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5 things since NHL got back to business a year ago

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: January 20, 2014
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The NHL has been back in business for a year since its most-recent lockout.

With two-plus weeks left before the league's next break, a 16-day hiatus for the Winter Olympics, here's a look at five things on and off the ice over the past year.

SHOOTING STARS: The NHL has eight players who have scored 100 points in the regular season since it resumed play last year, led by Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby with 124 points in just 84 games from Jan. 19, 2013 to Jan. 19, 2014. Chicago's Patrick Kane is second on the list with 111 points in 98 games, a few spots ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin. The league wants stars to market to give non-traditional fans a reason to tune in and show up for games and it has plenty. Sid the Kid, clearly, is doing his part. Crosby had an NHL-high 68 points — the most he's had in a season since his career was effected by concussions three years ago — entering the Penguins' home game against Florida on Monday night. He's on pace to possibly pass his career-high total of 120 points from the 2006-07 season.

FIST OVER FACTS: Fights are an ugly, or entertaining, part of hockey, depending on your perspective. When the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames dropped gloves and started throwing fists seconds into Saturday night's game, the fight looked as staged as something you would see in professional wrestling. While fighting usually gets attention in stories, sports-talk radio and on TV, the NHL has had its fewest fights in several years. There have been an average of .880 fights per game, through Sunday's games, the lowest since there were slightly less during the 2006-07 season, according to STATS. Suspensions and physical-foul penalties through the first half of the season also are down this season compared to the first halves of some recent years. There were 1.09 physical-foul penalties, such as boarding and roughing, called per team through 41 games this season, the lowest average in at least six years, according to STATS. And there were 31 suspensions announced within team's first 41 games, the second-lowest total in six seasons, STATS said.

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