There have been 26 games since the NHL all-star break and we've seen a bit of everything. We have seen low-scoring games like the 1-0 shootout win from the New York Rangers in Buffalo on Wednesday to Sam Gagner's incredible eight-point outing in the run-and-gun 8-4 win from the Edmonton Oilers at home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
There also have been plenty of nail-biters. Fourteen of the 26 games since the break have been decided by a goal, eight were extended into overtime or a shootout, and another three saw final-minute empty-net goals scored.
"I think the playoffs started weeks ago," a general manager said this week, when asked about all the tight games. "Every game just seems so intense this season, almost like a playoff game every night.
"If you don't get at least a point you feel you've fallen behind the competition."
Down the stretch we can expect to see even more games decided by a goal or extended to overtime or a shootout. But with nine weeks to go, the stats indicate that goal-scoring continues its downward trend since the first season out of the lockout.
The stats also show that the NHL is on pace for an average number of one-goal games and a low total of games that have been extended into overtime. Shootouts are on pace for the third highest total since the lockout.
Average total of goals scored per game (not including SO goal):
Number of games extended into OT/SO:
Number of shootouts:
Does winning a number of one-goal games in the regular season translate into playoff success?
Here is a glance at the leaders in one-goal victories since the lockout, and how the Stanley Cup champion finished in terms of one-goal wins in the regular season:
Most 1-goal wins Stanley Cup champion
2005-06 - Carolina 28 Carolina 28-5-8 - (1)
2006-07 - New Jersey 32 Anaheim 23-10-14 - (18)
2007-08 - New Jersey 27 Detroit 18-11-7 - (16)
2008-09 - San Jose 26 Pittsburgh 19-8-9 - (10)
2009-10 - Phoenix 29 Chicago 23-9-8 - (6)
2010-11 - Anaheim (29) Boston 11-6-2 - (9)
2011-12 - Colorado (17) ????????
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