NHL Power Rankings: 30 Fun Facts Edition

All the best goals, saves and hits from the week that was in the NHL, including Vladimir Tarasenko's latest viral goal.

When the Vancouver Canucks rolled through California — what had become their Death Valley (and, to be fair, most teams’ Death Valley) — a fan at the San Jose game raised a homemade sign that read: “6 goals better than 3 goals, $1.9 mil better than $5 mil, Bonino better than Kesler.”

And while the sample size is small, the new president, new general manager and new coach of the Canucks must be chuffed by the early returns. Vancouver’s new second-line centre has more goals than the one they dealt to Anaheim (and an additional three points from defenceman Luca Sbisa, also part of the trade, sweetens the math).

But it’s Vancouver’s play as a whole — goaltending, special teams, consistency through the four lines — that has this group looking like it’ll return to the playoffs after last year’s gong show.

“They work very hard, and they’re working together,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told Prime Time Sports after losing to the Canucks 2-1 at home. “Last year they weren’t working together, when we played them at least. They seem very structured.”

Also of note, they're winning close games. The Canucks are the only NHL club that has not lost a one-goal decision.

Here now, this week's NHL Power Rankings: All Fun Facts Edition.


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Rank Team
1

Daniel Sedin added to his Canucks record of regular-season overtime goals, when he fired his 12th Tuesday -- giving Vancouver an NHL-best 12 wins.

Previous: 4

2

Vancouver's Nick Bonino (seven goals, seven assists) and Anaheim's Ryan Kesler (five goals, nine assists) have matching point totals (14) since being traded for each other.

Previous: 2

3

The Penguins allowed just eight goals during a seven-game rampage that came to a crashing halt when Marc-Andre Fleury surrendered five goals to the Rangers -- the seventh time he's allowed five or more at Madison Square Garden. More fun: Sidney Crosby's third five-assist game is the most by one player since Wayne Gretzky retired in 1999.

Previous: 1

4

The Lightning's six-game winning streak ended against Chicago, but the NHL's greatest offence hasn't lost in regulation since Oct. 25.

Previous: 3

5

When Jori Lehtera scored three in a row Tuesday versus Buffalo, he became the first St. Louis Blue to record a natural hat trick since Al MacInnis did so on Oct. 12, 1998.

Previous: 5

6

Chicago snapped its five-game losing skid to Tampa Bay Tuesday, a stretch dating back to March 2011. Five of the last six contests between these teams have gone past regulation.

Previous: 9

7

The L.A. Kings dressed five defencemen versus the Canucks because they were short $160 in salary cap space to call someone up.

Previous: 6

8

Filip Forsberg set a franchise rookie record when he scored a goal in his fifth consecutive game Tuesday in Nashville's victory over Edmonton. (For those scoring at home, Martin Erat has four goals total this season for Arizona.)

Previous: 13

9

Jaroslav Halak became the first Islanders goaltender to register back-to-back shutouts since Rick DiPietro in 2006.

Previous: 20

10

After a summer in which they sought out secondary scoring, the Maple Leafs have 17 different players with at least one goal. Only the Devils (19) and Wild (18) have contributions from more scorers this season.

Previous: 18

11

The Bruins have won six of eight games since captain Zdeno Chara left the lineup to nurse a knee injury.

Previous: 11

12

Jakub Voracek (22) trails Crosby (24) for the NHL lead in points by just two. No Flyers player has ever won the scoring race.

Previous: 19

13

Now that Sergei Gonchar has been traded, three of the NHL's nine Russian defencemen play in Montreal. More fun: With Travis Moen off to Dallas, every player brought in by former Habs GM Bob Gainey during the summer 2009 overhaul is now gone.

Previous: 10

14

Goaltender Troy Grosenick was recalled to replace the injured Alex Stalock. He's never played in the NHL but has a .908 save percentage in the AHL.

Previous: 12

15

Rick Nash, tied for the NHL lead in goals (12), became the first Ranger to score at least 12 goals in the team’s first 15 games of the season since 2006-07 (Brendan Shanahan)t.

Previous: 15

16

Since Jan. 1, the NHL's First Star of the Week, Mark Giordano, leads all defencemen in points with 49. (Ottawa's Erik Karlsson is second with 47 in the calendar year.)

Previous: 7

17

Oft-maligned goaltender Ondrej Pavelec has lost in regulation just once in his last eight starts.

Previous: 17

18

Alex Ovechkin has scored 10 points in his past six outings. He could spend $1,000 a day over the next 300 years and still not run out of money from his current $124 million contract (via @WTPHockeyFacts).

Previous: 23

19

Gustav Nyquist has 36 goals in his last 72 regular-season games dating back to last season (via @ReporterChris).

Previous: 16

20

Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson's .944 save percentage leads all netminders. Last season he ranked 34th in the category.

Previous: 14

21

Magic Johnson tweeted a photo of himself in a Minnesota Wild sweater to his 2.39 million followers, some of whom thought he was a Kings fan.

Previous: 8

22

When Ryan Garbutt scored shorthanded goal with 1:16 remaining in the Stars' 4-3 win over the Coyotes Tuesday, it marked the latest tiebreaking shorthanded goal in regulation time of an NHL game since Nov. 12, 2005 (the Flyers' Mike Knuble scored one against the Panthers at the 19:56 mark of the third).

Previous: 22

23

Cory Schneider is the only goaltender to have started every single game for his team. He's an impressive 3-1-1 with a 1.36 GAA and .951 save percentage in his last five games on home ice.

Previous: 21

24

Rookie Aaron Ekblad leads the Panthers in scoring with eight points in 13 games, and the Panthers have defeated the Sharks in six of their last seven meetings.

Previous: 24

25

Jeff Skinner became the fourth-youngest player in franchise history to score 100 goals.

Previous: 26

26

The Oilers have not won a game in Boston since Nov. 7, 1996 (0-8-1 with one tie).

Previous: 29

27

Dave Tippett coached his 391st game for the Coyotes, leaping Bob Francis to become the longest-tenured coach in franchise history.

Previous: 27

28

The Avalanche have given up 24 goals in their last six games and have lost seven straight on the road.

Previous: 28

29

The injury-riddled Blue Jackets have matched their franchise winless streak (0-8-1) and have a chance to break that dubious record in Philly on Friday.

Previous: 25

30

The Sabres are getting outscored by more than 3.1 goals per game this season -- on pace for the third-worst goal differential in NHL history.

Previous: 30

(facts via NHL, Elias, Sportsnet's research team, noted Twitter sources and author's own counting)