEAM POS 2014-15 PPG 2015-16 PPG DIFF
Leon Draisaitl EDM C 0.24 1.03 0.79
Evgeny Kuznetsov WSH C 0.46 0.95 0.49
Patrick Kane CHI RW 1.05 1.44 0.39
Mike Hoffman OTT LW 0.61 0.97 0.36
Brendan Gallagher MTL RW 0.57 0.92 0.35
Loui Eriksson BOS RW 0.58 0.89 0.31
Leo Komarov TOR RW 0.42 0.73 0.31
Lee Stempniak NJ RW 0.39 0.70 0.31
Mike Cammalleri NJ LW 0.62 0.92 0.30
Tobias Rieder ARI LW 0.29 0.59 0.30
Aleksander Barkov FLA C 0.51 0.80 0.29
Jason Chimera WSH LW 0.25 0.54 0.29
Patrice Bergeron BOS C 0.68 0.97 0.29
Taylor Hall EDM LW 0.72 1.00 0.28
Joel Ward SJ RW 0.41 0.69 0.28
David Krejci BOS C 0.66 0.94 0.28
Teuvo Teravainen CHI LW 0.26 0.51 0.25
Victor Rask CAR C 0.41 0.65 0.24
Nathan MacKinnon COL RW 0.59 0.83 0.24
Kyle Palmieri NJ LW 0.51 0.75 0.24
Shane Doan ARI RW 0.46 0.70 0.24
Bobby Ryan OTT RW 0.69 0.92 0.23
Blake Wheeler WPG RW 0.77 1.00 0.23
Travis Zajac NJ C 0.34 0.56 0.22
Mikko Koivu MIN C 0.60 0.82 0.22
 

Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg’s rookie goaltender turned aside 43 of 44 shots in a 4-1 win at Nashville. He has a .935 save percentage in his first 13 NHL games. Here are the rookie goaltenders with the highest save percentage (minimum 10 games):

 

BEST SV%, FIRST-YEAR GOALTENDER (MINIMUM 10 GP)

 
PLAYER TEAM SEASON GP SV%
Cam Talbot NYR 2013-14 21 .941
Scott Darling CHI 2014-15 14 .936
Connor Hellebuyck WPG 2015-16 13 .935
Martin Jones LA 2013-14 19 .934
Braden Holtby WSH 2010-11 14 .934
Calvin Pickard COL 2014-15 16 .932
Niklas Backstrom MIN 2006-07 41 .929
Martin Gerber ANA 2002-03 22 .929
Jussi Markkanen EDM 2001-02 14 .929
Jonas Hiller ANA 2007-08 23 .927
 

Jonathan Huberdeau – Florida’s top-line left winger put up a goal and an assist in a 5-1 win at Buffalo, and has 13 points (2 G, 11 A) in the past 12 games.

Mark Giordano – Calgary’s captain contributed two assists in a 3-1 win against Tampa Bay, and has 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the past eight games.

Zach Parise – Minnesota’s offensive leader tallied a hat trick in a 4-2 win at Columbus. He had no goals and two assists in the previous six games.

ZEROES

Matt Read – Returning to the Flyers lineup after a game as a healthy scratch, Read was buried in the defensive zone (2 for, 17 against, 10.5 SAT%) in a 4-3 win over Montreal.

Cody Franson – The Sabres blueliner had a rough possession game (6 for, 15 against, 28.6 SAT%) and was on for three Panthers goals against in a 5-1 loss. 

Antti Niemi – Dallas’ allowed six goals on 29 shots at the Rangers. He had been on a good run, with a .930 save percentage in the previous 14 games, but has a .913 save percentage this season, hanging just below league average, as he has in the past couple of seasons.

Pekka Rinne – Nashville’s workhorse goaltender surrendered three goals on 17 shots against Winnipeg, and has a .884 save percentage in the past five games. He has a .907 save percentage in a league-leading 34 games this season.

VITAL SIGNS

Mikko Koivu – Quite possibly Minnesota’s most irreplaceable player, at least based on his impressive play this season, suffered an injury after going hard into the boards, playing just 1:35 against Columbus.

Erik Johnson – The Colorado defenceman is out with a lower-body injury, suffered Monday against the Kings. 

Ryan Callahan – The Tampa Bay winger played 5:31 before suffering a lower-body injury at Calgary.

Adam McQuaid – Suffered an upper-body injury when hit into the boards from behind by Washington’s Zach Sill.

Jayson Megna – Called up to fill-in for the Rangers with Chris Kreider out of the lineup, Megna had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over Dallas. The 25-year-old had 18 points (7 G, 11 A) in 34 AHL games when he was promoted.

SHORT SHIFTS

Flyers C Sean Couturier contributed a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win against Montreal, and has nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past eight games…Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere also had a goal and an assist against Montreal, giving him eight points (3 G, 5 A) in the past nine games…Flyers LW Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists in the win over Montreal; he had two points in the previous eight games…Bruins C Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 loss to Washington, giving him 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in the past 17 games…Stars C Jason Spezza recorded a pair of assists in a 6-2 loss at the Rangers; he has 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in the past 10 games…Rangers LW Rick Nash accumulated three assists in the win over Dallas, giving him 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the past 11 games…Rangers C Derek Stepan scored two goals vs. Dallas; he had one point in his previous eight games…Blackhawks rookie LW Artemi Panarin scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh. He has five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past four games…Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane added a couple of assists, and has nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past four games…Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook had two assists, and has six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past five games…Penguins C Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 OT loss to Chicago, and has 22 points (10 G, 12 A) in the past 20 games…Penguins D Kris Letang also had a goal and an assist, with 10 shot attempts (7 SOG), giving him 10 points (3 G, 7 A) in the past five games…Wild C Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win at Columbus, snapping a five-game scoreless drought…Jets RW Drew Stafford scored a pair of goals in a 4-1 win at Nashville, giving him five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past five games.

Panthers G Roberto Luongo had 31 saves on 32 shots in a 5-1 win at Buffalo; he has a .952 save percentage in his past nine games…Blackhawks G Corey Crawford stopped 34 of 36 shots in a 3-2 OT win at Pittsburgh. In the past 13 games, Crawford has a .945 save percentage…Flames G Karri Ramo turned aside 30 of 31 shots in a 3-1 win vs. Tampa Bay, and has a .936 save percentage in the past 11 games.

FANTASY FOCUS

Some forwards who have had low on-ice shooting percentages (all situations) this season and, thus, could be due for better results in the future:

Ryan Kesler – The Anaheim pivot has scored in back-to-back games, but has his lowest goal and points-per-game rates since 2006-2007, thanks in part to his career-low 5.8% overall on-ice shooting percentage.

Evander Kane – Stuck in a five-game drought with no points, Kane is still generating shots at an elite level (3.73 per game) and his 5.4% overall on-ice shooting percentage is way below his career norm of 9.4%.

David Perron – the Penguins winger has gone 15 games without a goal, but does have five assists in the past seven games, and his overall on-ice shooting percentage is a career-low 6.2%.

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.comstats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

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