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Archive for April 9th, 2018

NHL 2017-18 Season Recap: Vegas has record-setting season as expansion franchise; league’s competitive balance leads again to record turnover for teams making playoffs; Goal-scoring at highest level since 2006-07

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A look back at the 2017-18 NHL season, the highest-scoring campaign since 2006-07:

QUICK HITS
The Golden Knights became the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and win its division (excluding mergers and all-expansion divisions, according to Elias).

Seven teams who were not part of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs qualified in 2017-18 to match the largest year-to-year change in NHL history (for the second straight campaign and third time in four seasons).

For only the fourth time since the conference format was introduced in 1974-75 – and second straight campaign – the last-place team from each conference reached the playoffs the following season, with both the Avalanche and Devils making the leap from 2016-17.

* Goal scoring was up 7% over last season, with an average of 5.9 goals per game. The 7% increase in goals from 2016-17 to 2017-18 represents the largest year-to-year spike since a 9% rise from 1979-80 to 1980-81, excluding a 20% increase from 2003-04 to 2005-06 that followed various rule changes.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS TAKE SPORTS WORLD BY STORM IN INAUGURAL SEASON
After an 8-1-0 start that featured an emotional home-opening victory to help rally a grieving city, the Golden Knights finished their unprecedented inaugural season with a 51-24-7 record (109 points) and the Pacific Division title. A detailed recap of their memorable season is available here, while some of their most impressive achievements are listed below:

* The Golden Knights became the first NHL expansion team since 1968-69 to start from scratch and make the playoffs. The Oilers and Whalers did so in 1979-80 after joining from the World Hockey Association.

* The Golden Knights became just the third NHL expansion team ever to win its division: the 1926-27 Rangers won the American Division and 1967-68 Flyers won the all-expansion West Division.

* Vegas became the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and win its division (excluding mergers and all-expansion divisions, according to Elias).

* The Golden Knights (5th place) became the first expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish among the top five in the league (since 1961, excluding 1967-68 NHL season). Elias notes that the 1976-77 Denver Nuggets tied for second place overall in their first NBA campaign after joining from the American Basketball Association.

COMPETITIVE BALANCE LEADS TO RECORD PLAYOFF TURNOVER (AGAIN)
* Seven teams who were not part of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs qualified in 2017-18 (COL, LAK, NJD, PHI, TBL, VGK, WPG) – including the expansion Golden Knights – to match the largest year-to-year change in NHL history. This marks the second straight campaign and third time in four seasons that seven new teams will play in the postseason. Overall, there has been playoff turnover of at least five clubs in 11 of the past 13 seasons.

For only the fourth time since the conference format was introduced in 1974-75 – and second straight campaign – the last-place team from each conference reached the playoffs the following season, with both the Avalanche and Devils making the leap from 2016-17. The other instances: Red Wings/Rockies (last in 1976-77), Bruins/Sharks (last in 1996-97) and Maple Leafs/Oilers (last in 2015-16).

* The Avalanche (43-30-9, 95 points) clinched a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs after finishing in last place overall in 2016-17 (22-56-4, 48 points). Their 47-point differential matched the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement by any team in NHL history.

* The Devils (44-29-9, 97 points) also reached the playoffs after finishing in last place in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17 (28-40-14, 70 points) and winning the Draft Lottery to collect the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Their 27-point differential is the highest year-to-year improvement in franchise history.

* The Jets (+27), Predators (+23) and Lightning (+19) also made significant leaps in the standings compared to last season:

  • Winnipeg finished second in the Western Conference after missing the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs by seven points.
  • Nashville won the Presidents’ Trophy after being the lowest seed in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
  • Tampa Bay claimed first place in the Eastern Conference after placing 10th in 2016-17.

* Overall, 11 clubs reached the 100-point mark: Nashville, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, Boston, Vegas, Washington, Toronto, Minnesota, Anaheim, Pittsburgh and San Jose. The Bruins reached the milestone for an NHL-record 22nd time, while the Jets and Golden Knights posted their first such campaign.

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
There were 7,552 goals scored over the 1,271-game schedule in 2017-18 (including 103 shootout-deciding goals), an average of 5.9 goals per game.

Only two other seasons since 1996-97 have featured at least 5.9 goals per game: 2005-06 (6.2; 7,588 G in 1,230 GP) and 2006-07 (5.9; 7,246 G in 1,230 GP).

The 7% increase in goals from 2016-17 to 2017-18 represents the largest year-to-year spike since a 9% rise from 1979-80 to 1980-81, excluding a 20% increase from 2003-04 to 2005-06 that followed various rule changes.

* Twenty-one players recorded at least 80 points in 2017-18 after only seven players hit the mark last season. Since 1996-97, only three campaigns have seen more players hit 80 points: 2006-07 (28), 2005-06 (26) and 1996-97 (22).

* Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (41-67—108 in 82 GP; 1.32 P/GP) won his second straight Art Ross Trophy and led a group of 24 players who averaged at least one point per game in 2017-18 (min. 25 GP), the most in one campaign since 2006-07 (32). There were eight such performances in each of the past three seasons.

* Three players hit the 100-point mark (also Claude Giroux: 34-68—102 and Nikita Kucherov: 39-61—100), the most since 2009-10 when four players did so.

* Eight players scored at least 40 goals in 2017-18, led by Alex Ovechkin (49) who became the second player in NHL history to lead the League in goals seven times. Eric Staal (42) hit the mark for the first time since 2008-09 to join Gordie Howe (11) as the only players in League history to have at least eight seasons between 40-goal campaigns.

* Eighty-one hat tricks were scored in 2017-18, including two on each of the first two days of the season and four on the second-to-last day. Only five seasons since 1990-91 have seen more three-goal games.

* There were 67 instances of a team scoring at least seven goals in a game, the most in any season since 1995-96 (105).

* Overall, 82% of all skaters scored at least one goal in 2017-18 (726 of 890) – tied for the highest percentage in one season since 1980-81 (85%; 484 of 570).

* Fewer teams profited by winning low-scoring games. The number of times a team posted a win while recording two or fewer goals in regulation/overtime dropped 16% as compared to 2016-17, the sharpest year-to-year decrease since a 43% decline from 2003-04 to 2005-06 (excluding the shortened 2012-13 season).

HUGE IMPROVEMENTS LEAD TO CAREER SEASONS
Twenty-one players boosted their point totals by 25 or more as compared to 2016-17 (min. 50% of team GP), including seven who had improvements of 40+ points. Overall, eight of the top 10 point-getters and seven of the top 11 goal-scorers set career highs.

* Golden Knights forward William Karlsson (+53) showed the most dramatic shift, finishing with 43-35—78 (82 GP) after posting 6-19—25 with the Blue Jackets last season (81 GP). His 37-goal improvement matched the third-largest year-to-year boost in NHL history (min. 50% of team GP, excluding shortened seasons).

* Avalanche teammates Mikko Rantanen (+46) and Nathan MacKinnon (+44) powered Colorado into the playoffs after a last-place finish in 2016-17. They were one of two sets of teammates to each have year-to-year improvements of 40+ points. There is only one other example from the past 24 years of teammates from multiple clubs each finishing with 40+ increases in points: 2003-04 to 2005-06 (ANA, DET, EDM, NYR and SJS).

* The Flyers’ duo of Claude Giroux (+44) and Sean Couturier (+42) also finished with boosts of 40+ points. Giroux became the third different Flyersplayer to finish among the top two in NHL scoring (Bobby Clarke 2x and Eric Lindros) and the third to at least share the League lead in assists, joining Clarke (1974-75 and 1975-76) and Mark Recchi (1999-00).

* Devils forward Taylor Hall (+40) completed his second campaign with New Jersey by posting the fourth-highest single-season point total in franchise history (39-54—93). He had 41 more points than his next-closest teammate – Nico Hischier (20-32—52), the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft – marking the highest such differential in the NHL since 2007-08 (Alex Ovechkin: 112, Nicklas Backstrom: 69 w/ WSH).

* Kings captain Anze Kopitar (+40) nearly tripled his 2016-17 goal total to finish with 40 more points than he had last season (35-57—92). He finished seventh in League scoring, the highest rank by a Kings player since 1993-94 when Wayne Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy.

McDAVID, OVECHKIN ADD TO AWARDS COLLECTION
* Oilers captain Connor McDavid (41-57—108) became the second player in NHL history to lead the League in scoring multiple times before age 22, joining Wayne Gretzky who did so three times. McDavid had 38 more points than his next-closest teammate and factored on 47% of Oilersgoals (108 of 229 in regulation/overtime) – the highest such percentage since 2007-08 (Alex Ovechkin: 47% w/ WSH). Mario Lemieux set the NHL record of 57% with the Penguins in 1988-89 (199 of 347).

* Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin became the fourth-fastest player to hit the 600-goal milestone in March and scored twice in his final game of the season to hit 49 goals and capture his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Ovechkin matched Bobby Hull for the most seasons as the NHL goals leader. At 32 years, 203 days, Ovechkin also became the oldest player to win the NHL’s goal-scoring title since Phil Esposito in 1974-75 (33 years, 45 days w/ BOS).

NOTABLE PLAYER PERFORMANCES
* The Lightning duo of Nikita Kucherov (39-61—100) and Steven Stamkos (27-59—86) finished third and 12th in League scoring, respectively, aided by simultaneous season-opening point streaks of 11 games (just the seventh such instance in NHL history).

* The Penguins became the first team since the 2003-04 Lightning to have three players finish among the top 10 in League scoring (Evgeni MalkinPhil Kessel and Sidney Crosby). It marked the sixth time the Penguins have achieved the feat – the most of any franchise in the expansion era.

* Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy (44-17-3), Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck (44-11-9) and Toronto’s Frederik Andersen (38-21-5) each established franchise records for wins in a season, while Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (42-13-4) posted the third 40-win season in club history (all by him).

* Vasilevskiy became the 12th different goaltender in NHL history to finish a season with at least a share of the League lead in wins before celebrating his 24th birthday – Carey Price (2010-11) is the only other goaltender to do so since 1996-97. Hellebuyck, meanwhile, matched the NHL record for home wins in a season (30).

NEW FACES SHINE, SOPHOMORES KEEP ROLLING
For the first time since 1993-94, seven rookies recorded at least 50 points, led by Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (22-63—85) who paced rookies in assists and points. Jets forward Kyle Connor (31-26—57) led rookies in goals – one of eight rookies to score at least 20 goals in 2017-18. Only two campaigns since 1990-91 have featured more than eight 20-goal rookies: 1992-93 (12) and 2005-06 (11).

* Barzal joined Hall of Famers Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy as the only Islanders to record 80+ points as a rookie and became the fifth rookie since 1995-96 to average at least a point per game (1.04). His 63 assists were the third-most ever by a rookie in NHL history (tied).

* Connor became the second Jets rookie in as many seasons to reach 30 goals, marking the eighth time in NHL history that a team featured at least one 30-goal rookie in consecutive campaigns.

* Meanwhile, sophomore forwards Patrik Laine (44-26—70) and Auston Matthews (34-29—53) each hit the 30-goal mark for a second straight season. They are the 11th set of players in NHL history to enter the League at the same time and each score 30+ goals in each of their first two seasons. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin (2005-06 and 2006-07) are the only others to do so in the past 25 years.

* Laine (80 goals), who will turn 20 on April 19, is one of three players in NHL history to score at least 80 regular-season goals as a teenager (Jimmy Carson: 92 and Dale Hawerchuk: 85).

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

 

 

NHL announces date changes for 2019 All-Star Weekend in San Jose

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (April 9, 2018) — The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced date changes for the 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend, hosted by the San Jose Sharks and the City of San Jose. The League’s midseason showcase at SAP Center will now take place Jan. 25-26, 2019, and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Friday, Jan. 25 (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS), and the NHL® All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 26 (NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

 

The 2019 NHL® All-Star Game will be the second time NHL All-Star activities will take place in San Jose. The Sharks previously hosted the NHL®All-Star Game in 1997. Further details on the 2019 NHL® All-Star Weekend, including ticket information and special events, will be released at a later date.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jeff Day / NHL; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

NHL Morning Skate for Monday, April 9, 2018: Bracket, schedule confirmed for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs; Lightning claim first place in Eastern Conference; Final two matchups set for the postseason, Devils-Lightning and Maple Leafs-Bruins

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BRACKET, SCHEDULE CONFIRMED FOR 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
The schedule for the First Round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs was announced following the conclusion of the regular-season finale, a contest that decided the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the final two postseason matchups. Click here for the full schedule, including broadcast information.

* NHL fans worldwide can begin to share their predictions in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Early registration is open at NHL.com/Bracket for fans interested in facing off against friends, family, colleagues, hockey experts and fellow hockey fans in public or privately created leagues.

SUNDAY’S RESULT
Home Team in Caps

Florida 4, BOSTON 2

LIGHTNING CLAIM FIRST PLACE IN EASTERN CONFERENCE
By virtue of a Bruins loss, the idle Lightning (54-23-5, 113 points) clinched first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference for the second time in franchise history and first since 2003-04, when they won the Stanley Cup.

FINAL TWO MATCHUPS SET FOR 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF
The 1,271st and final game of the 2017-18 regular season decided the final two matchups for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* The Lightning (No. 1 Atlantic) will face the Devils (Wild Card 2) in the First Round. New Jersey has won each of the other two series, including their last meeting in the 2007 Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 W).

* The Bruins (No. 2 Atlantic) will face the Maple Leafs (No. 3 Atlantic) in the First Round, their 15th postseason meeting and first since Boston’s victory in the 2013 Conference Quarterfinals (4-3 W). Toronto owns an 8-6 series edge in the previous 14 matchups.

PANTHERS END SEASON WITH FIVE WINS IN SEVEN DAYS
The Panthers finished the regular season with five straight wins but fell just short of a berth in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They became the 13th team in NHL history to post five victories in a seven-day span and first since San Jose from Jan. 18-24, 2017. Florida shared the League lead with 24 wins from Feb. 1 through the end of the regular season (24-8-2, 50 points), tied with the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Predators (24-6-4, 52 points).

* The Panthers finished one point back of the Devils (44-29-9, 97 points), who secured the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida’s quest for a berth in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs is chronicled in Home Team: Florida Panthers, with the second episode airing on Tuesday, April 10.

McDAVID, OVECHKIN AND QUICK CAPTURE 2017-18 REGULAR-SEASON TROPHIES

Oilers captain Connor McDavid captured his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring champion, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin claimed his seventh career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader and Jonathan Quick of the Kings won his second career William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltender who plays at least 25 games for the club allowing the fewest goals. Click here for more information.

QUICK CLICKS

· 2018 NHL Draft Lottery odds announced

· Facts and Figures: Avalanche complete turnaround season

· Golden Knights timeline for success exceeded all expectations (via Nick Cotsonika)

· NHL community reacts to fatal bus crash involving Humboldt Broncos (via Mike Morreale)

· Bruins celebrate Rene Rancourt‘s final regular-season game Sunday

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

NHL announces odds for April 28, 2018 Draft Lottery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (April 8, 2018) – The National Hockey League announced today the odds for the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery following the conclusion of the 2017-18 regular season.

 

The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery – which will be held Saturday, April 28, in Toronto (NBC, CBC, TVAS) – will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

 

The 15 clubs that did not qualify for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs – or the clubs that have acquired the first-round picks of those non-playoff clubs – will participate in the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery.

 

The allocation of odds for the 1st Lottery Draw of the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery is as follows:

 

Non-Playoff Team (Fewest Points to Most): Odds

Buffalo Sabres: 18.5%

Ottawa Senators*: 13.5%

Arizona Coyotes: 11.5%

Montreal Canadiens: 9.5%

Detroit Red Wings: 8.5%

Vancouver Canucks: 7.5%

Chicago Blackhawks: 6.5%

New York Rangers: 6.0%

Edmonton Oilers: 5.0%

New York Islanders: 3.5%

Carolina Hurricanes: 3.0%

New York Islanders (from CGY): 2.5%

Dallas Stars: 2.0%

St. Louis Blues^: 1.5%

Florida Panthers: 1.0%

Under the terms of a Nov. 5, 2017, trade: The Senators have the option to retain their pick and instead send the Avalanche their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Under the terms of a June 23, 2017, trade: If St. Louis’ pick is in the top 10, the Blues have the option to retain their pick and instead send the Flyers their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Otherwise, Philadelphia will receive St. Louis’ first-round pick in 2018.

 

The odds for the remaining clubs will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

 

The 12 clubs not selected in the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2018 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

 

More details about the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will be announced at a later date.

 

The 2018 NHL Draft will take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The first round will be held Friday, June 22. Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday, June 23.

Reds Hall of Fame announces 2018 Bobblehead Series

Kicks Off In April With Chris Sabo Bobblehead

 

The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum presented by Dinsmore continues its collectible bobblehead series in 2018 with a lineup of six Reds Hall of Famers. The first bobblehead in the series is Chris Sabo, the 1988 Rookie of the Year and Reds Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

Sabo played for the Reds from 1988 to 1993 and again in 1996 and became a fan favorite for his hard-nosed style of play as well as his trademark goggles. The three-time All-Star hit .270 for the Reds with 812 career hits and 116 stolen bases. He also played a key role in the sweep of the Oakland A’s in the 1990 World Series.

(courtesy Cincinnati Reds)

The Chris Sabo bobbleheads are free with regular-price admission to the Reds Hall of Fame (or Great American Ball Park tour) beginning Friday, April 6 at 10 a.m., and will be available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the month of April, while supplies last.

Only 6,000 bobbleheads have been produced and there is a limit of one bobblehead per visitor per day.

The bobblehead series continues through September with a different Reds Hall of Famer available each month:
• April: Chris Sabo
• May: Ernie Lombardi
• June: Johnny Vander Meer
• July: Adam Dunn
• August: Tom Browning
• September: Johnny Bench

Admission to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors, and $6 for active military/veterans. Children four and younger are free.

The best way to ensure a bobblehead is to join the museum as a member.

To become a member, please visit redsmuseum.org for more information or call (513) 765-7926.

About the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum presented by Dinsmore
Driven by a mission to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration, the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park is the place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. The Museum features 16,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds for fans of all ages. Since its inception, 86 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction.

Read more: Cincinnati Reds
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY REDS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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