It's the first day of the 93rd National Hockey League season. Here's a few fascinating facts and records from season opening games of the past:
- The Colorado Avalanche sport a .683 all time winning percentage in season openers, the best amongst amongst today's 30 teams. They are 17-6-7 in 30 games. Ottawa is next (.647 in 17 games), then New Jersey (.643 in 35 games) and Montreal (.625 in 92 games). Here's a look at each team's opening day records.
Individual Season Opener Records
- You might want to bet on the Edmonton Oilers to win their first game. Coach Tom Renney is a perfect 6-0 in opening day games.
- Phoenix has won 4 consecutive season openers. The all time record is 9 consecutive wins, accomplished by the 1953-1961 Montreal Canadiens and 1978-1986 St. Louis Blues.
- After losing their season opener in 1962, Montreal then set out on a NHL record 17 consecutive season openers without a defeat, going 13-0-4 from 1963 through 1979.
- On the flip side, Anaheim has lost their last three season openers. They share the record for most consecutive opening day losses at 7 (1993-1999). Their 4-12 all time record is by far the worst in NHL history.
- Greg Adams loved opening night. In 1985 (with New Jersey) he set a NHL record with 5 assists on opening night (the record was later tied by Pittsburgh's John Cullen in 1990). In 1987, Adams, now with Vancouver, equalled the modern day record with 4 goals in the first game. Rick Blight (1976) and Chris Kontos (1992) also scored 4 goals.
- The official NHL record is 5, shared by old timers Joe Malone (1917), Harry Hyland (1917) and Babe Dye (1922). Reg Noble scored 4, also in 1917.
- Pittsburgh's Kevin Stevens holds the NHL record for most points in an opening night game. He scored 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points against Washington in 1990.
- 10 players had 5 points on opening night, including Malone, Hyland, Dye, Adams and Cullen. Others included Andy Bathgate, Phil Esposito, Gilbert Perreault, Michel Goulet, Tom Fergus, and Steve Reinprecht.
- Ray Bourque and Jaromir Jagr both had 9 goals and 21 assists in season opening games in their career. The 30 points is an all time NHL record, out scoring Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky with 27 points.
- Mike Modano and Mark Recchi lead all active players with 22 points.
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