Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Patrick Kane In Elite Playoff Company


I saw an interesting stat while watching the NHL playoffs the other day, Chicago's Patrick Kane had just surpassed the 100 career playoff game plateau and he was one of the few in NHL history to play that many games AND average at least a point per game. There are only twenty players that can make this claim, three of them are currently active (Crosby, Malkin the others). The list below includes most of the obvious names one would expect, and a few that may surprise.

                                                              Player        GP Pts    Pts/GP-RegSeasonPts/GP
  • Gretzky      208 382  1.84-1.92
  • Lemieux     107 172  1.61-1.88
  • Messier       236 295  1.25-1.07
  • Bossy          129 160  1.24-1.50
  • Crosby        100 118  1.18-1.36
  • Kurri           200 233  1.17-1.12
  • Forsberg      151 171  1.13-1.25
  • Malkin         101 111  1.10-1.20
  • Beliveau      162 176  1.09-1.08
  • Sakic            172 188  1.09-1.19
  • Bobby Hull  119 129  1.08-1.10
  • Linseman     113 120  1.06-0.94
  • Esposito       130 137   1.05-1.24
  • Lafleur         128  134  1.05-1.20
  • D.Savard      169  175  1.04-1.12
  • Gilmour       182  188  1.03-0.96
  • K.Stevens    103  106  1.03-0.83
  • G.Howe       157  160  1.02-1.05
  • Coffey          194  196  1.01-1.09
  • P.Kane         102  102  1.00-0.97
One thing is obvious and fully expected, it's more difficult to collect points in the post-season. 15 of the 20 players produce at either close to the same rate as in the regular season (like Kane) or well below. Mark Messier's reputation as a consumate playoff performer is illustrated in the fact that his points per game in the playoffs rose considerably from 1.07 to 1.25. Two other guys that ramped up their production in the post-season may surprise. Both Kenny Linseman and Kevin Stevens raised their points per game when the games really mattered.

Linesman scored at least 20 points in a playoff season three times and even when he was more of a role player with Edmonton in the mid-1980's he managed to produce 14 points in back-to-back years.
Stevens topped the NHL with 17 playoff goals in 1991 while collecting 33 points, then followed up with 28 points the next year. The way Patrick Kane has been scoring this current post-season he may climb up the career playoff point per game list fairly quickly. 

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