Montreal Canadiens: Cole Caufield Among NHL Leaders In Impressive Stat

Jan 25, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield
Jan 25, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens finished off the first half of their schedule with a mediocre record of 20-21-8. This gave them 48 points in the first 49 games of the season but puts them on pace to be well outside of the playoff picture when the regular season comes to a close.

That resulted in the team officially entering sellers mode over the All Star break as they shipped Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets for a first round pick. And a third round pick as well but only if the Jets win the Stanley Cup this season.

The news that a respected veteran has been traded can be a bit discouraging for the team. But some encouraging news for fans is that Cole Caufield is among the most clutch players in the entire National Hockey League.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News recently wrote about the players who score the most important points in the league. It is a fascinating idea, as many players score goals in blowout games, or find the back of the net late in a game where their team is trailing by three and it really doesn't matter.

So, who scores the most points that are truly impactful?

Campbell measured this by giving points to players who score in various situations. These situations include when a player gets a point on the opening goal of a game, any goal that puts a team ahead at any point in a game, any goal that pulls a team into a tie, any goal that is part of a two goal comeback, a game's winning goal but defined as the last goal of the game that put the winning team ahead, an overtime goal or a shootout winning goal.

Not surprisingly, players like Nikita Kucherov, David Pastrnak, Artemi Panarin, Sam Reinhart and Auston Matthews were in the top five. Matthews was actually in first, which isn't suprisingly considering how many big goals he scored.

One of the biggest surprises on the list was Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield. Though he ranks 74th in the league in points this season, he ranked in a tie for 16th in the league in Campbell's situational scoring leaders with 37.

Caufield is helped by his three overtime game winning goals, but also has a total of 15 points this season on goals that gave the Canadiens a lead. These are impressive numbers, showing Caufield has quite a clutch gene in him.

Considering the four players directly behind him on this list are Sidney Crosby, Quinn Hughes, Brad Marchand and Connor McDavid, I guess you could say Caufield is in elite company when it comes to scoring big goals.