Rink Report

by Ben Burns

November is busy. With so much football and basketball, it can be hard to keep up with hockey. While it might seem like the season just started, some teams have already played 20 games. Let's get caught up. 

BEST CONFERENCE
The Stanley Cup has gone to a team from the Eastern Conference in five of the past six seasons. So far, the top three teams, in terms of records, all reside in the East. Florida has the most points (29) but Carolina has the best record. The (14-2) Hurricanes have 28 points but have played two fewer games than the Panthers. Next, comes Washington with 27 points. Edmonton, #1 in the West, has the fourth most points overall. There's a big gap between the haves and the have nots. The Coyotes and the Kraken, a pair of Western Conference teams, are the worst of the bunch. They have eight and nine points, respectively. Ottawa also has nine points but has played a few less games. Edmonton averages four goals per game, Arizona averages just 1.8. 

PROFITABLE TEAMS
With their strong records, it stands to reason that Carolina, Florida and Edmonton are among the most profitable teams. Likewise, Arizona and Seattle have hurt their backers the most. Some other teams might surprise you though. Columbus, Anaheim, Vegas, Minnesota, Boston and the NY Rangers have all produced solid profits. Teams like Montreal, Chicago, Pittsburgh and the Islanders are all significantly in the red. 

HOME SWEET HOME
Does playing at home matter? It depends on which team you ask. The Panthers are 10-0 at home but 3-2-3 on the road. On the other hand, the defending champions have been better on the road than at home. Overall, on the season, home teams have won 56.3% of the time. 

TOTALS
Thus far, there have been more 'unders' than 'overs.' At 52.3% to 47.7%, the difference is fairly modest. We'll keep an eye out to see if the gap narrows, or widens. Interestingly, 63.5% of overtime games have stayed below the number. 

VEZINA TROPHY IN TORONTO?
There are a number of goalies with excellent stats. Jack Campbell is right there in all the major categories. Of goalies who have played at least 10 games, the Leafs' netminder has the best goals-against-average (1.66) and also the best save percentage (.944). However, it's Calgary's Jacob Markstrom who leads the league in shutouts. He's already got five. Campbell is tied for second, at three. 

Good luck with the games. I wish everyone the best, during the upcoming holiday season. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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