USA Hockey Magazine

October 2014

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PHOTOS BY Getty Images While physical play is certainly a necessary part of the game, being more physical does not automatically translate to more wins. N.Y. Islanders forward Matt Martin has led the NHL the past three seasons in this category, including last year with 359 or 4.54 hits per game. All players sacrifice their body in some capacity, but it's arguably defensemen who walk away with the most bruises after any given game night. Andrew MacDonald of the N.Y. Islanders blocked the most shots last year at 242 through 82 games. Want to be successful? Keep your best players on the ice. Two-time U.S. Olympian Ryan Suter was a workhorse on the Minnesota Wild blueline last season averaging 29:24 per game. Depending who you ask, plus- minus rating can be deceiving to outside observers. A player may have an abysmal rating but faces another team's best players every shift. Conversely, his teammate could be the beneficiary of playing on the top line. Last season, the Boston Bruins' David Krejci (+39), Patrice Bergeron (+38) and Brad Marchand (+36) led the league. Number Crunchers Revel In The Nightly Statistical Feast Provided By NHL Games By MARK BURNS ATTACK eing more of a word man than a numbers guy, Mark Twain liked to say that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics. Who knows if this Connecticut Yankee was a hockey fan before the Whalers came to town, but even he couldn't deny that the numbers game has become a big busi- ness with player contracts tied to statistical accomplishments, not to mention the grow- ing world of fantasy sports. STAT PHOTOS BY Getty Images 2014-15 NHL PREVIEW USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM 24

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