The Habs have hit the 15-game mark of the season and find themselves comfortably atop the NHL standings, five points clear of Dallas. That’s just one of many noteworthy stats for the Canadiens so far this year.
Below are 15 stats and notes from Montreal’s first 15 games. All stats are as of games played through Thursday, November 5th.
1) The Canadiens currently have a +28 goal differential. The next best in the league is the Rangers (+13) while the second best in the division is Florida (+5). Last season, it took them until February 24th to hit that mark.
2) Montreal is scoring 3.67 goals per game. That’s an increase of over a goal per game from 2014-15 (2.61) and sits a full goal above the league average (2.66).
3) Despite the extra scoring, the defence has yet to join in on the fun. The blueline has combined for just four goals and no player has more than one.
4) There are just two teams that are in the top five in both special teams rankings, Montreal (25.0% PP, 3rd; 89.8% PK, 2nd) and the New York Islanders. The Canadiens are first in combined special teams percentage.
5) The Habs have eight players in the top-50 in league scoring. The next closest team, Dallas, has just four.
6) Among those eight players is Tomas Fleischmann, who has four goals and eleven points. It took him until early January to reach those marks in 2014-15.
7) Another of those eight players, Dale Weise is only two goals shy of equalling his career high total of ten, set last season in 79 games. His eight markers this year are nearly 26% of his career total goals scored.
8) The Fleischmann-Desharnais-Weise trio lead all NHL lines in goals scored as a unit with 13. (The sum of their individual goals is higher but that line has scored 13 times when all three are on the ice together.)
9) Among Montreal players who have taken at least an average of five faceoffs per game, Alex Galchenyuk has the best faceoff percentage at 52.5%. His percentages in previous seasons? 47.1, 33.3, and 42.8.
10) Brendan Gallagher leads the Eastern Conference in High-Danger Scoring Chances with 24 and is one short of the league lead (courtesy of war-on-ice). He was 7th in that category last season. (Weise is second with 15, for those wondering.)
11) Andrei Markov’s average ice time is down more than two full minutes per game (22:50) compared to last season (24:54). P.K. Subban has also seen his ATOI drop by two minutes from 26:12 to 24:12.
12) Subban has taken just five minor penalties through 15 games. He had eleven minors at this point in time last season. Speaking of penalties, the Habs have just one major, a Nathan Beaulieu fight. That puts them in a nine-way tie for the second fewest majors in the NHL; ten teams have one or fewer so far this season.
13) Montreal doesn’t just lead the league in good categories. They’ve been credited with 165 giveaways, at least 18 more than any other team. They also have a massive lead in faceoffs taken. The Canadiens have lined up for 970 draws; the next closest is Winnipeg at 887. That’s a lot of whistles.
14) The Habs have recorded a point in each of their first seven home games (6-0-1), which only ties for their eighth longest such streak. They have a long way to go though if they want to match their franchise record of 25 back in 1943-44.
15) This is the first time the Canadiens have won 12 of their first 15 games in regulation to start a season. They’ll try to build on that on Saturday night as they host the Boston Bruins.