May 3 — Regular Season Numbers & Western Conference Questions

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

HAVE A CHEVELDAYOFF: Yesterday, Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the organization. Cheveldayoff joined the Winnipeg franchise days after the Jets relocated and rebranded from the Atlanta Thrashers in June 2011 and will lead the search for a new coach this summer. 

MAY THE ODDS BE IN YOUR FAVOR: With the conclusion of the regular season came the announcement of the non-playoff teams’ odds for the 2022 NHL Draft lottery. Montreal has the best odds at 18.5% after the Canadiens finished with the worst regular-season record, while the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks have the worst odds at 0.5%.

NOW JUUSE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: A lingering left leg injury has prompted Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros to miss the first two games of their series against the high-power Colorado Avalanche. Without their All-Star goalie, the Preds will turn to either David Rittich or Connor Ingram to fill his role.

WITH SURGICAL PRECISION: Gabriel Landeskog stepped away from the Colorado Avalanche to have knee surgery on March 14, hoping that he would be back in time to help his team make a deep playoff run. Yesterday, on the verge of Game 1 against the Nashville Predators, Landeskog was preparing to cash in on his opportunity. Leading the Avs with 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) in 51 games at the time of his surgery, Colorado’s captain feels confident about his decision to have the procedure in time to get back for the postseason. 

HAPPY NHL PLAYOFFS DAY: Two shutouts, two road victories, 22 total goals scored, and two opposite outcomes north of the border in Monday’s first four playoff games. Catch up on all the action here!

Trivia Tuesday

How Well Do You Know Stanley Cup Trivia?

  1. Who is the only goaltender to have his name appear on the Stanley Cup as the captain of a Cup-winning team?
    • Charlie Gardiner
    • Patrick Roy
    • Jacques Plante
    • Terry Sawchuk

  2. Who was the first player in hockey history to win an Olympic Gold Medal and a Stanley Cup in the same year?
    • Johnny Bower
    • Mark Messier
    • Chris Chelios
    • Ken Morrow

  3. What year was the Stanley Cup first awarded?
    • 1886
    • 1893
    • 1908
    • 1917

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

By the Numbers: 2021-22 NHL Regular Season

The 2021-22 NHL regular season officially ended on Sunday, when the Winnipeg Jets beat the Seattle Kraken, 4-3, in a rescheduled game. Now, we turn the page to the postseason, with four series kicking off last night and four more starting tonight. Before we completely close the book on the regular season, let’s look at some numbers that defined the season.

The Florida Panthers, who won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best team, were the pace-setters for the highest-scoring regular season in 26 years. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

6.3 – Goals per game during the 2021-22 regular season, the highest average since 1995-96 (also at 6.3 goals per game). Eight players finished with at least 100 points, again the most since the 1995-96 season (which featured 12 such players).

137 – Players who scored at least 20 goals this season, the most in NHL history. The previous record was 135 in 1980-81. Out of those 137 players, 40 did so for the first time in their careers.

122 – Points earned by the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers. It was the seventh-highest regular-season team point total in NHL history, the most since the Tampa Bay Lightning finished with 128 points in 2018-19. The Panthers also scored a league-best 340 goals, which was the most since the Pittsburgh Penguins scored 362 in 1995-96.

123 – Points scored by Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer for the fourth time in his seven-year career (and second season in a row). It’s the third-highest league-leading total this century, behind Nikita Kucherov in 2018-19 (128) and Joe Thornton in 2005-06 (125).

60 – Goals scored by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, securing him his second straight Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. He’s the first American-born and Maple Leafs player to tally 60 goals in a season and the first NHL player to reach the mark since Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08 (65).

One Burning Question: Western Conference

After looking at some burning questions facing teams involved in the Eastern Conference playoff matchups, we now turn our focus west. Though lacking the same wealth of 100-point clubs the East has enjoyed this year, the West offers balance and intrigue. These include a dominant Colorado Avalanche team featuring budding star Cale Makar, the Edmonton Oilers’ superstar tandem of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and a massive first-round series pitting the St. Louis Blues against the Minnesota Wild.

Colorado Avalanche vs Nashville Predators

Avalanche: Will we see a more level-headed Nazem Kadri?
Predators: When will Juuse Saros be ready?

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Without Saros in net for the Preds, this is the one series that could be short.

St. Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild

Blues: Who gets the nod between Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington?
Wild: What happens when Minnesota goes down a man?

Both balanced, deep, talented teams may have an Achilles’ heel to exploit—St. Louis enters the series with some shaky goaltending (albeit not on Monday!), while the Wild will have to answer the Blues’ solid power play with a penalty kill that ranked a lowly 25th in the league.

Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars

Flames: Can Johnny Gaudreau be Johnny Playoffs?
Stars: Can the disciplined, defensive-minded Stars keep Calgary’s potent offense at bay?

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Gaudreau led the Flames to 3.55 goals a night in the regular season, but a tighter game in the postseason might benefit the hard-nosed veteran Stars.

Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings

Oilers: Darnell Nurse is back, but is he healthy enough to be the blue line workhorse they need?
Kings: Will Anže Kopitar and Philip Danault be able to keep Connor McDavid in check?

Edmonton has the two best players in the series, but that may not mean a lot without forwards not named McDavid or Draisaitl stepping up as well. The Oilers also have to achieve some stability on the blue line.

Trivia Answers

  1. Charlie Gardiner
  2. Ken Morrow
  3. 1893

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule