Somewhat surprisingly, when we look back at the 2005-06 season, only 4.8% of non-empty net, non-penalty shot goals were scored without an assist. In terms of overall results, Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes led the league with 6 such markers:
|Eric Staal, CAR||43||6||13.9%|
|Antii Laaksonen, COL||16||5||31.3%|
|Mike Fisher, OTT||22||5||22.7%|
|Brian Gionta, NJD||47||5||10.6%|
|Alexander Ovechkin, WSH||52||5||9.6%|
|Brian Rolston, MIN||32||4||12.5%|
At the opposite end of that spectrum, we find that out of the top 25 goal scorers from last year, there were four players who scored zero unassisted goals: Ottawa's Dany Heatley, Anaheim's Andy McDonald, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, and Edmonton's Ryan Smyth.
And now for the team-by-team results...
|Detroit Red Wings||291||16||5.50%|
|New York Rangers||237||15||6.33%|
|San Jose Sharks||258||12||4.65%|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||211||12||5.69%|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||250||11||4.40%|
|New Jersey Devils||228||11||4.82%|
|New York Islanders||216||9||4.17%|
|St. Louis Blues||189||8||4.23%|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||237||8||3.38%|
|Los Angeles Kings||236||4||1.69%|
The real outliers here are Washington, which scored a much higher portion of their goals unassisted than any other team in the league, while on the bottom end you have Phoenix and L.A., which were the only two teams scoring less than 3% of their goals unassisted.
As for this year, we have three players so far with 3 Solo Goals each: Atlanta's Marian Hossa, Toronto's Mats Sundin, and (what is it about this family?) Pittsburgh's other rookie sensation, Jordan Staal.
And as to our team-by-team numbers, the Capitals are again leading the way...
|Toronto Maple Leafs||118||9||7.63%|
|Detroit Red Wings||101||8||7.92%|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||113||5||4.42%|
|New York Rangers||107||5||4.67%|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||90||4||4.44%|
|New York Islanders||103||4||3.88%|
|San Jose Sharks||107||3||2.80%|
|Los Angeles Kings||100||2||2.00%|
|St. Louis Blues||80||2||2.50%|
|New Jersey Devils||91||1||1.10%|
Across the league this year, 4.6% of non-empty net, non-penalty shot goals are solo efforts, quote close to last year's 4.8% figure. As to major moves by various teams, the Philadelphia Flyers are on a pace to score only about a third as many solo goals as last season, whereas the Buffalo Sabres have already exceeded last year's total and should score more than 20 by season's end (but then again, what kind of goals aren't they scoring these days?).
So if your favorite team's playmaker gets injured this year, take a look above and see what propects there are for players to create their own offensive chances. In some cases, there may be enough offensive skill around to make up for the loss...