Welcome to The Week in Numbers. Each week, I highlight three key stats that have defined training hits and misses over the past seven days.
This week: Harvey-Pinard leads the NHL, Mike Matheson continues to dominate, and a new face in the locker room.
Shots attempted by Rafaël Harvey-Pinard who come from the enclave
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard scored a hat trick in CH’s dominating win over the Blue Jackets, his first of his career. Harvey-Pinard only needed three shots to accomplish the feat, but all three shots came from the slot, a key aspect of his success this season.
Since his recall on January 17, RHP has fired 75 shots on opposing goaltenders. Of these 75, 62 came from the enclave, more than 80% of its volume. He is the only NHL player to have fired at least 80% of his shots from the slot since Jan. 17, playing a minimum of 200 minutes.
Night after night, he shows that he is fearless and he never hesitates to go for the net. That’s what made him successful in the junior ranks, that’s what made his success at Laval, and that’s what continues to make him successful with the big club. Whether it’s on the first line or the fourth line next year, a player who attacks the pocket so much is never too much in a line-up.
Points for Mike Matheson since February 11
Since the All-Star Game hiatus, Mike Matheson has possibly been the club’s most valuable player. Matheson brings offensive flair, mobility, and dynamism in transition which was sorely lacking in CH. Since Feb. 11, he’s led all defensemen with seven goals and his 20 points are trailed only by Miro Heiskanen (22) and Vince Dunn (20). He is also 8th in playing time with 25 minutes of ice time per game.
That’s a ridiculous 74 full-season points, more than double his career high of 31, set last year. In fact, Matheson only needs four points to pass his 2021-22 total with Pittsburgh. And while the idea of trading him at peak value is intriguing, I believe the CH should keep his services.
None of the defensemen currently available to Martin St-Louis can do what Matheson does. He is by far the best option on the point on the power play and activates the attack in transition night after night. The many young attackers will greatly benefit from his talents. He even managed to maintain a plus-8 differential during this period and plus-7 for the season, a rather impressive fact considering that the CH allowed 59 more goals than they scored.
Matheson can fill the role of number one defenseman and be a mentor to the many young defensemen in the organization. And there is no doubt that the CH are much better when they are in the line-up.
Number assigned to Sean Farrell
One of the many exciting prospects in the organization, Sean Farrell, signed his rookie contract with the Canadiens over the weekend. He has already joined the team on the road and is expected to make his debut in upcoming games.
Farrell is coming off a dominant season for Harvard University, scoring 20 goals and 53 points in 34 games. He is currently among the finalists for the Hobey Baker Trophy, given to the player of the year in the NCAA, one of the two hopes of the Habs to be part of the 10 finalists, the other being Lane Hutson.
Farrell isn’t the biggest at 5’9″ and 175lbs, but he has great game vision. Jordan Harris, who played Farrell at the college level, described him as a very smart player who has a excellent vision of the game and an underrated shot.
With the myriad of injuries to the Canadiens’ forwards, Farrell has the chance to play big minutes for the rest of the season and make a good first impression to try to force the hand of the organization and earn a place in the league. roster next year. Either way, it’s exciting to see yet another talented young player make his debut for the Canadiens.