By Justin Kuczborski
There are 30 teams in the National Hockey League (NHL). All of these teams have one goal and that is to hoist the Stanley Cup in June. 16 teams make the playoffs. Two make it to the Stanley Cup Final and only one team is declared champion. But were halfway to that point and halfway through the season and as of now, there are some clear cut favorites to win it all. Teams such as the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, and New York Rangers, but it would not be a shock if those teams get eliminated early in the playoffs. With the season already halfway completed, there have been many headlines that caught the attention of every NHL fan all over the world. One of the biggest headlines this year and maybe one of the biggest headlines in NHL history. This headline is Patrick Kane facing possible violation charges during the offseason and his record breaking season.
With headlines, comes stats. As of December 13, Chicago Blackhawks right winger, Patrick Kane, is leading the league in points. Kane has 45 points along with 19 goals which is good enough for second most in the league. Kane’s amazing season so far broke a record for the longest point streak by an American born player. Point streak means scoring at least one point a game. His streak currently stands at 25 games. Currently leading the league in goals is Dallas Stars star player, Jamie Benn with 20 goals. The Stars are an up-and-coming team, so with stars like Jamie Benn and his partner in crime, Tyler Seguin, the Stars will be at the top soon. Coming in first with most assists in the league is once again Patrick Kane. There is nothing else to say about him, but that he is a top-tier player. A team always needs a star goalie and that team is the Washington Capitals and their goaltender, Braden Holtby. Holtby has a 18 win and 5 loss record with a 1.90 goals against average (GAA). Holtby’s fantastic GAA is good enough for the best in the league. Other goalie stats are save percentage and shutouts. The best save percentage in the entire league is surprising to say the least with Michal Neuvirth leading the league with a .939 save percentage in 14 games played. This save percentage is his second best in his NHL career. Neuvirth has not had a steady career, but for him to be here now is a win in itself. Now for the shutouts, Devan Dubnyk of the Wild is leading the entire NHL with 4 shutouts. Dubnyk last year was a contender for the Vezina trophy, the trophy for the best goaltender that season, but did not win. What he did win though was the Bill Masterton trophy for leading the Wild to the playoffs last year when they were eight points out of playoff spot. Dubnyk could have been considered one of the worst goalies in the league a couple years, which is why he has been with three teams before Minnesota, but now he could be considered one of the most underrated. Also, Jake Allen of the Blues has 4 shutouts.
Now, we are halfway through the season and the playoffs are fast approaching. And the question remains: who will host the Stanley Cup in June?