October 01, 2013

Opening Night Stats and History

From NHL and Elias Sports Bureau, some interesting statistics regarding opening night in National Hockey League history.
* Since the 1927-28 season, the reigning Stanley Cup champion is 50-21-14 in its season opener.

* The Avalanche/Nordiques franchise (18-8-7, .652) has the highest points percentage among active NHL teams in season openers. The Lightning (12-6-2, .650) and Oilers (19-10-4, .636) rank second and third, respectively.

* The Lightning, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Sabres, Sharks and Stars have each won their last three season openers, tied for the longest active streak in the NHL. The all-time longest winning streak in season openers is nine, accomplished by both the Blues (1978-86) and Canadiens (1953-61).
* The Maple Leafs (4-0-2) have secured at least one point in their last six season openers, the longest active streak in the League. The longest all-time streak for points in season openers is 17, set by the Canadiens from 1963-79 (13-0-4).

* Only three active players have recorded hat tricks in their team’s season opener: Teemu Selanne (Winnipeg, 1993), Paul Stastny (Colorado, 2007) and Derek Stepan (NY Rangers, 2010).

* The record for most goals in a team’s season-opening game is five, achieved by three players: Babe Dye (1922), Harry Hyland (1917) and Joe Malone (1917).

* Pittsburgh’s Kevin Stevens holds the all-time record for points in a season opener – he recorded 2-4—6 in the Penguins’ season-opening defeat of the Capitals in 1990.

* New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr (11-24—35) has the most career points in season openers. He’s followed by Ray Bourque (9-21—30), Wayne Gretzky (9-18—27) and Joe Sakic (11-16—27).

* Florida’s Kevin Dineen (2-0-0, 1.000) leads active NHL coaches in points percentage in season openers. San Jose’s Todd McLellan (4-1-0, .800), St. Louis’ Ken Hitchcock (9-2-3, .750), Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma (3-1-0, .750) and Montreal’s Michel Therrien (4-2-0, .667) round out the top five.

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