Although it's technically past the midway point of the season, unless Clarkson has a long playoff run, it's a good time to see where Clarkson has improved from last year and what areas are similar.
The Golden Knights (9-9-4 overall, 3-4-2 ECAC Hockey) have played 22 games and have 14 games remaining in the regular season and are assured of playing at least two playoff games.
Clarkson is actually behind last year's pace at this same stage of the season. Last season Clarkson was 11-9-2 after 22 games and was 5-3-1 after playing nine conference games. But last year's team had a bad finish, going 4-10 overall and 4-9 in conference play down the stretch.
Oddly, Clarkson's offense has remained the same this season. Last year's squad averaged 2.72 goals-per game and right now Clarkson is also averaging 2.72 goals.
A dramatic improvement has come on the defensive end. Clarkson gave up 3.25 goals last year and is allowing only 2.36 this season. The team save percentage was .904 last year and is .925 this season. Clarkson had just one shutout a year ago but already has five this season.
Clarkson is about the same when it comes to penalties. Last year's squad averaged 18.3 per game and this year the number is 19.2
The power play, however, has been a big improvement. Clarkson converted on only 11.8 percent of its chances last year but this year the team is scoring 17.1 percent of the time. The Golden Knights have already matched last year's power-play total of 18 goals.
The penalty kill remains the same. Clarkson killed 84.5 percent a year ago and stands at 84.2 right now.
The Golden Knights scored 6 shorthanded goals last year and allowed four. This year the team has two shorthanded goals and has allowed three.
Last year's team and this year's have both had a tendency to win when they get an early lead, but struggle otherwise.
Last year Clarkson was 12-4-2 if it scored first and 3-15 when it didn't. This year the Golden Knights are 8-1-1 with a first goal and 1-8-3 if the opposition scores first.
Last year when Clarkson led after two periods it was 10-1-1, but 5-18-1 when it did not. So far this year the Golden Knights are 9-0-2 when leading after two and 0-9-2 if tied or behind.
Finally, one area Clarkson has improved on this year is playing more with the lead. Last year Clarkson led just 29.3 percent of the time and trailed 37.1 percent. So far this season Clarkson has led 39.4 percent of the time and trailed just 27.5 percent.