NHL MORNING SKATE – APRIL 12, 2016
Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Detroit @ Tampa Bay, Game 1, 7:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, FS-D, FS-F
NY Rangers @ Pittsburgh, Game 1, 8:00 p.m., USA, SN, TVAS, MSG, ROOT
Chicago @ St. Louis, Game 1, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, CSN-CH, FS-MW
UPDATED STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS INFORMATION GUIDE
An updated version of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Information Guide, featuring series-by-series breakdowns of all eight First Round matchups, will be available on the NHL’s Media site later today.
Playoff guides for all 16 qualifying teams also will be posted on the Media site this afternoon.
REMINDER: 2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE
Participants can enter their predictions until 6:59 p.m. ET tomorrow, April 13 – just prior to the opening puck drop for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Media interested in joining the “Famous Hockey Fans” league should contact Jasmine Ghafour (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click here for more information.
NHL ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OFFICIALS
The NHL announced the officials for the First Round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
NHL NETWORK UNVEILS NEW STUDIO, PROGRAMMING FOR PLAYOFFS
NHL Network unveiled a new studio and slate of programming in conjunction with the start of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“The Rink,” a 1,200-square-foot space dedicated solely to hockey coverage, made its debut on Monday. Inspired by hockey’s rich history and traditions, “The Rink” features 14-foot walls etched with the names of the last 10 Stanley Cup champions.
The back wall is lined with a 20-foot-wide LED display, while a 10-foot desk anchors the room. A custom 98-inch monitor also hangs within a ‘goal’ lined with lights along the crossbar.
NHL Network will air the following programs tonight in advance of the playoffs (all times ET):
5:00 p.m. – NHL Live
7:00 p.m. – NHL Tonight: 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Eastern Conference
8:00 p.m. – NHL Network Roundtable: State of the Game
TOEWS TOPS JERSEY SALES FOR 2015-16 SEASON
The NHL released the top 10 player jersey sales on Shop.NHL.com for the 2015-16 regular season:
1. Jonathan Toews (CHI)
2. Patrick Kane (CHI)
3. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
4. Patrice Bergeron (BOS)
5. Carey Price (MTL)
6. Alex Ovechkin (WSH)
7. Zach Parise (MIN)
8. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
9. Ryan McDonagh (NYR)
10. Connor McDavid (EDM)
ICYMI: TAVARES LEADS “STARS” OF THE WEEK
Islanders captain John Tavares, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending April 10.
* Tavares led the NHL with 4-5—9 in four games, including a trio of multi-point performances, to power the Islanders to the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
* Kane shared second in the League with 3-3—6 in three games to become the first U.S.-born player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy (46-60—106).
* Ovechkin paced the NHL with five goals in three games to become the third player in League history to total seven or more 50-goal campaigns (50-21—71).
A QUICK LOOK BACK
Some of the highlights from the 2015-16 regular season:
* Average announced attendance of 17,481 (96.5% of capacity) represented a full-season record.
* Of the 1,230 games in the regular season, 823 (66.9%) were decided by two goals or fewer.
* The score was within one goal for 75% of the 74,758 minutes, 59 seconds of total playing time.
* The implementation of the 3-on-3 format led to decisions in 168 of the 275 overtime games – the most decisions since overtime returned to regular-season play in 1983-84.
* The 107 shootouts in 2015-16 represented the lowest total since the shootout was implemented in 2005-06.
* The number of 30-goal NHL scorers increased to 24 from the 11 in 2014-15.
* The Sabres showed the biggest improvement in points, from 54 to 81 (+27).
* The Sabres also reduced the number of times they were shorthanded from 257 to 218; reduced the number of power-play goals permitted to 38 from last season’s 64; and reduced their goal differential by 92, from -113 in 2014-15 to -21.