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First NHL Goals This Season So Far

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DENVER CO - JANUARY 10:  Jan Mursak #39 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his first period goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 10 2011 in Denver Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER CO - JANUARY 10: Jan Mursak #39 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his first period goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 10 2011 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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I'm going to do these, I assure you.  It might take a while to do all of them, and some of them might be pretty low on information, but they'll be making a comeback in the next day or two in full force.  

I figured it might be interesting to look at a simple list of all the first goals scored so far this year, which teams have the most, and the rate at which they occur.  Perhaps I'm a bit naively surprised at the distribution of them so far...  I figured they would slow down a bit, but that hasn't really happened.

# Player Date Team Against Nat.
1 Jordan Eberle Oct 7 Oilers Flames Ca_medium
2 Derek Stepan Oct 9 Rangers Sabres Us_medium
3 Tyler Seguin Oct 10 Bruins Coyotes Ca_medium
4 Nick Leddy Oct 11 Blackhawks Sabres Us_medium
5 Nino Niederreiter Oct 13 Islanders Capitals Ch_medium
6 Eric Tangradi Oct 15 Penguins Islanders Us_medium
7 Matt Taormina Oct 15 Devils Avalanche Us_medium
8 Jordan Caron Oct 16 Bruins Devils Ca_medium
9 Magnus Paajarvi Oct 16 Oilers Flames Se_medium
10 Cam Fowler Oct 17 Ducks Coyotes Us_medium
11 Marcus Johansson Oct 19 Capitals Bruins Se_medium
12 Jeff Skinner Oct 20 Hurricanes Kings Ca_medium
13 Andrei Loktionov Oct 20 Kings Hurricanes Ru_medium
14 John McCarthy Oct 23 Sharks Oilers Us_medium
15 Kyle Wilson Oct 25 Blue Jackets Flyers Ca_medium
16 Dana Tyrell Oct 27 Lightning Penguins Ca_medium
17 Taylor Hall Oct 28 Oilers Blue Jackets Ca_medium
18 Matt Martin Oct 29 Islanders Canadiens Ca_medium
19 Alex Burmistrov Oct 29 Thrashers Sabres Ru_medium
20 David Liffiton Oct 30 Avalanche Blue Jackets Ca_medium

21 Mattias Ritola Oct 30 Lightning  Coyotes Se_medium
22 Brad Marchand Nov 3 Bruins Sabres Ca_medium
23 Jon Matsumoto Nov 3 Hurricanes Islanders Ca_medium
24 Bradley Mills Nov 3 Devils Blackhawks Ca_medium
25 Kyle Palmieri Nov 3 Ducks Lightning Us_medium
26 David Van Der Gulik Nov 4 Avalanche Canucks Ca_medium
27 Phillippe Dupuis Nov 6 Avalanche Stars Ca_medium
28 Theo Peckham Nov 11 Oilers Red Wings Ca_medium
29 Mario Bliznak Nov 11 Canucks Senators Sk_medium
30 Alexander Vasyunov Nov 12 Devils Oilers Ru_medium
31 Mattias Tendenby Nov 12 Devils Oilers Se_medium
32 Deryk Engelland Nov 12 Penguins Lightning Ca_medium
33 Greg Mauldin Nov 12 Avalanche Blue Jackets Us_medium
34 Kevin Shattenkirk Nov 17 Avalanche Sharks Us_medium
35 Mike Moore Nov 17 Sharks Avalanche Ca_medium
36 Alec Martinez Nov 24 Kings Canadiens Us_medium
37 Brandon McMillan Nov 27 Ducks Coyotes Ca_medium
38 Justin Braun Dec 2 Sharks Senators Us_medium
39 Luke Adam Dec 7 Sabres Bruins Ca_medium
40 Johan Harju Dec 7 Lightning Flames Se_medium
41 Jeremy Morin Dec 8 Blackhawks Stars Us_medium
42 Michael Sauer Dec 9 Rangers Senators Us_medium
43 Kyle Clifford Dec 9 Kings Flames Ca_medium
44 Nick Spaling Dec 13 Predators Islanders Ca_medium
45 Derek Joslin Dec 13 Sharks Stars Ca_medium
46 Mark Fayne Dec 15 Devils Coyotes Us_medium
47 Evgeny Dadonov Dec 15 Panthers Hurricanes Ru_medium
48 Tommy Sestito Dec 15 Blue Jackets Canucks Us_medium
49 Linus Omark Dec 16 Oilers Blue Jackets Se_medium
50 Aaron Volpatti Dec 20 Canucks Blues Ca_medium
51 Andrew Gordon Dec 21 Capitals Devils Ca_medium
52 Ben Lovejoy Dec 22 Penguins Panthers Us_medium
53 Ryan O`Marra Dec 26 Oilers Canucks Ca_medium
54 Steven Kampfer Dec 28 Bruins Lightning Us_medium
55 Mike Weber Dec 28 Sabres Oilers Us_medium
56 Luca Sbisa Dec 28 Ducks Coyotes Ch_medium
57 Brett MacLean Dec 29 Coyotes Kings Ca_medium
58 Tomas Tatar Dec 31 Red Wings Islanders Sk_medium
59 Daryl Boyce Jan 1 Maple Leafs Senators Ca_medium
60 Zac Dalpe Jan 1 Hurricanes Devils Ca_medium
61 Alexandre Bolduc Jan 2 Canucks Avalanche Ca_medium
62 Clayton Stoner Jan 4 Wild Devils Ca_medium
63 Mats Zuccarello Jan 5 Rangers Hurricanes No_medium
64 Patrice Cormier Jan 7 Thrashers Maple Leafs Ca_medium
65 Matt Calvert Jan 8 Blue Jackets Kings Ca_medium
66 Jan Mursak Jan 10 Red Wings Avalanche Si_medium
67 David Desharnais Jan 12 Canadiens Penguins Ca_medium
68 Ryan Reaves Jan 12 Blues Ducks Ca_medium
69 Trevor Gillies Jan 13 Islanders Senators Ca_medium
70 Vladamir Zharkov Jan 17 Devils Islanders Ru_medium
71 Oilver Ekman-Larsson Jan 17 Coyotes Sharks Se_medium
72 Sergei Shirokov Jan 18 Canucks Avalanche Ru_medium

Breakdown by nation:  Canada - 35; USA - 18; Sweden - 7; Russia - 6; Switzerland - 2; Slovakia - 2; Norway - 1; Slovenia - 1.

Breakdown by month:  October - 21; November - 16; December - 20; January - 14 (in 20 days).

Teams with most First NHL Goals forEdmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils (6 each), Colorado Avalanche (5). 

Teams with most First NHL Goals againstPhoenix Coyotes (6), Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators (5 each).

Teams with no First NHL Goals forCalgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers.

The country breakdown reflects the reality of today's NHL:  most of the rookies coming up are North American, with Swedes and Russians leading the European pack.  That might surprise some people, but chances are if a Russian skater has been signed, he's close to playing at the NHL level.  Five of the Russians spent some time in the AHL this year, with only Alex Burmistrov having stuck full-time at the NHL level.  No Czechs have scored their first NHL goal, but their only hope is either for a goalie to score, or the sparingly used Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl.  The Finns might have to wait for the call-up of a player like Oskar Osala or Ilari Filppula for this year. 

The pace of goals definitely surprised me, but I suppose it makes sense.  Most First NHL Goals are scored by AHL call-ups, as most 'rookies' that crack opening day rosters had an audition with the team the year before, and may have gotten their first NHL goal already.  The Devils, who have had a lot of injuries in addition to being a terrible team, have been forced to use players without much NHL experience, so they lead the way along with the Oilers, who had a number of players on their roster that hadn't played a NHL game before.

The AHL is even more North American than the NHL is, so expect even a greater skew towards North American first time goal scorers as the season rolls on.  Although it might be noteworthy that we could easily have two Norwegian first time goal scorers without any Finnish first timers, as Colorado blueliner Jonas Holos is currently awaiting his breakthrough goal.  And although it may be a little to point out, good on tiny Slovenia for producing their second ever NHL player, Jan Mursak of the Detroit Red Wings.

EDIT:  Added Andrew Gordon; did I miss anyone else?