5 interesting stats from 1st half of the season

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TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his second goal of the game against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Amalie Arena on December 28, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.
Mike Carlson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With Saturday's games in the books we are officially halfway through the 2017-18 season.

The biggest story of the year has been the incredible play of both the Vegas Golden Knights and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Fans have also been spoiled by some incredible performances such as that by Nikita Kucherov, who is on pace to finish with the highest point total since Sidney Crosby tallied 120 during the 2006-07 season.

It's been an thrilling first three months of the season. So with that here are five other interesting stats as pointed out from NHL Public Relations from the first half of the season:

1. Vegas' points percentage at the midway point rivals all expansion teams in the big-four sports leagues

With a record of 28-10-2 through their first 40 games, the Golden Knights have put together a point percentage of .725, the highest mark among any NHL expansion club at the midway point of a season since the Philadelphia Flyers mark of .568 during the 1967-68 campaign.

The mark is also higher than any in the NBA since the 1961-62 season, in MLB since 1961, and the NFL/AFL since 1960.

Here are the teams that have come closest during that span:

League Year Team Points Percentage at Midway Point
NBA 1976-77 Denver Nuggets .707
MLB 1961 Washington Senators .444
NFL/AFL 1995 Carolina Panthers .375

2. Six players have reached the 50-point plateau at the midpoint for first time in a decade

Half-way through the season six players (Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Nathan MacKinnon, Claude Giroux, Josh Bailey, and John Tavares) have hit the half-century mark. This is the first time that many players have accomplished the feat since 10 did so during the 2007-08 season.

Of the six, four are on pace to hit 100 points and if all - or at least two of the four - can keep that pace up it would be the first time since the 2009-10 season that multiple players have eclipsed 100 points.

3. Twenty-four players are averaging a point per game

Further to the impressive starts by players at the top of the scoring race, 24 players are averaging at least a point per game (with a minimum of 20 games played).

If this pace keeps up it would be the largest crop of players to finish with at least a point per game since the 2006-07 season when 32 players achieved the feat.

4. Ovechkin on pace to match record for most seasons as the leader in goals

With 26 goals on the season, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is currently neck-and-neck with fellow Russian Kucherov for the league-lead in goals.

If Ovechkin can hang on to that lead it would mark the seventh time in his career that he has done so, which would tie him with Bobby Hull for the most in NHL history.

Meanwhile, Ovechkin is just four goals away from hitting the 30-goal mark for the 13th time in his career. Only nine other players in league history have matched that feat.

5. Lightning could become second team in 81 years to lead league in points after missing playoffs in previous season

Barring a sudden drop in play or a catastrophic injury, the Lightning should capture the Presidents' Trophy this season with the best record in the league.

If they were to do so they would be just the second team in 81 years to lead the league in points after missing the playoffs the previous season, joining the 1993-94 New York Rangers who went on to capture their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history that season.

There's still a lot of hockey to be played, but it's worth noting the Lightning have paced the league in points since Nov. 28.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)