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The NHL's Best, Worst & Busiest

Florida's flying start, Montreal's mighty offense and Colorado's clutch killing are a few of the highlights in the NHL 2020-21 season so far.

Florida Panthers.

Florida Panthers.

The Panthers are winning, the Canadiens and Stars are scoring and the Oilers' stars are really scoring. And while it's not going well in Ottawa, they've still got a guy who's doing alright. Kind of.

Here's a look at the NHL's leaders in a few key categories, from points percentage to goals per game to busiest goalies.

Florida Panthers: .875 points percentage

The Panthers aren't known for their fast starts to the season, but this year is the glaring exception to the rule. With a 6-0-2 record, Florida has the league's best points percentage and they're the only team without a regulation-time loss. Of course, they've only played eight games due to a COVID-induced pause in their schedule. Newcomers Carter Verhaeghe (six goals) and Patric Hornqvist (five goals) have sparked the offense, while Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are humming along at about a point-and-a-half per game apiece. Sergei Bobrovsky is 3-0-1 despite less than stellar stats (3.57 GAA, .881 save percentage), while Chris Driedger is 3-0-1 with much more stellar stats (1.72 GAA, .942 save percentage).

Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars: 4.00 goals per game

The Canadiens and the Stars are the NHL's highest-scoring teams through the opening segment of the season, averaging precisely 4.00 goals per game. It certainly helps that Montreal has padded the stat sheet against Vancouver, racking up 28 goals in five games, with ex-Canuck Tyler Toffoli scoring eight of his team-high nine goals against his former club. Another newcomer, Josh Anderson, sits second on the Habs with eight goals, followed by defenseman Jeff Petry with six. In Dallas, it's Joe Pavelski and then it's everybody else – Pavelski has seven goals, followed by eights Stars players with between two and four goals, and another five who have scored once.

Detroit Red Wings: 1.83 goals per game

Does Steve Yzerman still have his skates? Because the Red Wings could use him. Detroit, with 22 goals in 12 games, is joined only by Anaheim (1.85) in averaging less than two goals per game. The Wings have scored more than two goals just once in their past eight games – a 7-3 loss to Dallas. Only eight Wings players – seven forwards and defenseman Danny DeKeyser – have scored a goal, and only five have scored more than once.

Dallas Stars: 40.0-percent power-play efficiency

Seven NHL teams boast a power play that's clicking at 30 percent or better, led by Dallas' ridiculously lethal man-advantage unit at 40.0. Toronto (38.5 percent), Chicago (37.8 percent) and Florida (36.0 percent) are also within sight of the 40-percent threshold. Dallas scored five PP goals against Nashville in the season opener, and followed up with three more in Game 2. Overall, the Stars are 14-for-35 and have scored at least one PP goal in seven of eight games. Pavelski (five PP goals, nine PP points) has scored more power-play goals than seven NHL teams..

Colorado Avalanche: 89.7 percent penalty-killing efficiency

The Avs were a middle-of-the-pack club last season on the penalty kill, but they've been exceptional thus far this year at nearly 90 percent. Colorado has killed 35 of 39 man-down situations while chipping in a shorthanded goal. They're 17-for-18 at home on the PK and 18-for-21 on the road. Even better, it's the team's third- and fourth-liners and depth defensemen who are doing the heavy lifting on the penalty kill...and it helps that Philipp Grubauer's PK save percentage is a scintillating .957.

Montreal Canadiens: 7 shorthanded goals

Montreal is scoring so much they're even a threat on the penalty kill. The Canadiens easily lead the NHL with seven shorthanded goals in 12 games – no other team has more than two. Toffoli and Artturi Lehkonen lead the team (and NHL) with two shorties apiece.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers: 46 combined points

There's been a lot of talk about the Oilers' dynamic duo, and deservedly so. McDavid and Draisaitl lead the league in points (26 and 23, respectively) and they're riding matching eight-game point streaks. To put their combined 49 points in perspective, the NHL's next-highest forward duos are Toronto's Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews (34 points) and Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (30 points).

Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton Oilers: 378 shots against

Mike Smith has been out with injury and the Oilers' goaltending depth isn't a strength, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising to see Koskinen as the NHL's busiest goalie...but it is. No netminder has faced more shots than Koskinen, who started the Oilers' first 10 games before backup Stuart Skinner survived an 8-5 shootout against, umm, Ottawa. Koskinen's stat line isn't good (5-7-0, 3.55 GAA, .889 save percentage), but it's not like he has a lot of help in front of him. Also notable: Washington rookie Vitek Vanecek (305 shots in nine games) is the league's second-busiest goalie, facing nearly 34 shots per contest as he fills in for Ilya Samsonov.

Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators: 51 shots

It's been a tough start in Ottawa, but at least the Senators are leading the league in something. Tkachuk only has three goals to show for his NHL-high 51 shots for a rather modest 5.9-percent shooting efficiency, but it's the old adage: keep getting chances, keep shooting, and the goals will come. Keep the faith, Sens fans.


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