From The Point: Stretch drive news and notes
From The Point: Stretch drive news and notes
ATLANTA: The Thrashers are 6-1-0 with Keith Tkachuk, who has four goals and an assist since coming over from St. Louis.
BOSTON: When the Bruins beat the Red Wings 6-3 March 11, it gave B's coach Dave Lewis a victory in his first game back in Detroit since spending 19 seasons there as a player, coach and scout.
BUFFALO: Right winger Jason Pominville is enjoying a stellar sophomore season. He has as many shorthanded goals as power play goals Â– two each Â– to go along with his 23 even-strength markers.
CALGARY: Dion Phaneuf. Robyn Regehr. Roman Hamrlik. Brad Stuart. Rhett Warrener. Andrei Zyuzin. Surely, the Flames boast the best top-six defense corps in the NHL. Just ask blueline spares Mark Giordano (he has seven goals and 15 points in 43 games as a rookie), Richie Regehr and Brad Ference, who only get ice time when there's an injury.
CAROLINA: Three Hurricanes forwards Â– Rod Brind'Amour, Justin Williams and Eric Staal Â– average more ice time than Carolina's busiest defenseman, Mike Commodore (20:01).
CHICAGO: Left winger Jeff Hamilton had a hat trick Â– his second of the season Â– and five points in a 7-5 win over Phoenix March 10. The 30-year-old had only played 14 NHL games (all with the Islanders) prior to this year with the Hawks. In 57 games this season, he's second among Chicago scorers with 17 goals and fourth with 33 points.
COLORADO: Rookie center Paul Stastny has set an NHL record for registering a point in 18 consecutive games. Teemu Selanne had the old mark of 17 games, while Paul's father, Peter, had points in 16 straight games as a rookie in 1980-81. Paul Stastny also bumped his uncle Marian from the record books by collecting points in 14 consecutive road games.
COLUMBUS: Quick! Who led the Blue Jackets in scoring last season and has a double-digit bulge in the team lead this year? (Hint: It's not Rick Nash, Sergei Fedorov or Jody Shelley.)
DALLAS: There's not one defenseman leading Dallas in scoring Â– there's two. Philippe Boucher and Sergei Zubov each have 46 points, one ahead of Mike Ribeiro and Ladislav Nagy. (Mike Modano has 29 points in 45 games.)
DETROIT: The Red Wings have the best and worst plus-minus marks in the league. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom leads the NHL at plus-36, while winger Kyle Calder Â– a trade deadline pickup from Philadelphia Â– is at the bottom at minus-29.
EDMONTON: The Oilers are 0-7-0 and have been outscored 28-5 since trading away heart-and-soul man Ryan Smyth.
FLORIDA: Ed Belfour, a month shy of his 42nd birthday, has made 20 consecutive starts in the Panthers net. Roberto Luongo holds the team mark of 23 straight games.
LOS ANGELES: The Kings aren't going to make the playoffs this season, but their future is bright. Los Angeles's top three scorers are 24-year-olds Mike Cammalleri and Alexander Frolov and 19-year-old Anze Kopitar.
MINNESOTA: Slovak stars Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra have combined for 49 points in the past 19 games. Gaborik has 12 goals and 24 points; Demitra has 11 goals and 25 points.
MONTREAL: Defenseman Sheldon Souray has 23 goals in 69 games. That's already the most goals by a blueliner since Sergei Gonchar scored 26 for Washington in 2001-02.
NASHVILLE: Despite their offensive prowess, the league-leading Predators are 26th in the NHL in shots per game (27.7), ahead of non-playoff teams Chicago (27.2), Edmonton (27.1), Columbus (27.1) and St. Louis (26.9). (The seven teams averaging the fewest shots per game are all in the Western Conference; Washington, at 23rd overall averages 28.3 per game.)
NEW JERSEY: The Devils have won 40-plus games for the 10th straight season. That's the third-longest stretch of 40-victory seasons ever, behind Montreal's 13 (1970-83) and Boston's 12 (1968-80).
N.Y. ISLANDERS: Chris Simon led all Islanders forwards with a plus-17 rating when he was suspended for the rest of the regular season and playoffs for his vicious slash to the face of Rangers center Ryan Hollweg.
N.Y. RANGERS: The Blueshirts' top four forwards Â– Jaromir Jagr (24), Michael Nylander (20), Martin Straka (27) and Brendan Shanahan (28) Â– have combined to score exactly half of the team's goals (99 of 198).
OTTAWA: Linemates Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza are riding double-digit points streaks. Heatley has been on the scoresheet in 14 consecutive games; Spezza 13. Spezza missed a game with a bad back. Heatley established the Senators' team record when he recorded a point in his first 22 games with the team at the start of the 2005-06 season.
PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers are on pace for their worst season in club history. Since joining the NHL in 1967-68, Philadelphia's previous low point was a 58-point season in 1969-70 when the NHL played a 76-game schedule. The Flyers' 17-35-24 record translated to a .381 winning percentage. Through 69 games this season, the Flyers are 19-39-11, for a .355 winning percentage. (And don't forget, points are easier to come by these days, thanks to the extra point in overtime and the shootout.)
PHOENIX: After shipping out Ladislav Nagy, Yanic Perreault and Oleg Saprykin at the trade deadline, Shane Doan led the Coyotes with 24 goals and 47 points through 69 games. Owen Nolan, who signed with Phoenix after being out of hockey for two-and-a-half years due to injuries and the lockout, was second with 16 goals and 35 points. Only two other players Â– Ed Jovanovski (11), who's out for the rest of the season, and fourth-liner Mike Zigomanis (12) Â– had reached double-digits in goals.
PITTSBURGH: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can become the first teammates to win the scoring race and rookie-scoring race since Bobby Hull and Bill Hay did so for the 1959-60 Chicago Black Hawks.
ST. LOUIS: The Blues are 22-10-5 since snapping an 11-game losing streak in mid-December.
SAN JOSE: Goalie Evgeni Nabokov has gone 166:07 without allowing a goal to surpass his old team record of 145:07.
TAMPA BAY: The last time two teammates finished in the top three in NHL scoring was 2001-02 when Vancouver's Markus Naslund was second and Todd Bertuzzi was third. Vincent Lecavalier (93 points) and Martin St-Louis (92 points), who have skated on the same line for most of the year, are hot on the tail of league leader Sidney Crosby (100 points). Lecavalier has 46 goals, four more than Ottawa's Dany Heatley in the chase for the Rocket Richard Trophy.
TORONTO: Mats Sundin is two goals behind Darryl Sittler's all-time team mark (389).
VANCOUVER: Roberto Luongo and the Canucks are 24-5-4 since dropping a 3-2 decision at Columbus in late December.
WASHINGTON: The Capitals have a 40-goal scorer (Alexander Ovechkin, 41), a 30-goal scorer (Alexander Semin, 33), a 20-goal scorer (Chris Clark, 24) and a double-digit goal-scorer (Matt Pettinger, 15). Twenty other players have scored for the Caps this season; center Brooks Laich leads the pack with eight goals.
Sam McCaig's From The Point appears regularly only on //www.thehockeynews.com/en/columnist/list.asp?columnist=3>thehockeynews.com. Have a point to make with Sam McCaig? You can reach him at email@example.com.