This has been an unbelievable season in terms of goals being scored in the National Hockey League.
The average for this season has been just over six goals a game. Yes, that number should come down, but a lot of fans and pundits thought that it would already be going down, which is clearly not happening. Speaking of putting the puck in the net, there is one NHLer who is currently dominating the field. I know that a lot of you are probably thinking that it is future Hall of Famer and Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin, but believe it or not, he’s not the player I am talking about.
The player happens to be the Winnipeg Jets’ goal-scoring machine: Patrik Laine. The 20-year-old right winger is absolutely filling the net at an incredible rate right now and because of that, he is one of the reasons why the team finds themselves in third in the Western Conference after some uneven play.
As of this writing, Laine is first in the league with 21 goals. He is currently ahead of players like David Pastrnak (19), Jeff Skinner (19), Nathan MacKinnon (18), Brayden Point (18), Alex Ovechkin (18), and John Tavares.
If you’re keeping track of company, those are some exceptional players right there. It’s kind of amazing that he has scored my goals than Ovechkin at this point, but if Laine continues to play this way, he may end up winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer come the end of the season.
You could tell that Laine was starting to come around when it comes to scoring goals back on November 24th in a tilt against the St. Louis Blues. He went absolutely crazy in that game, scoring five goals and showing why that, when it comes to putting the puck in the net, he is one of the best in the league.
In Laine’s last six games, he has found the back of the net an incredible 13 times. In fact, those 13 goals account for all of his points in the last six games as he did not have any assists to go with them. There are a few reasons why Laine is having so much success to start the season. For starters, he is not afraid to shoot the puck.
Laine currently has 98 shots on goal in 24 games, which means he is averaging just over four shots per game. When you are shooting the puck that much, chances are that some of them will find the back of the net. For Laine, it happens to be 21, which means that he has scored on 21 percent of the shots he has taken this season.
Speaking of shots on net, Laine’s shot is incredible. He can beat goaltenders with a quick wrister or a big slap shot and he can pick the corners on any netminder.
Lastly, Laine plays with a lot of talented players around with him. With guys like Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers, Bryan Little, Kyle Connor, and several other talented players on the roster, there are many players who are capable of getting him the puck to put it in the net.
At just 20 years of age, Laine already has 101 career goals in just 179 games played. If you put his career assists total in there, he actually has 158 points. If Laine continues to put the puck in the net like this, the Jets are going to be even more dangerous than they are right now come playoff time.
*Photo: Toronto Star