I am old enough to remember the 1987 Canada Cup. The Final of that tournament was Canada vs Russia in what I feel still to this day was the best hockey series EVER played. It was a best of three with each game ending up 6-5. The countries split the first two games and Canada won the third game and the series on a goal by Mario Lemieux...oh and it was set up by Wayne Gretzky...
Ever since then I have always said that 6-5 is the MAGIC score for exciting hockey...and there have been some other amazing and historic 6-5 games (bonus points for naming the game I am thinking of in the comments...I will reveal my answer in my next blog)
Anyway...HIGH SCORING is back baby! At least it is early on this year with players putting up mid-80's numbers again...and I love it..But not everyone does..
Is this a continuing trend or just early in the season when defense is nothing more than "optional?"
Lets look at some trends with a new segment I will call:
"EK-Stremely Odd Stats"
In the mid 80s, while I was in high school trying to make it as a goalie, the NHL peaked as far as scoring goes...
In 1985-86 how many players (with at least 60 games played) averaged over a point per game?45
The top player was Wayne Gretzky at 2.69 point per game in 80 games (and it would have been over 3 were there no 2 line pass!)
30 years later.... ( I am so old.)
In 2015-16 how many players (with at least 60 games played) averaged over 1 point-per-game?6
The top player was Patrick Kane at 1.29 points-per-game
In 2016-17 how many players (with at least 60 games played) averaged over 1 point-per-game?8
The top player was Connor McDavid at 1.22 points-per-game
In 2017-18 how many players (with at least 60 games played) averaged over 1 point-per-game?22
The top player was Connor McDavid at 1.32 points-per-game
Now this year....
Ok it's crazy early... but
In 2017-18 how many players (at least 3 games played) are averaging over 1 point-per-game? 83
In 2017-18 how many players (at least 3 games played) are averaging overTWO points-per-game? 18
The top player so far is Tyler Sequin with 2.67 points-per-game (which incredibly is still less than Wayne did it for 80 games in 1985-86)
I know these numbers will come back to life...but there is one more, even more "EK-Stremely Odd Stat" to take into account: Only 23 teams have played 3 games so far...So those 83 players are coming from 23 teams...and you know who hasn't played 3 games yet?
Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Florida, NJ, St Louis, Montreal and Minnesota.
So no McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Kucherov, Tarasenko or Hall....
What's the Buzz? It's your turn
*Last year we had 22 players averaging at least 1 point-per-game...How many will we have this year?
*Can anyone break the 2.0 average barrier this season?
*How many points-per-game would the Great One have gotten in 1985-86 with the current NHL Rules? Over 3?