Sunday, May 24, 2009

Most Playoff games without scoring

Currently still playing in this season's playoffs are three players who have gone over 40 playoff games without scoring their first goal. Firstly Penguins Hal Gill sits at 72 games and Detroit's Brett Lebda has played (as of May23) a total of 51 scoreless playoff contests. Also, Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik has gone 41 games of his own.
As well Wings, Anders Eriksson has now played 36 career scoreless games. In fairness, these four are more "shut-down" type defenders and not known for their scoring. Plus, all of them have literally years to go to catch all-time scoreless leader, Craig Muni.

Muni won 3 Stanley Cups with the Oilers and played a total of 113 career playoff games without even an empty net tally to speak of. Craig Muni is one of the many that my Leafs let slip away for next to nothing. After being a 25th overall pick out of Windsor in 1980, he toiled for four full seasons in the AHL with St.Catherines. During this time he would be deemed good enough to only play 19 games with the powerhouse Leafs of the early 80's. Glen Sather signed him as a free agent in the summer of '86 and he instantly contributed to three Cups in four years. Anyway, it was par for the course for the Leafs to let somebody go that would develop elsewhere. Guys that come to mind are Walt Poddubny, Rick Kehoe, Randy Carlyle, and earlier, Rene Robert and Bernie Parent. But I digress...
Other d-men that have played over 60 matches without scoring are Don Awrey, Luke Richardson, Alexie Gusarov, Bob Boughner and Allen Pedersen. I'll stop picking on defenseman, let's check in with the drought-ridden forwards.

All told, there have been fourteen forwards that have played at least 25 scoreless palyoff games. Most of these are enforcer, mucker types such as John McIntyre with 44 games and the leader among forwards Jim McKenzie with 51 games. Once again, most of these guys weren't required to score, especially in the playoffs. The top goal season by these 14 guys was 10 or 12 in any one year with two notable exceptions. Igor Korolev is third among forwards with 41 scoreless playoff matches, mainly with the aforementioned Leafs. In his career he had seasons of 22, 20 and 17 goals. It's not as if he was contributing in other ways in the post season as he only managed 8 assists and a -12 over his 41 career games.
The other supposed "scorer" who didn't in the playoffs was Danny Lewicki. Although he won a Cup with Toronto as a 19 year old rookie in 1951 he played 28 career games with no tallies and 4 assists. In that Cup year he'd scored 16 regular season goals, and would go on to have seasons of 29, 18 and 18 with the Rangers.

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