From The Point: Around the NHL
Some of the things we've learned from the NHL in recent weeks include a leading sniper in the West; the league's most lethal team while shorthanded; the least-busiest goalie; and how many bottles of beer the Stanley Cup holds:
Chris Drury tied a career-high with his 30th goal of the season on Feb. 3, for his second consecutive 30-goal season. His 30th goal last year came in Buffalo's 82nd game. The Sabres have five players on pace for 30-plus goals and two more on pace for more than 20.
Mike Vernon's No. 30 will join Lanny McDonald's No. 9 as the only two jerseys hanging from the rafters of the Saddledome. Both players were on the 1989 Flames team that won the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks power play is a struggling unit. Chicago is last in the NHL, scoring on 10.9 per cent of its man-advantage opportunities (27 for 248). St. Louis, with 34 power play goals and a 13.7 per-cent efficiency, ranks 29th.
Joe Sakic is four goals shy of becoming the 17th NHLer in history to score 600 career goals. The Avs captain has 22 goals in 52 games, including 10 power play markers, but is still looking for his first game-winner this season.
Sophomore center Dan Fritsche has 10 goals and 20 points in his past 29 games. He's also one of a select few Blue Jackets to be plus players this season, at plus-1 through 53 games.
The Red Wings are 10-0-0 in their past 10 home games.
Center Mike Cammalleri extended his scoring streak to six with a career-high four points against Florida Feb. 3. It's the longest streak by any Kings player this season and the longest of Cammalleri's careerÂ…Alexander Frolov is second among Western Conference goal-scorers with 28 in 55 games.
Right winger Marian Gaborik has 14 points, including 10 goals, in 13 games since returning from a groin injury Jan. 6. Minnesota is 8-3-2 since his returnÂ…The Wild have won seven of eight road games since snapping an 11-game losing streak away from home.
The Habs are the NHL's most dangerous shorthanded team. Montreal is plus-12, scoring 15 shorties while giving up only threeÂ…Sheldon Souray has set a career-high with 18 goals (in 54 games) and leads all NHL defensemen this season.
Steve Sullivan is working on a team-record point streak. The speedy winger has hit the scoresheet in 10 consecutive games, collecting six goals and 14 pointsÂ…Preds goalies Chris Mason (five) and Tomas Vokoun (three) have combined for nine shutouts this season (the duo also shared one) to tie New Jersey's Martin Brodeur for the league leadÂ…Nashville is 31-13-3 vs. the West and has won six of seven games (6-1-0) against the East this season.
Martin Brodeur set the NHL record for most career overtime wins, at 45, with an overtime victory against Philadelphia Feb. 1Â…Brodeur's No. 2, Scott Clemmensen, has played the fewest minutes of any backup in the league this season, at just 150 through 53 games. Calgary's Jamie McLennan has played 248 minutes and Vancouver's Dany Sabourin has been in for 299Â…The Devils are 30-9-4 versus Eastern Conference teams this season, but only 2-6-2 against the West.
Superstar winger Jaromir Jagr, with 610 career goals, needs one more to pass Bobby Hull and move into 13th place on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list. Jagr also is just five points shy of becoming the 12th player in NHL history to reach 1,500Â…New York is 10-11-3 at home this season Â– a big reason why the team currently is out of the playoffs.
Keep a close eye on the performance of the Senators right now: The team is finally completely healthy.
For all that has gone wrong in Philadelphia this season, something went right at least for one night. Defenseman Alexandre Picard collected five assists while playing a team season-high 32:42 minutes against New Jersey Feb. 1. He's only the second rookie defenseman in NHL history to record at least five assists in a game (Gary Suter had six in 1986). Picard also set franchise records for assists by a defenseman in a game, most assists by a rookie in a game and became just the third player in team history to record at least five assists in a gameÂ…The Flyers are 9-30-7 against the East this seasonÂ…Philadelphia is 0-8-2 in its past 10 games at home.
The Coyotes are an NHL-worst minus-22 on special teams. Phoenix has scored 40 power play goals, while surrendering 62.
Something goes right every night for Pens center Sidney Crosby, especially when he faces the Flyers. Crosby has 30 points, including 14 goals, in 14 career games against the FlyersÂ…The Penguins haven't lost in regulation in their past 10 games, going 8-0-2.
Goalie Manny Legace blanked Dallas 2-0 Feb.3, tying him for fifth in the NHL with four shutouts on the season.
Captain Mats Sundin set a franchise record for the most 20-goal seasons, with 12, surpassing Ron Ellis and Dave Keon, when he scored his 20th of the season Jan. 31. It also marked the 16th consecutive season he has scored at least 20 goals, including his time as a Quebec Nordique.
The Capitals need to learn to win on the road in order to make the playoffs. Washington is 1-9-0 in its past 10 home games.
Â“This Cup has had some amazing experiences.
Â“It's been to the top of Mount Elbert in Colorado. It has taken a roller coaster ride at Universal Studios. It's been used as baptismal font, a popcorn holder, a feed trough for a winner of the Kentucky Derby. Players have tested its buoyancy by throwing it into pools and lakes. It does not float. The Cup Â– this may be hard for you to believe Â– but it has been to a lot of bars. In case you're wondering, it holds 14 cans of beer.Â”
- President George W. Bush, during the Carolina Hurricanes' visit to the White House in late January
Sam McCaig's From The Point appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Have a point to make with Sam McCaig? You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.