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.
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|
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
Scott Cullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org