Like a good stats geek does every day I was looking at the NHL stats page when something dawned on me. There are quite a few players that are near the top of a few statically categories that are presently playing on a non playoff team. I instantly felt bad for some of these players because lets face it, they are pulling THEIR weight, some are actually having career years. Yet when the postseason rolls around, the only numbers they will be discussing are handicaps on the golf course.
Steven Stamkos- Not only does Stamkos have a nine goal lead for the Rocket Richard trophy, but he is just one point back of Evgeni Malkin for the Art Ross. Let’s start with points, over the last 18 years there have only been 2 players win the Art Ross Trophy on a non playoff team: Jarome Iginla in the 2001-02 season when the Flames finished 11th, and some guy named Wayne Gretzky in 1993-94 when the Kings were 10th. As far as goals go, the last player to lead the league in scoring and not make the playoffs was…oh man…this is awkward…Steven Stamkos in 2009-10.
Jonathan Quick- I’m not the first person this season to sing Quick’s praises and I certainly won’t be the last. The most glaring statistic is his 7 shutouts which sits second in the league, just one behind Henrik Lundqvist. The last player to lead the league in shutouts and end up watching the playoffs was Glenn “Chico” Resch in 1981, but this doesn’t really count. He played most of his season (and got all his shutouts) for the eventual Stanley Cup champion Islanders, and then got traded to Colorado. The last goalie to do it with one team was Roy Edwards all the way back in 1972-73 when his 6 shutouts tied him for the league lead but the Red Wings missed the playoffs.
Phil Kessel/Joffrey Lupul- I’ve ripped on the Leafs quite a bit this year, but I have to give these two players credit (and a little sympathy). They sit 5th and 6th respectively in league scoring and have already set career highs, but the Leafs are all the way down in 12th. This actually happened pretty recently as Steven Stamkos and Marty St Louis were 5th and 6th in 2009-10, yet the Lightning missed the playoffs.
I feel sorry for each of these players for different reasons, but mainly because there is only so much one (or in the Leafs case two) player can do. All I can say is this, for the entire summer, their teammates should be picking up every single bar tab. It’s the least they can do.
Let’s head to the links
The Sens make some shuffles between the pipes, which was expected after he Ben Bishop deal (Pro Hockey Talk)
Marty Turco is back in the NHL, and will be opening and closing the door for the defenceman of a pretty good hockey tam (Puck Daddy)
Check out this great writeup of how some players have fared pre and post concussion (Dirty Dangle)
Pretty funny slide show by SI showcasing the best female hockey fans
Here is a quick update from the Washington post on Tomas Vokoun’s injury
In case you missed this yesterday, Steve Yzerman is back as Team Canada’s GM (ESPN)
So what is Randy Carlyle trying to do in Toronto to fix the mess that is the Leafs? (Globe and Mail)
The guys at the Rat Trick have Weaver Fever (don’t worry, its not contagious)
Blueshirt Banter wonders if Michael Del Zotto is the real deal
and let’s finish off with a beauty from Thorburn last night