First off, Merry Christmas everyone! This is supposed to be a fun time of year. No one expected a few extra days off due to the COVID spikes. Yet, here we are. The good news is that this gives us a little bit more time. This way, we can look at all the crazy odd Christmas hockey numbers from the NHL in the early going.
Now, some of these will have a fantasy hockey feel to them. So, forgive us.
Is everyone ready?
Numbers From The NHL Twilight Zone
Let’s get into the meat of this right away.
Again, think about this for a second. 608 players have scored at least one goal this NHL season. Now, some of the players who have not will surprise you. One of them happens to be Joonas Donskoi of the Seattle Kraken. Defensemen are usually a bit more understandable but a forward of Donskoi’s ability should have a goal, right?
Donskoi does have 14 assists to be fair but again has just 34 shots. There is a weird series of conflicts here. He does shoot a bit more around 1.6 to 1.7 shots per game. He is at 1.13 currently. The stranger part is that Donskoi usually hovers around the mid-teens when it comes to goals in a season. His last four campaigns have seen him score 14, 14,16, and 17. Is there a Scott Gomez feel to this? Maybe.
He is not the only one. MacKenzie Weegar of the Florida Panthers is a defenseman but does have 66 shots on goal in 29 games. Defenseman typically shoots at a conversion rate of less than 5 percent. Weegar’s shot output has crept up to over two shots per game. He has a career-high of six goals set last season. However, to see him have zero is odd.
Wait, there is odder. There are players like Gustav Forsling and Rasmus Andersson who are both averaging a bit over an assist every other game. However, Matt Roy may win here. He is averaging more than 2.6 shots per game (79 shots) and has no goals. The Los Angeles Kings defenseman is getting to Charlie McAvoy territory from a few years back. A goal could come at any time or he may get to 100 shots before visiting the goal sanctuary.
Let’s look at another number.
Well, that seems like an innocent number. Who does this belong to? That is none other than David Pastrnak‘s goal total for the 2021-22 season. The Boston Bruins forward is having an unusual season, to say the least. He has just eight goals in 26 games. On the bright side for Boston, Pastrnak does have 21 points. However, it is that shooting percentage that has raised eyebrows.
The winger is now averaging over four shots a game (115 overall). He has hit several posts as well. The last time he scored this few goals per game was when Pastrnak was still in his teenage years. Pastrnak has been guilty of squeezing the stick extra tight lately. He has played seven games in December without a goal which is probably his longest drought in a long, long time.
Maybe this long pause will do the winger some good. We will find out soon enough. Is everyone ready for one more?
This is one that feels like something out of the twilight zone. Oh, wait, this needs some context. Andrew Mangiapane of the Calgary Flames has enjoyed a bit of a breakout season with 17 goals and 20 points in 28 games. Those “Cy Young” like numbers are crazy enough. However, there is something far more bizarre.
The forward has 16 goals on the road which leads the entire NHL. That is just in 17 games. Shots per game are both the same on the road and at home. The similarities end there. Mangiapane has just three points at home and 17 on the road. Breaking it down a bit further, the Calgary winger has 13 goals in 17 contests against Eastern Conference teams.
Calgary, in general, has been a much better road team. Will that continue? No one knows. Surely, Mangiapane will not shoot more than 36 percent away from home forever.
Next Up Here…
We will shift to the defensive and goaltending side of things in our next post after Christmas. Again, from myself here at Full Press Hockey, and Full Press Coverage, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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