NHL Playoffs: Breakouts, Leaders & Outliers

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The Isles’ rugged Martin is a scoring hit, the Canucks’ Demko (almost) couldn’t be beat, and the Avs had the most dangerous offensive weapon in the playoffs – and it’s not MacKinnon.

Matt Martin celebrates a goal with his New York Islanders teammates.

The most dangerous player in the 2020 NHL playoffs has been … Colorado’s Andre Burakovsky?

Take a quick statistical trip through the NHL playoffs, from Burakovsky’s surprising scoring efficiency to Thatcher Demko’s nearly impenetrable goaltending to Matt Martin’s hard-hitting yet soft-handed contributions:

0.985: Thatcher Demko’s save percentage
Granted, Demko only started three games in the post-season. But they were Games 5, 6 and 7 against a rock-solid Vegas team gunning to return to the Stanley Cup final for the second time in three years. So stopping 128 of 130 shots is mighty impressive – as was the rookie netminder’s 0.64 goals-against average.

1.67: Nathan MacKinnon’s points per game
With 25 points in 15 playoff games, MacKinnon was on pace to do the unthinkable – break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time playoff record of 47 points in a single post-season – had the Avs been able to advance to the Cup final. Alas, they did not, falling to Dallas in Round 2. MacKinnon’s production was propelled by a 14-game point streak from the start of the qualifying round that didn’t come to an end until Game 7 against the Stars.

2: Tyler Seguin’s goal total
It’s amazing the Stars are pushing for a berth in the Cup final despite the fact their most dangerous offensive player has been limited to just two goals – and eight points – through 18 games.

4: Robin Lehner’s number of shutouts
Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent didn’t like it when Lehner took over the Vegas starting job early in the first round, but it’s hard to argue with the results. No other goalie has more than two shutouts in the 2020 playoffs.

5.21: Andre Burakovsky’s points per 60 minutes
Do the math on Burakovsky’s six goals and 14 points during 10:45 of average ice time in 15 playoff games, and nobody has been more productive per minute. Among players who played at least five playoff games, Burakovsky is also tied for first with Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in goals per 60 minutes at 2.23.

6: Nazem Kadri’s number of power-play goals
The Canucks’ Elias Pettersson is the only other player with more than three PP goals in the playoffs (he had four). Kadri also holds the top spot with five game-winners in the post-season.

7: Number of goals for defensemen Victor Hedman and Shea Theodore
Hedman and Theodore are the blueline linchpins for Tampa Bay and Vegas, respectively, and they’re leading the D-man playoff goal-scoring race with seven tallies apiece. Hedman had 11 goals in 66 regular-season games, while Theodore had 13 in 71 games.

16: Quinn Hughes’ point total
The Canucks defenseman overtook Colorado blueliner Cale Makar (15 points) at the end of Round 2 for the playoff scoring lead among rookies. Both of them have been eliminated, however, opening the door for Stars sniper Denis Gurianov (eight goals, 15 points) to be the most productive freshman of the 2020 playoffs.

22: Miro Heiskanen’s point total
Not only is Heiskanen leading all NHL defensemen in playoff points, he’s in the mix for the overall post-season scoring lead, period. The last D-man to do so was Brian Leetch with the Rangers in 1994.

32:40: Seth Jones’ average ice time
The Blue Jackets required overtime in four of their 10 playoff contests, including a five-OT marathon against Tampa Bay in which Jones logged an incredible 65:06. So, yes, his ice time is inflated by the extra periods of play. But that doesn’t lessen the heavy load that he shouldered for Columbus.

45.5: Connor McDavid’s shooting percentage
Nobody’s been more lethal than McDavid, who scored five goals on 11 shots in four games. The only thing that’s lacking is the sample size.

67: Alex Edler’s number of blocked shots
At an average of about four blocked shots per game for the 34-year-old veteran Canucks defender, that’s gonna leave a mark.

72: Shea Theodore’s number of shots
The Golden Knights’ golden D-man leads the post-season in shots on goal, with fellow Vegas defender Nate Schmidt ranking fourth overall with 60 shots.

90: Matt Martin’s number of hits
The Isles’ fourth-liner has been the most physical player in the post-season with 90 bodychecks and counting. But he’s been doing more than merely laying out opponents – Martin has five goals in 19 games after entering the post-season with one goal in 38 career playoff contests.