NEW YORK (April 25, 2007) -- Some facts, figures, story lines and “Did You Know” nuggets as the Stanley Cup Playoffs enter the Conference Semifinals:
LEADING, TRAILING AND TIED: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Vancouver Canucks led only 45 minutes, 55 seconds (9%) of the total 512:15 played in their seven-game elimination of the Dallas Stars. No team led less. . . . The first-round lead-time figures for the other Conference Semifinalists (by percentage of total playing time): New York Rangers 166:00, 69.2%; Ottawa Senators 179:09, 59.7%; Buffalo Sabres 171:54, 57.3%; Anaheim Ducks 153:18, 51.1%; New Jersey Devils 173:55, 46.6%; San Jose Sharks 147:46, 45.0%; Detroit Red Wings 154:39, 40.2% . . . The Rangers trailed only 7:11 (or 3%) of the 240 minutes in their first-round sweep of the Atlanta Thrashers. No team spent less time playing from behind . . . The first-round trail-time figures for the other Conference Semifinalists (by percentage of total playing time): Anaheim 20:28, 6.8%; Detroit 62:56, 16.4%; Ottawa 50:55, 17%; Buffalo 55:21, 18.5%; San Jose 75:44, 23.1%; Vancouver 147:20, 28.8%.
SPECIAL TEAMS IMPACT: Of the 32 game-winning goals in the first round, 16 were scored on power plays, including three each by Buffalo, Ottawa and Detroit . . . All five of Anaheim's power-play goals provided the lead in their five-game conquest of Minnesota . . . The San Jose Sharks scored only two power-play goals in their series against Nashville, but one provided the lead and the other wiped out a one-goal deficit . . . The Canucks withstood 36 of the 40 Dallas power plays in the first round. Of the four power-play goals they did permit, one wiped out a lead and the other three put them behind.
COACHES: None of the remaining coaches has coached his team to a Stanley Cup, although Buffalo's Lindy Ruff (1999), Detroit's Mike Babcock (with Anaheim in 2003) and San Jose's Ron Wilson (with Washington in 1998) has coached in a Stanley Cup Final.
CAPTAINS: Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinalists have European-born captains: Jaromir Jagr, Rangers; Patrik Elias, Devils; Daniel Alfredsson, Senators. The other Eastern Semifinalist, Buffalo, has co-captains: Chris Drury and Daniel Briere.
QUEST FOR THE CUP: With the retirement of Scott Mellanby, Vancouver's Trevor Linden (1,323 regular-season games) becomes the tenured player still in quest of his first Cup. Anaheim's Teemu Selanne (1,041 regular-season games) is next.
PLAYOFF HEROES: Each Western Conference Semifinal features a Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Detroit's Nicklas Lidstromwon in 2002, Anaheim's J.S. Giguere won in 2003 . . . Each Eastern Conference Semifinal features a player who has scored a Cup-winning goal: the Rangers' Brendan Shanahan scored his for Detroit in 2002, the New Jersey Devils' Mike Rupp scored his in 2003.
MAKING THE MOST OF THEIR RETURN: The Canucks are the only survivor of the five teams who qualified for the 2007 playoffs after missing last season's tournament. The others were Atlanta, Minnesota, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh. ###