1. Negating a disadvantage
Playing aggressively has resulted in the Anaheim Ducks being shorthanded an NHL-high 845 times over the past three seasons. The Ducks have spent 1,453:32 on the penalty kill and 1,177:11 on the power play for a difference of minus-276:21, first in the NHL. But in that span, the Ducks have outscored opponents 141-126 on the power play.
The key has been the penalty kill, which has led the NHL in the past three seasons combined (85.1 percent). It's been led by Ryan Kesler, who ranks fourth among forwards with 538:16 killing penalties and whose average of 2:38 per game ranks third among the 517 forwards to play at least 50 games. Kesler was limited to 44 games last season after having hip surgery June 8, 2017, and his status for this season is in question.
2. Primary playmaker
Forward Ryan Getzlaf is fourth in the NHL with 293 assists, and first with 193 primary assists, since 2012-13. He ranked second or tied for second in primary assists three of the past six seasons.
Getzlaf had 34 primary assists in 56 games last season. That works out to 50 over 82 games. Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler led the NHL with 48 primary assists in 81 games.
3. Young, solid goaltending
John Gibson's .924 save percentage among the 78 goalies to play at least 20 games combined over the past three seasons is second to Arizona Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta (.925).
Of the 1,872 shots Gibson faced in 2017-18, he allowed 139 goals. Based on the NHL average shooting percentage of just under 8.8 percent last season, the average goalie would have allowed 162 goals on 1,872 shots. That difference of 23.0 goals saved above average ranked third behind Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators (25.2) and Raanta (23.1).
Of goalies to play at least 50 games by their 25th birthday, the only one with a higher NHL career save percentage than Gibson in the salary cap era is Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins (.926).