BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 14: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes provides the screen on Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres as Jeff Skinner #53 of the Hurricanes (not pictured) scores the game-winning goal during their NHL game at First Niagara Center October 14, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
The Carolina Hurricanes held practice on Sunday morning and Zac Dalpe was the only player not on the ice. The Canes have listed him as "week to week" because of a lower body injury and will recall another forward from Charlotte to take his place.
Dalpe has seen minimal ice time so far this season and is averaging a team low 6:51 per game. Anthony Stewart is the only other player with less than double digits and is next at 8:12.
It's only five games but:
Brandon Sutter is eighth in the league with a 61.7 faceoff percentage.
Chad LaRose has 10 hits, tops on the team and Joni Pitkaken is averaging 23:44 of TOI per game, also tops on the team.
Carolina has been called for a total of 27 minors, which is tied for third most in the league. They have killed 81.5% of those penalties, good for 19th in the league. Their two shorthanded goals is tied with Pittsburgh for first.
The powerplay has looked much better this year and the stats are starting to go up. They currently sit at 14th in the league with a 16.7% success rate. They have not allowed any shorthanded goals against.
The team has scored 13 goals, three in the first period and five each in the second and third.
They have allowed 18 goals against, three in the first period, five in the second, nine in the third, and one in OT.
They have taken an average of 31.6 shots per game and have allowed an average of 33.2 shots per game.
We'll take another look at these stats after 10 games.
Late last week, The Hockey News had an article mentioning that Joni Pitkaken might be on the trading block. Lyle Richardson, who provides rumor information for a number of online publications, felt like Luke DeCock's recent article about the defenseman indicated that the Hurricanes might be in the mood for a trade, but DeCock nixed that theory in Twitter and went on to say he thought the Finn was having a great start to the season.
In the meantime, nothing was said about Tomas Kaberle, another defenseman who is making almost as much as Pitkanen, yet is averaging over five minutes less playing time per game. (18:29 to 23:44). He has not necessarily played poorly, but he has yet to stand out either and a couple of his ill-timed pinches have been costly.
With the Canes plethora of young defensemen coming up the pipeline, (Justin Faulk, Ryan Murphy, Brian Dumoulin, etc), Kaberle could very well find himself on the block, or if his play doesn't improve long term, he might even be the second Kaberle to eventually be bought out by the franchise.
NHL Reaches Record Number of Fans in Opening Week:
The NHL published a press release recently announcing that their opening week set records in many categories. That is certainly great news, from the player's standpoint, from the league's, as well as for fans.
Here's what they had to say.
2011-12 NHL OPENING WEEK REACHES MORE FANS
ON MORE PLATFORMS THAN EVER BEFORE
Bruins-Flyers Most-Watched Regular Season Game in Versus History
NHL GameCenter Live No. 1 Sports App in US, Canada & Russia
NEW YORK (October 13, 2011) – The National Hockey League opened its 95th season with record fan engagement across all measureable platforms, continuing the strong momentum the League has built over the past six seasons.
With the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ fan festival attracting tens of thousands of fans to The Forks in Winnipeg, international stars leading their NHL® clubs across the Atlantic to open the season in front of sold-out crowds at the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere™ and record-breaking opening-night TV ratings, the 2011-12 NHL season opened on a strong note.
Strong Demand Drives Increased Ratings For Opening Weekend
VERSUS opened its seventh year of NHL coverage with the most-watched regular season game in the network's history (874,000 viewers) as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 on the night the Bruins raised their first Stanley Cup® banner in 39 years. Viewership was up 20 percent over last year’s opening game (720,000, Flyers-Penguins, Oct. 7, 2010).
CBC's HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA attracted a record audience before the first puck drop of the season, as its opening-night pre-game show on Thursday drew nearly one million viewers (929,000) -- a 66% increase over last season. Then, 1.935 million Canadians watched the classic Game 1 match-up between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs - beating last year's opening-game mark of 1.923 million.
Saturday night’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators was a record-setter for CBC's HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, with an average audience of 2.359 million viewers tuning in—nine per cent more than the previous record-holder for the first Saturday game of the season, set last year.
On Sunday, the first Winnipeg Jets home opener since 1996 drew an average total audience of 1.825 million viewers on CBC, and 819,000 on RDS.
In all, 16 million Canadians -- representing 47.7% of the total population, according to Nielsen/BBM Canada -- watched all or part of a local or national NHL broadcast during Opening Weekend (Thu-Sun).
NHL Network™ provided fans with complementary coverage of Opening Night pre-and post-game from its set in Boston for the first banner-raising in the city in 39 years; on the scene in Winnipeg for 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™, and in Vancouver for the Canucks-Pittsburgh Penguins game at Rogers Arena.
Digital Content Continues to Attract NHL Fans in Record Numbers
The NHL's digital media focus this season emphasizes improved broadband and mobile product experiences; expanded distribution among mobile, tablet and connected devices and greater penetration within key European countries; and a social media approach that prioritizes social-centric experiences and earned media.
Results from opening week validate the strategy across all digital touch points, including:
· NHL.com experienced 9% more visitors during the first week (Thur.-Wed.) compared to last year’s record traffic numbers for same time period, and saw a 57% increase in video starts.
· Buoyed by the excitement surrounding the Winnipeg Jets' season-opener, NHL.com enjoyed its #9 day all-time for video starts on Sunday, Oct. 9 (1.9 million), achieving a top-10 figure despite a light schedule of two games.
· With the launch of six foreign-language sites in key European nations, international visitors from key countries grew at double-and triple-digit rates.
· Strong International UV growth among Finland (+82%), Sweden (+47%), Germany (+40%), Czech Republic (+252%) and Russia (+31%) during opening weekend (Thur. – Sun.)
· Strong International video start growth among Finland (+198%), Sweden (+190%), Germany (+132%), Czech Republic (+448%), Russia (+179%) and Slovakia (+186%) during opening weekend (Thur. – Sun.)
NHL GameCenter LIVE™
NHL GameCenter LIVE was enhanced for 2011-12, emphasizing a refined and more intuitive user interface, more features and functions, and the ability to authenticate multiple devices from a single subscription.
In a season that saw outstanding on-ice performances -- a dramatic playoff chase that went down to the last minute of the last game of the season, plus a thrilling playoff capped by a seven-game Stanley Cup Final -- the NHL experienced unprecedented success off the ice. Led by dramatic increases in sponsorship and merchandise sales, landmark corporate investment in its big events and impressive digital growth, the NHL experienced its fifth consecutive year of record revenue and approached nearly $3 billion in total revenue. League-generated revenue has increased by 15 percent for this year and has increased by 150 percent over the past five years. Sponsorship sales set an all-time record with gross sales increasing by 33 percent over last year as the League added to its roster of bluechip corporate partners attracted by the most-coveted fan demographic in all of sports. The NHL received rave reviews for partnering with HBO on 24/7 and recently announced a new 10-year television agreement with the NBC Sports Group. For its business achievements, Sports Business Journal named the NHL as its "League of the Year."
· Subscriptions to NHL GameCenter LIVE increased 105% over the same period last season.
· Subscriptions recorded on the first day of the regular season were the highest daily total in NHL GameCenter LIVE history, while the following Friday and Saturday were the second-and third-highest ever. The weekly total is more than double the previous high for a single week.
NHL Mobile and Tablet Apps
· The League's new carrier-agnostic distribution strategy enables the NHL to develop and deliver the experience to more carriers and smartphones, which resulted in a 250-percent increase in app downloads so far this season
· For both iPad and iPhone, NHL GameCenter™ was the top grossing sports app in the US, Canada and Russia.
NHL Mobile Web
· NHL Mobile page views saw 63% growth over the start of last season, led by a 179% increase in mobile page views outside North America.
· The NHL has an extended reach on Twitter and Facebook of more than 2.5mm, an increase of 105% over the start of last season.
· NHL launched a new Facebook application at start of season -- NHL Fan Banner™ – which through the first several days of the season, fans were downloading more than 1,000 per hour for use.
· Social networks continue to be a source of referred traffic to NHL.com with Facebook referrals up 50% over last year's season opening and Twitter up 450%.
· Visitors to NHL.com that are referred by Facebook or Twitter continue to consume content at a higher rate than the average visitor, including visits (+27%), video starts (+68%) and articles read (+51%).
NHL Merchandise Hotter Than Ever
· Sales of NHL licensed merchandise were up 12% to date, driven by the introduction of new jerseys in Nashville, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Florida, Edmonton and Winnipeg; retro-inspired snap back headwear; EA Sports' NHL 12 video game; Boston Bruins Stanley Cup commemorative items, and women's and kids apparel
· Through the opening week of the season, in-arena per-capita sales for home openers was up 31 percent compared to last season
· Overall in-arena merchandise sales for the 2011 NHL Premiere™ games in Europe were up 7%, despite there being two fewer regular-season games played this year (6 games LY vs. 4 games TY)
· Sales at Shop.NHL.com up 32% for the first week of the season compared to last year, led by sales of Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins championship and Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise.
· Sales at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok in midtown New York City are up 10% against comparable season opening week
· The NHL has seen record-setting new team sales for the Winnipeg Jets in the first 90 days
2010-11 NHL Business: Best Year on Record