As we hit the quarter poll of the NHL season it’s time to go inside the numbers and what he have found for some teams is truly disturbing. The Edmonton Oilers (3.73), Calgary Flames (3.71), Florida Panthers (3.19) and NY Islanders (3.14) are at the bottom of the NHL Goals Against stats chart.
Edmonton has surrendered three goals or more in 19 of their first 22 games (86%) and four or more goals in 12 of their contests. It’s not much better for their Alberta neighbors either. The Flames have been touched for three or more goals in 16 of their 21 games (76%) and four or more goals 12 times, including Monday night when the Jets tied the game at four with just five seconds remaining in regulation.
Both the Panthers and Islanders are also giving up three or more goals at an alarming clip. Each team has allowed at least that many in 16 of their 21 games.
While the aforementioned teams are having troubles keeping pucks out of the net, there are also two teams scoring three or more goals on a fairly regular basis. No one would be surprised to know that the Chicago Blackhawks have scored three or more goals in 16 of their 21 games (76%). In fact, the Blackhawks have scored four or more goals in nine of their last 10 games. Who said it was a 3-2 league?
It’s the other club that would probably surprise nearly every hockey fan outside of Arizona. Yes, the Phoenix Coyotes are also scoring at a high rate. They’re currently fourth in the NHL in average goals per game (3.29), trailing only the Blackhawks, Sharks and Blues.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Flyers and Hurricanes. These two teams have been offensively challenged all season. Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux is still sitting on just one goal, while in Carolina, Eric Staal has just five goals and Alexander Semin has only three. As a result, the Flyers have been held to less than three goals in 16 of their 19 games (84%). The Hurricanes haven been held to less than three in 16 of 21 games (76%).
One final stat to leave you with – one reason the Sabres find themselves last in the Eastern Conference is the fact that they’re constantly playing catch up. Buffalo has been outscored 29-3 in the first period alone. Scary.
AUDIO: West Coast Bias radio – with Tyler Seguin and Emerson Etem
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