March Madness. For most (i.e. “ignorant”) Americans, March Madness is about skipping work for a couple of days each week to watch college basketball all day on T.V.
For us “more refined” Americans, March Madness consists of watching ridiculously entertaining hockey games, preparing ourselves for the upcoming NHL playoffs and going for gold in out own fantasy hockey playoffs. Throw in some green beer and St. Patrick’s Month and you’re good to go.
Month? Um… right…well that’s what it should be!
For those of you that haven't seen the lanky522 account sweeping through the forum, I’ve been a huge fan of the site for some time now. With that said, I'm extremely excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to regularly highlight some statistics for you guys that are not often mentioned on other hockey WebPages around the internet.
It is therefore very unlikely that the information you see here will be known by your competitors in your fantasy league (unless they visit DobberHockey as well). Hopefully this monthly column will give all of you an edge over your opposition.
Well, enough jibber-jabber, onto the meat of the first official Leprechaun’s Gold column!
***The following statistics are accurate up to and including Thursday’s games, March 15th, 2007***
Joe Thornton averaged 1.33 penalty minutes a game through his career preceding the NHL lockout. Since then he has averaged 0.56 penalty minutes a game. Another quite interesting (and under the radar) tidbit about Thornton: He has yet to play a full NHL season in his career. Since 1998 when he entered the NHL, he's averaged 76.4 games played per season (excluding this current season).
Since January 1, 2007, Tomas Holmstrom has 20 goals, 12 of which are on the power play, and two hat tricks. Only Vince Lecavalier (25), and Dany Heatley (22) have more goals during that span. Holmstrom's 12 power play goals lead the league in that span, while Olli Jokinen and Bill Guerin are the only other players with 2 hat tricks since New Years Day.
San Jose has six forwards in their active lineup that were first round draft picks. Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Bill Guerin, Mark Bell, Steve Bernier, Milan Michalek were all taken in the first round of their respective draft classes. These six guys have combined for 263 of San Jose's points this season.
Jarome Iginla has 497 faceoff wins since the start of the 2005 season. During those 141 games, he's averaged 3.52 faceoff wins per game, and a faceoff percentage of 54.1%. Not bad for a natural winger. However, when you compare Iginla’s faceoff percentage during that span to Joe Sakic’s 52.7%, Joe Thornton’s 51.1%, and Mats Sundin’s 54.5%; you see that Iginla’s 54.1% isn’t bad PERIOD.
Alexei Zhitnik has eight points in eight games since joining the Atlanta Thrashers. Interestingly, he only has two penalty minutes during that period. Since when does Zhitnik get more points than penalty minutes?
So far in two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, Wayne Gretzky has a record of 66-79-8 (140 points in the standings). In his first two seasons with the NHL Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80 and 1980-81, Gretzky had a record of 57-76-29(ties) for 143 points in the standin