A collection of odd and interesting facts to amaze your friends and amuse you on this sunny Wednesday:
- Nicklas Backstrom is averaging 0.28 primary assists per game; if he finishes the season at or below that number, it would be the lowest per-game rate of his career.
- Alex Ovechkin is on a pace to finish the season with 57 goals and 23 assists. If he does so, he would be the first player in NHL history to finish a season with 50 or more goals and 25 or fewer assists twice. At the moment, four players have done it once: Ovechkin (50-21-71 in 2015-16), Maurice “Rocket” Richard (50-23-73 in 1944-45), Danny Gare (50-23-73 in 1975-76), and Cam Neely (50-25-74 in 1993-94).
- John Carlson is on pace to finish the season with 73 assists. If he hits the 70-assist mark, he would become just the 10th defenseman in NHL history to do it at least once, and the first to do so since Brian Leetch posted 70 assists in 1995-96.
- Tom Wilson needs two goals to hit the 80-goal mark for his career. If he does so, he will become the 25th player in league history to post 80 goals and 1,000 penalty minutes over the first seven years of his career and the first to do so since Keith Tkachuk finished his seventh season in the league with 236 goals and 1,167 penalty minutes in 1997-98.
- Going into Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia, Garnet Hathaway has the first and last goals scored on home ice this season. He scored the team’s first goal of the season at Capital One Arena in the home opener against Carolina in October (a 3-2 overtime loss), and he scored the third and final goal against Winnipeg last week in the Caps’ 4-3 shootout win over the Jets. They are his only two goals scored against a goaltender on home ice this season, his other goal being an empty netter in the Caps’ 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on October 18th.