Stunning Numbers: Path to victory is the Gordie Howe Hat Trick

Stunning Numbers is an occasional look at stats and figures from around the NHL.


That NHL teams are 54-4-1 this season when they have a player who notches a hat trick shouldn't surprise anyone -- pop a minimum of three goals on the board, and chances are you're going to win the game. But the record above is for that most wondrous of achievements: The Gordie Howe Hat Trick of a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. Players who have scored a "Gordie" this season range from Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks to Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks and Ian Laperriere of the Colorado Avalanche. The only two teams that have lost games this season when getting a Howe Hat Trick are the New York Islanders (Mike Comrie on Dec. 29) and the Avalanche (Chris Stewart, Jan. 21). Otherwise, it's Gordie Howe, FTW.


The number of consecutive games played without a power-play goal for Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings, which ties his longest streak of the season.


The difference in points between last season's Phoenix Coyotes through 69 games and this season's team, which has just 62 points while bringing up the rear in the Western Conference. Say, this is the sort of regression that would get a coach fired. Assuming the coach was a mere mortal.


The difference in the number of points per 60 minutes of even-strength hockey between Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks (2.54) and Kris Versteeg of the Chicago Blackhawks (2.03). In the rookie scoring race, Versteeg currently has 20 goals and 49 points; Ryan has 23 goals and 43 points in 13 fewer games. Both players can make a claim for being the League's top offensive rookie this season; neither of them are likely to overtake goalie Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Calder. Hey, at least Versteeg is getting the Chuck Norris treatment. Or is that the Gary Roberts treatment?


The number of points Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins has scored since Feb. 16, with a few games missed to injury sandwiched in the 10-game streak. Points leader Evgeni Malkin has 10 points in his last 10 games, and missed practice on Monday with an illness.


Chris Pronger's average time on ice per game, good for first in the NHL. Teammate Scott Niedermayer (27:07) and Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers (27:01) round out the top three. Say what you will about the dude, but he's a workhorse ... unless you break it down like this ...


The average time on ice in seconds per shift (according to the NHL) for Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers, who leads the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (64 seconds per shift) and Scott Niedermayer (61 seconds) round out the top three for players with at least 50 games this season. Pronger actually averages 56 seconds per shift, less than Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers (57) and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins (57).


Power play conversion rate for the Columbus Blue Jackets, good for last in the NHL at this point in the season. They were 25th in the League last season at 14.9 percent; who the hell knew Ron Hainsey was good for two percentage points on the power play?


The Atlanta Thrashers did, apparently. Hainsey's team is actually three percentage points better on the man advantage than last season (16.5), and Hainsey has 17 points on the power play.


The number of shorthanded goals allowed by the Philadelphia Flyers thus far this season. The stunning part of this number? The Flyers lead the NHL with 16 shorties of their own. That's a pretty favorable ratio right there.


The number of face-offs Jeff Carter of the Flyers has lost this season, with Eric Staal (738) coming in second. Of course, Carter's also won 692 face-offs, placing second in the NHL in total face-offs taken (1,450) behind Shawn Horcoff of the Oilers (1,472).


Finally, the winning percentage for both the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings when trailing after the first period, making these teams the easiest knockouts since Glass Joe.

(Thanks to Puck Buddy Wayne for the hat-trick link; other numbers from, Yahoo! Sports stats and Behind the Net.)

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