Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Hype Is Building

via the NHL,
Information researched by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. • Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin played against each other four times last season. Crosby (3-6-9) and Ovechkin (3-3-6) scored points in each of those four games, and they scored a goal in the same game twice (Jan. 25 at Pittsburgh, Feb. 11 at Washington). The Penguins won the first three meetings of the rookie phenoms and the Capitals won the last game (Mar. 8 at Washington). • Alex Ovechkin played his 100th NHL game on November 17. Ovechkin had 64 career goals through that date, matching the sixth-highest total at the 100-game mark for any player in the modern era. (since 1943-44, when the center-ice red line was introduced). Most goals through 100 games: Teemu Selanne (84), Maurice Richard (80), Mike Bossy (76), Dino Ciccarelli (69), Eric Lindros (67), Pavel Bure (64), Joe Nieuwendyk (64), Alex Ovechkin (64).

• Ovechkin had 64 assists to match his 64 goals at the 100-game mark. The only other player to reach both those totals in his first 100 NHL games was Teemu Selanne (84 goals, 68 assists).
• Sidney Crosby played his 100th game on November 20. Crosby’s 132 points (49 goals, 83 assists) through his first 100 career games was the second-highest total for any active NHL player. Teemu Selanne had 152 points in his first 100 games. Rounding out the top five are Eric Lindros (128), Alex Ovechkin (128) and Peter Forsberg (124).
• Career totals through their first 100 NHL games for some other notable recent players (a selection, not a complete list): Wayne Gretzky (61 goals, 112 assists, 173 points), Teemu Selanne (84-68-152), Mario Lemieux (60-87-147), Peter Stastny (53-88-141), Dale Hawerchuk (58-72-130), Eric Lindros (67-61-128), Peter Forsberg (31-93-124), Steve Yzerman (48-67-115), Denis Savard (40-75-115), Gordie Howe (17-37-54).
• Points leaders this season among players age 21 or younger: Sidney Crosby (34), Alex Ovechkin (28), Evgeni Malkin (25), Patrice Bergeron (25), Anze Kopitar (24), Milan Michalek* (24). ***Through Dec. 4***
*—Michalek turns 22 years old on December 7.
• Alex Ovechkin scored 22.6 percent of his team’s goals last season (52 of 230), the highest percentage for any NHL player, and he’s scored 21.5 percent of his club’s goals this season (17 of 79), third-highest in the league. ***Through Dec. 4***
• Last season, the only NHL players to either score or assist on at least 40 percent of their team’s goals were the Rangers’ Jaromir Jagr (49.2%), Alex Ovechkin (46.1%) and Sidney Crosby (42.0%). This season, Crosby has points on 45.3 percent of his team’s goals (32 of 70), second-highest of any player, behind Jagr (47.1%). ***Through Dec. 4***
• Alex Ovechkin has 558 shots on goal (in 107 games) in his two seasons in the NHL, 72 more than any other player has put on net over the same span. The rest of the top five: Olli Jokinen (486), Jaromir Jagr (482), Marian Hossa (467), Ilya Kovalchuk (446) ***Through Dec. 4***
• NHL points leaders since the start of the 2005-06 season: Jaromir Jagr (163), Joe Thornton (152), Sidney Crosby (136), Dany Heatley (136), Alex Ovechkin (134). ***Through Dec. 4***
• NHL goals leaders since the start of the 2005-06 season: Alex Ovechkin (69), Ilya Kovalchuk (69), Jaromir Jagr (67), Dany Heatley (66), Jonathan Cheechoo (63). ***Through Dec. 4***
• NHL assists leaders since the start of the 2005-06 season: Joe Thornton (116), Jaromir Jagr (96), Marc Savard (94), Jason Spezza (91), Sidney Crosby (87). ***Through Dec. 4***
• NHL “sophomore” leaders this season (through Dec. 4):
„« GOALS: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (17); Thomas Vanek, Sabres (17); Chris Kunitz, Ducks (14); Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks (12); Jason Pominville, Sabres (12).
„« ASSISTS: Sidney Crosby, Penguins (24); Kyle Wellwood, Maple Leafs (16); Vanek (16); Milan Michalek, Sharks (15); Ryan Whit ney, Penguins (15).
„« POINTS: Crosby (34); Vanek (33); Ovechkin (28); Michalek (23); Steve Bernier, Sharks (22); Wellwood (22).
• Sidney Crosby (age 19) scored 10 goals this season through the end of November and teammate Evgeni Malkin (age 20) had 12 goals at the same point. In NHL history, the only other under-21 teammates to score at least 10 goals each by the end of November were Wayne Gretzky (31 goals), Mark Messier (17), and Paul Coffey (14) for the Oilers in 1981.
• Evgeni Malkin was the first player since the 1917-18 season to begin his NHL career with goals in each of his first six games. That’s when the Canadiens’ Joe Malone established the all-time record by scoring goals in his first 14 NHL games, Ottawa’s Cy Denneny scored in each of his first 12 games, and Montreal’s Newsy Lalonde did so in his first eight games.
Among those who made their NHL debut since 1979-80 (the dawn of the Wayne Gretzky era), no other player achieved a six-game goal scoring streak fewer than 25 games into his career. The player who did it the quickest over that span (prior to Malkin) was Sergei Nemchinov, in his 25th game for the 1991-92 Rangers.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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