The National Hockey League is close to the 50-game mark and there are several players in different statistical categories that stand out. There are a few surprise and several players who might still be available in your hockey pool. These statistics were compiled after games completed on Tuesday.
GOALS: Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos (27) and Nashville's Patric Hornqvist (21). Stamkos has already scored more goals and points then he did last season and is on pace for a 40-plus goals and 80-plus-point season, and the best is yet to come. Hornqvist is red hot right now, averaging a point a game during the last month. Nashville is using Hornqvist the way they should have been using Alexander Radulov.
ASSISTS: Dallas' Brad Richards (44) and Montreal's Tomas Plekanec(39). Richards has regained his scoring touch from his days in Tampa Bay and is on pace to set career highs in assists and points. Montreal is in the thick of the playoff race thanks to the hot hand of Tomas Plekanec, who has six points in last six games. Plekanec has never broken the 70-point plateau but is on pace to score 78.
POINTS: Vancouver's Henrik Sedin (76) and Buffalo's Tim Connolly(48). No one would have predicted that Sedin would be leading the league in scoring. Neither twin has scored more than 84 points during their careers but Henrik is on pace for 118 points while brother Daniel is on pace for 90 despite missing 18 games. The injury prone Connolly has finally been able to put a full season together, he has nine points in the last five games and if he stays healthy he should set career highs in just about every statistical category.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Phoenix's Radim Vrbata (178) and Hornqvist (170). Vrbata is 13th overall in shots on goal but he has never been a strong point producer. Vrbata makes a solid bench player for your fantasy team, especially on weeks when Phoenix plays three or four games. Hornqvist is a young, skilled winger who likes to shoot and the pucks are starting to go in (eight goals last 10 games, while averaging more than four shots a game).
GAMES STARTED: Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick (47) and Colorado's Craig Anderson (43). Only Martin Brodeur has started more games then Quick. The strong play of Quick and Anderson is the main reason why the Kings and Avalanche are still battling for playoff spots. Quick and Anderson give their teams a chance to win every night they play.
GOALTENDER WINS: Quick (28) and Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov (27). Quick has already won seven more games then his career high and is on pace for a 40-plus win season. Quick is a solid goaltender that will put up decent numbers during his career but may never be an elite goalie. Bryzgalov was brought into Phoenix to give the team solid goaltending and looks like he is finally providing it. Phoenix is in the playoff hunt because Bryzgalov is having a career year.
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Chicago's Antti Niemi (1.99) and Boston's Tuukka Rask (2.14). These two young back-up goalies are pushing for starting jobs. Cristobal Huet was given the starting job in Chicago but Niemi is proving he can be a strong NHL goalie. Tim Thomas is the reigning Vezina winner but Rask has been the better goalie this season and the Bruins would be wise to move Thomas to get some scoring help.
SHUTOUTS: Florida's Tomas Vokoun (six) and Bryzgalov (five). In three seasons with Florida, Vokoun has 16 shutouts, the same total he had in his seven seasons with Nashville. Bryzgalov has two more shutouts this season then his previous career highs and doesn't look to be slowing down.