Stats & Info: Ottawa Senators

Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. LUCK MAKES IT FOUR: The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft was held on Thursday. The Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck with the first overall pick. Luck is the fourth Stanford QB to be picked first overall in the history of the NFL Draft, joining John Elway (1983), Jim Plunkett (1971) and Bobby Garrett (1954). Stanford is the first school to have four QBs drafted first overall and the first school to have four No. 1 picks at any single position.

2. DEVILS MOVE ON: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Florida Panthers in Game 7, 3-2, in double overtime. It marked the fifth time under the current playoff format (since 1993-94), that a Game 7 had multiple overtime periods. Adam Henrique scored the game-winning goal. According to Elias, he is the second rookie to score an overtime goal in a Game 7. The other was Montreal’s Claude Lemieux in 1986 against the Hartford Whalers.

3. RANGERS MOVE ON: The New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, in Game 7. It’s the Blueshirts’ first Game 7 win since the 1994 Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks. The Rangers now face the seven-seed Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In their two previous playoff appearances, the Rangers were eliminated each time by the Capitals.

Kevin Durant
4. DURANT WINS TITLE: Thursday marked the final day of the NBA regular season. Kobe Bryant did not play in the Los Angeles Lakers finale against the Sacramento Kings. As a result, Kevin Durant won the 2011-12 NBA scoring title for the third straight season. At the age of 23, Durant is the youngest player to win three straight scoring titles.

5. HUMBER ROUGHED UP: The Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago White Sox, 10-3. The game marked the first start for White Sox pitcher Philip Humber since his perfect game last Saturday. Humber allowed a career-high nine earned runs in five innings. According to Elias, Humber became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow as many as nine runs in his first appearance after pitching a perfect game.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. BRUINS BOUNCED: The Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime in Game 7. The Bruins lost when facing elimination for the first time in six games. It is the fourth time in the expansion era (since 1967) that both Stanley Cup finalists from the previous season lost in the quarterfinals the following season. FROM ELIAS: It was the first series in Stanley Cup history in which all seven games were decided by a one-goal margin, and only the second series to go to overtime in Game 7 with the two teams having scored the same number of goals in the series. There are two more Game 7s Thursday (Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers).

Kobe Bryant
Kevin Durant
2. KOBE OR KD: Kevin Durant scored 32 points in his final regular-season game. Durant averaged 28.03 PPG this season, 0.17 ahead of Kobe Bryant. Bryant needs 38 points against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday to win the scoring title. Bryant has scored 38 points 152 times in regular-season games in his career, including nine against the Kings. Durant or Bryant will become the eighth player in NBA history to win at least three scoring titles.

3. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL SET: Bayern Munich advanced to the UEFA Champions League final (tied 3-3 on aggregate; advanced 3-1 on penalty kicks) over Real Madrid. It was the first time that a UEFA Champions League semifinal went to penalty kicks since 2007. Bayern Munich will face Chelsea on May 19 in Munich. They will be the first club since Roma in 1984 to play the European Cup Final in its home stadium.

4. NBA FUTILITY: The Charlotte Bobcats lost for the 22nd straight time on Wednesday. They end the regular season at home against the New York Knicks on Thursday. If the Bobcats lose, they will set the record for the worst winning percentage in a single-season in NBA history (would finish at .106 win pct), passing the 1972-73 76ers (finished at .110). Charlotte is still looking for its first win since March 17.

5. NFL DRAFT: The first round of the NFL Draft begins Thursday at 8 ET on ESPN. QB Andrew Luck and QB Robert Griffin III are expected to be the first two players taken. It would be the fifth time in the Common Draft Era (since 1967), and first since 1999, that quarterbacks were selected first and second overall.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. SPURS CLINCH TOP SEED: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 124-89, and clinched the top seed in the Western Conference. Last season, as a one-seed, the Spurs were eliminated in the first round of their playoff series with the Grizzlies. It was the fourth time since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams that a one-seed lost to an eight-seed.

2. COYOTES FINALLY WIN A SERIES: The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-0, to win the Western Conference Quarterfinals in six games. It’s the franchise’s first playoff series win since 1987. According to Elias, their streak of 23 consecutive seasons without winning a playoff series (1987-88 through 2010-11) is a NHL record.

3. KREIDER TO THE RESCUE: The New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. 20-year old Chris Kreider scored the game-winning goal. According to Elias, Kreider is the third Rangers player to score a playoff goal, before playing in a regular-season game.

Derek Jeter
4. JETER HITS HOLLAND: Derek Jeter went 4-5 in the New York Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers. All four of Jeter’s hits came off Derek Holland. According to Elias, that tied Jeter's career high for hits off the same pitcher in one game. He had previously recorded four hits in a game against Greg Maddux and Bob Tewksbury.

5. ROSS SHOWS POWER: Cody Ross hit two home runs in the Boston Red Sox’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Ross tied the game in the seventh inning with a two-run blast, then hit a solo shot in the ninth to put the Red Sox ahead. According to Elias, prior to Ross, the last Red Sox player with a game-tying and game-winning home run, each in the seventh inning or later, was Dwight Evans on June 23, 1990 against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

6. PANDA KEEPS HITTING: Pablo Sandoval recorded hits in both games of the Giants-Mets doubleheader on Monday (Giants won both games). Sandoval has hit safely in his first 16 games this season. According to Elias, he tied the second-longest hit streak to start a season by a Giants player since 1900. The record of 18 was set by Johnny Rucker in 1945.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. HUMBER SIMPLY PERFECT: Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber became the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game in MLB history. FROM ELIAS: Entering Saturday’s game, Humber had 11 wins in 29 starts. That is the third-fewest starts and second-fewest wins prior to a perfect game in MLB history.

2. YANKEES MAKE IMPROBABLE COMEBACK: The New York Yankees trailed 9-0 against the Boston Red Sox before scoring 15 unanswered runs in a 15-9 win. FROM ELIAS: It is the second time in the modern era that a team trailed by at least nine runs and ended up winning the game by at least six runs. On June 12, 1938 the Detroit Tigers trailed the Washington Senators, 11-1, but rallied to win, 18-12, on the strength of a seven-run ninth inning.

3. BLACKHAWKS FORCE GAME 6: The Chicago Blackhawks stayed alive, winning 3-2 in overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blackhawks have played in seven consecutive overtime games, the longest streak in NHL playoff history. FROM ELIAS: This is the second playoff series in NHL history in which each of the first 5 games went into overtime. The other was the 1951 Finals when the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs went to OT in all five games.

4. ANDERSON BLANKS RANGERS: Craig Anderson made 41 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 2–0 win at Madison Square Garden in Game 5 of their series against the New York Rangers. FROM ELIAS: Anderson was the first NHL goaltender to make at least 40 saves in a road shutout in the playoffs since Ed Belfour of the Dallas Stars made 48 stops in a 1–0 triple-overtime win at New Jersey in Game 5 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. Before Anderson, the last goaltender to do that in a road playoff game that did not go to overtime was Toronto’s Felix Potvin with a 42-save, 3–0 shutout at Chicago in 1995.

5. RONALDO SETS RECORD: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game-winning goal in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Barcelona. It was Ronaldo’s 42nd goal of the season, setting the record for most goals scored in a season in La Liga history.

6. BATTLE OF WESTERN POWERS: The Los Angeles Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 3:30 ET on ABC. That game will feature the top-2 scorers in the NBA. Kobe Bryant (27.9 PPG) leads Kevin Durant (27.8 PPG) by 0.1 PPG. Durant is trying to become the first player to win three consecutive scoring titles since Michael Jordan from 1996-98. The Lakers have two games remaining while the Thunder have three.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

Henrik Lundqvist
1. SAVING THE DAY: FROM ELIAS: Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 1-0 win in Game 3 of their series against the Ottawa Senators, one day after the Kings’ Jonathan Quick stopped 41 shots in a 1-0 victory at Los Angeles. Since the NHL began officially recording shots on goal more than 50 years ago, the only other goaltender to make 39-or-more saves in a 1-0 shutout in a non-overtime game was Martin Brodeur against Carolina in 2009 (44 saves). The Rangers’ 1-0 victory was only their second playoff win by that score since 1941. Lundqvist accounted for that other 1-0 win as well, beating the Capitals by a lone goal in Washington in 2009.

2. LeBRON FINISHES STRONG: FROM ELIAS: LeBron James scored Miami’s final 17 points in the team’s victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday night. James is the fourth player to score 17 straight points for his team in a game this season, joining Deron Williams (18 on March 4), Chris Paul (17 on February 22) and Mo Williams (17 on January 22). Prior to James, the last player to score his team’s final 17 points of a game was Denver’s J.R. Smith on April 13, 2009.

3. VERLANDER THROWING HEAT: Last year’s AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander got his first win of the season as the Detroit Tigers won 3-2. Verlander had a complete game on 131 pitches, one shy of his career-high. He threw 19 fastballs in the ninth inning. Of those, seven were over 98 MPH. His final pitch of the night was 100.3 MPH, tied for the fastest pitch he threw ALL GAME. Since 2009, Justin Verlander has the highest average fastball velocity for any starter in the ninth inning. He is also the only starter in that time frame to throw a pitch over 100 MPH in the ninth.

Roy Halladay
4. HALLADAY OUTDUELS LINCECUM: Roy Halladay won a battle of Cy Young pitchers, allowing two earned runs in 8 innings as the Philadelphia Phillies won 5-2 over the San Francisco Giants and Tim Lincecum. FROM ELIAS: Halladay has registered a win while pitching at least seven innings and allowing two-or-fewer runs in each of his first three starts of the season, something he also did in his first three starts in his first season with the Phils in 2010. In the 36 seasons preceding Halladay’s arrival, only one other Phillies pitcher that started the season with the team registered a win, seven plus innings pitched and two-or-fewer runs allowed in each of his first three starts: Dennis Cook in 1990.

5. WORKING OVERTIME: FROM ELIAS: The Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 123-121 in a triple overtime contest on Monday night. Utah has now played two games that have gone to at least triple overtime this season, losing a quadruple overtime game in Atlanta on March 25. Over the last 50 seasons, only five other teams have played multiple games that have gone to at least three overtimes in a single season: Phoenix in 1997-98 and 2005-06, New York in 2006-07, New Jersey in 2010-11 and Atlanta in 2011-12.

Playoff woes lead to Dany Heatley trade

July, 4, 2011
Dany Heatley
The San Jose Sharks entered the 2009 playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 1 seed after winning the Presidents' Trophy given to the team with the NHL's best record. What followed was a stunning first round exit at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks, another in a long line of postseason disappointments for the franchise.

Dany Heatley was acquired by the Sharks that offseason to help remedy the problem and lead the franchise to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

So how come after two seasons in which he ranked second on the team in goals scored (65) and points (146) -- ranking in the top 20 in the NHL in both categories -- does he find himself headed to the Minnesota Wild?

Heatley was a great producer for the Sharks in the regular season, but his production really took a hit come playoff time.

While the Sharks made consecutive conference finals appearances in his two years with the team -- San Jose made one conference final appearance in the teams first 17 seasons -- Heatley scored only five goals in 32 playoff games.

To give that some perspective, among players who played 20 postseason games over the last two seasons, Heatley was tied for the 47th-most goals scored. That's not something you would expect from a player who averaged more than 40 goals per season the past six years.

Heatley scored 14 game-winning goals in his two seasons in San Jose, including an NHL-best nine in his first season with the team. However it never carried over to the playoffs as he didn't score a single game winner in the postseason for the Sharks.

What the Wild do get is a player who can produce with the man advantage. Heatley scored 29 goal on the power play in his two years with the Sharks, third-most in the NHL. The Wild's top player in that span, Andrew Brunette, just signed with the Chicago Blackhawks when free agency opened this past Friday.

According to, Heatley will be the seventh-highest paid forward at $8 million this season. His cap hit of $7.5 million (average annual value of his contract) also ranks seventh among forwards for this upcoming season. He automatically becomes the Wild's highest paid player, topping Mikko Koivu's $6.75 million cap hit.

The Sharks are taking a bit of a risk with this deal as Martin Havlat, the player they received for Heatley, has posted similar career postseason numbers. While Havlat -- who was a teammate with Heatley for one season with the Ottawa Senators in 2005-06 -- has scored more playoff goals, he has accounted for eight less points despite playing in one more playoff game.

However Havlat's last two postseason appearances were impressive as he notched 15 points in the Blackhawks' conference finals run in 2009 and scored seven goals in the 2006 postseason with the Senators.