Another week of NHL action gave another slew of gunners a chance to step up the scoring race. Most notably is another San Jose Shark in Joe Pavelski. Despite being relegated to third line center duty, Pavelski finds himself second in scoring as he has recorded half of those points on the power-play. A huge advantage in the real games to play a player of Pavelski’s ilk on the third line, expect little Joe to continue racking up the points in the Sharks’ high octane offence.
- Looks like Kyle Okposo is at the beginning of his long awaited breakout season on the top line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. A few 2 point efforts helped give him 8 points on the year, to make him a point-a-game player so far. His obscene shooting percentage of 17.6% can’t be sustainable, but he will get plenty of chances to keep it up on the Island.
- Brought in to man the top line, Mike Ribeiro got off to a slow start but is now riding a 6 game point scoring streak in the desert. Now on his fourth team, Ribeiro seems to always find a way to get it done despite changing line-mates and team situations. Plenty of assists and a 70 point campaign are in store for the Coyotes’ best offensive weapon.
- An under-the-radar signing by the Calgary Flames, Jiri Hudler is paying early dividends as he has recorded a point in every game this season, with 9 points in 7 games so far. Playing with super youngsters Sven Baertschi and Sean Monahan, Hudler is going to record a career year even if he doesn’t keep up this pace.
- Staking an early claim on Team Canada’s crease, Carey Price has a 2.02 GAA and 0.940 save % through 7 games so far and looks to have solved what troubled him late last season. He may not yet have the big game experience of his counterparts, but Price could make it tough for the Team Canada brass to leave him off the team if he continues this steady play.
- When Niklas Backstrom went down with a knee injury early, Josh Harding stepped in for the Minnesota Wild and has recorded an obscene 1.11 GAA and 0.948 save % in 5 starts. Backstrom is due back soon, but Harding may own the crease for now as he hasn’t recorded a save % below 0.930 yet. A must own as a Backstrom handcuff, Harding may turn out to be one of the best free agent pick ups of the year.
- On a struggling Edmonton Oilers team, Jordan Eberle has been one of the lone bright spots as he is consistently creating chances with his skating, hockey sense, and sick hands. With 8 points in 9 games, Ebs has regained his 2011 form despite playing with different line-mates seemingly every shift.
- One of the most under-rated and under-appreciated forwards in the league, Teddy Purcell continues to be a steady contributor for the Tampa Bay Lightning with 4 goals and 4 assists in 8 games this year. It helps to be on the top power play unit with Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis, but don’t get it confused, the Newfoundland native has plenty of game on his own.
- Labelled a risk by this writer, Pascal Dupuis is proving that playing with the best player in the world, Sidney Crosby, all but ensures healthy point production. With 7 assists and 9 points in 8 games, Dupuis has recorded a point in every game this year except for one. If you need some depth scoring, go and get Dupuis as he will be by Sid’s side all season.
- Daniel Alfredsson’s dream of playing next to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg has come true. With a pair of 3 assist games, Alfredsson is back in point per game territory, a feeling he hasn’t experienced since 2009. Alfredsson has plenty of ability to make a difference, and playing with two uber talents only helps his situation.
- On a final note, it really is too bad that goal Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith scored with 0.1 seconds left doesn’t count in fantasy. Anyone want to start a goalie only scoring pool? I imagine Mike Smith will go first overall in that one.
For Hockeyland Canada,