Scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey. When you have a sniper, you hang on to him. (with some exceptions)

When you don’t…well…you’re pretty much fucked.

Elite goal scorers get paid…they get paid a lot…because they’re worth it.

Some players get paid a lot…but aren’t worth it.

In the 2014/15 NHL season, these are the top 20 goal scorers.

I’m going to rank these on a GPG (minimum 10 GP) basis since there are still some pretty big disparities in the number of games played by some of these shooters. (e.g. Corey Perry has the mumps)

1) Corey Perry .85

2) Tyler Seguin .71

3) Rick Nash .71

4) Phil Kessel .61

5) Steven Stamkos .61

6)  Vladimir Tarasenko .59

7) Patrick Hornqvist .56

8) Nick Foligno .56

9) Taylor Hall .55

10) James Neal .53

11) Gustav Nyqvist .50

12) Michael Raffl .50

13) Filip Forsberg .47

14) Alex Ovechkin  .47

15) Clarke MacArthur .47

16) Marcus Johanssen .47

17) Brock Nelson .47

18) Joel Ward .47

19) Tyler Toffoli .44

20) Max Pacioretty .44

20) Blake Wheeler .44

Now, this list remains pretty fluid at the bottom end since there is a legion of players who could easily crack it with a good game or two but it does give us some sense of who’s had early season success and, by omission from the list, who is not off to a great start (John Tavares .41) at least by their own previous standards.

We get a somewhat different picture, though, when we look at players who are scoring well despite more limited minutes.

From Behind the Net we can suss out goals/60 at even strength and there are some surprises:


Rick Nash 3.36

Mike Hoffman 2.42

Michael Raffl 2.34

Frans Neilson 2.21

Blake Wheeler 2.20

Mason Raymond 2.16

Tyler Seguin 2.09

Corey Perry 2.08

Nikita Kucherov 2.05

Alex Tanguay 2.04

Tanner Pearson 1.99

Vladimir Tarasenko 1.99 

Nick Bonino 1.96

Marcus Johansson 1.93

James Neal 1.84 

Phil Kessel 1.83

Mike Cammalleri 1.77

Chris Terry 1.76

Zemgus Girgensens 1.63

Max Pacioretty 1.63

We see a few players (bolded) who make both lists and there are certainly a few surprises. Mason Raymond (currently injured) had a great start but was riding a very high shooting percentage to those lofty totals.

Nick Bonino has been an even strength revelation for the Canucks, more than replacing Ryan Kesler’s production on the second line.

And…what’s up with Girgensens?

The question then becomes, which players can keep up the pace for the entire season.

Can Tyler Seguin actually score the 58 goals he’s on pace for? I think he just might.

Are the Russians for real? Tarasenko and Kucherov have been giants thus far and I don’t see any reasons they won’t keep getting better.

And…will Ovechkin break out of his funk and defend his goal scoring title?






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