Puck Lists: 12 funny stats from the 2016-17 NHL season

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 23: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins reacts to a call during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Stupid Riley Sheahan ruined everything!

I talked about it in the PDPR on Wednesday, but he was supposed to be the guy who set the NHL record for most shots in a season without scoring a goal. And instead he scored twice in the last game of the year! I was angrier about it than I should have been, but I was really rooting for that record, man.

Anyway, it got me thinking about all the statistical quirks that come up in a season and how dumb hockey can be. So I dug into the numbers at Hockey Reference, NHL.com, Corsica and more to find a dozen stats that are well and truly stupid.

12. Sheahan no longer the most futile forward

Because he scored two goals on the season, he left only two guys with at least 50 games and zero goals. One of them is Jared Boll, who somehow only managed 13 shots on goal in 51 appearances (the “somehow” is “Jared Boll is horrible”). The other is Vancouver Canucks winger Brendan Gaunce, who played 67 games and put 51 shots on net without scoring.

The guy in the league with the lowest shooting percentage but at least one goal was Jay Bouwmeester, who scored once on 106 shots, giving him a 0.9 percent sh%. However, that’s not even close to the NHL record. Alexei Zhitnik scored one goal on 150 shots in 82 games in 2001-02. Hilarious.

11. Zdeno Chara’s discipline problem

The Bruins took a lot of penalties this year, 22 more than they drew. Which is amazingly hard for a team that has the puck as much as they did.

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I think you can say Zdeno Chara was a bit of a culprit in that. He was on the ice for 64 penalties drawn. He was also on the ice for 104 committed. That minus-40 mark led the league. And good lord, it’s the second year in a row he was minus-40 in penalty differential.

10. Sidney Crosby puts himself in rare company

We all know that 50-goal scorers are rare in the NHL these days. One, maybe two a year. That’s about it.

This year, there weren’t any 50-goal scorers at all. Crosby led the league with 44. That’s the third time there hasn’t been a season with a 50-goal scorer in an 82-game season since 1970-71.

The two other times it happened: 2003-04, when Rick Nash, Jarome Iginla, and Ilya Kovalchuk each scored 41, and 1998-99, when Teemu Selanne scored 47.

Before that you had to go back to 1969-70, when Phil Esposito led the league with 43 goals. Gee whiz, gang.

9. Zbynek Michalek from way downtown

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek only attempted five shots this season in about 53 minutes of ice time in all situations. The average distance of those attempts was more than 68 feet from the net.

From the goal line to the blue line, it’s only 64 feet. The farthest you can possibly be from the middle of the goal and still be in the attacking zone is about 77 feet. The rink is 85 feet wide, so the middle of the net gives you an a of 42.5, and the attacking zone (b) is 64 feet deep.

By my math his average shot distance was about 10.05 feet off the boards and 5.67 feet in from the blue line. That’s about halfway between the faceoff dot and the halfwall and a little more than the space between the hashmarks in.

This is gonna shock you, but my man didn’t have a goal in his three games.

(Hell yeah, that drafting class they made me take in high school finally paid off.)

8. T.J. Oshie breaks how shooting percentage is supposed to work

Hey folks before you go stumping for your team to sign T.J. Oshie to some big dumb contract this summer, here’s a quick stat to dissuade you.

He scored 33 goals this season on just 143 shots. He led the league in shooting percentage among players with at least 60 games played.

That ties him for the shootout-era record for highest shooting percentage by a 30-goal scorer at 23.1 percent. The guy he tied with? Well gang, it’s 2005-06 Petr Prucha.

7. Samuel Henley scored on his only shot in his only game

Avs prospect Samuel Henley, who had never played an NHL game before this season, scored at 14:25 of the second period back on Dec. 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It was his only game of the season. It was his only shot on goal in that game. It was on one of only 10 shifts.

By accomplishing this feat, Henley is now the verifiable NHL record holder in lowest ice time (just 5:08) by a guy who played one game in a season and took one shot and scored on it.

This feat only happened nine other times since the league started tracking TOI back in the ’90s.

6. Artemi Panarin’s easy ride

It was another big year for Artemi Panarin, but you gotta say Joel Quenneville put him in a position to succeed. Not that it should come as any great surprise that a guy who gets most of his minutes with Patrick Kane and scores a lot of goals is going to be advantaged, usage-wise, but this was a little extreme.

Among all forwards with at least 1,000 minutes this season, Panarin stared just 10.9 percent of his shifts in his own zone, the smallest share in the league by far. Easily-deployed Shayne Gostisbehere was second at 21.2 percent.

5. Tuukka Rask’s up-and-down season

Bruins star goalie Tuukka Rask has his critics in Boston for a lot of reasons. This season’s weird performance where he’d be terrible for a month then the best goalie in the league for two weeks probably didn’t help the argument for anyone who argued for his “consistency.”

Indeed, Rask finished with a save percentage above the league average (.915) and won 37 games. The latter number tied him for fifth in the league with Carey Price.

And yet, Rask also led the league in horrible starts in which he posted a save percentage of less than .850. He did that 14 times out of his 63 starts. That’s 1 in every 4.5 starts!

In the shootout era, Rask is one of only 12 goalies to have at least 14 really bad starts in a season, period. (A few did it more than once, including Steve Mason doing it on three separate occasions.) Only he and Marty Brodeur did it with a save percentage above the league average.

Meanwhile, Cam Talbot had 10 really bad starts out of 73 this year, which is also higher than I think you might expect given how good he was.

TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 18: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks to pass against Florida Panthers during the first period at the Amalie Arena on October 18, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

4. Stamkos’s last game

For Steven Stamkos’s final game of the season, way back on Nov. 15, he only got 2:07 of ice time.

In that time, he Lightning scored two goals at 5-on-5. That gave him a single-game goals-for per 60 of 65.2.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t come close to setting an NHL record. Back in 2008, Wade Brookbank was on the ice for three 5-on-5 goals in 2:02 of ice time. That’s a single-game GF/60 of 101.1.

Gotta step it up, Stamkos.

3. The Maple Leafs’ one-goal games

Nearly half of the Maple Leafs’ season — 37 in all — games decided by one goal or less (i.e. in the shootout).

The Leafs won 14 of them. That means they lost 23.

That gave them a winning percentage of just .378 in one-goal games. It was the worst in the league by a good margin. It’s also tied for the 317th-worst record in one- or zero-goal decisions since the shootout was implemented.

And they made the playoffs anyway.

Man, if that team gets some bounces to go its way next season, look out.

2. Cam Talbot’s workload

Based on those Talbot numbers above, it should come as no surprise that a goalie with 70-plus appearances cleared 3,000 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey, but Cam Talbot really got the run-out in Edmonton, and he was extremely busy.

He faced the third-most high-danger shots on goal among all goalies in that big-minute group since 2007-08. And here’s the crazy part: Neither of the other two guys ahead of him in this stat (2009-10 Henrik Lundqvist and 2010-11 Cam Ward) made the playoffs.

Talbot also gave up the third-most rebounds ever. How did he get this team into the playoffs?

1. Erik Karlsson was second in the league in blocks

Remember how everyone loves all the shots Kris Russell blocks? Kris Russell, the ultimate stay-at-home defenseman. He blocks so many shots you can’t even believe it.

Erik Karlsson, the ultimate no-defense defenseman, only blocked 12 fewer.

And yeah, sure, Russell played nine fewer games, but Karlsson also finished tied for second in blocked shots per game behind only Russell (tied with Dan Girardi). And they’re still not gonna give him the stupid Norris even though he scored a million points again and also blocked all these shots. Why? Because Brent Burns scored more.

God dammit.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

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