NHL – October Was Good For Some, Bad For Others
Every season the names on the leader board change. Players emerge from nowhere to make names for themselves. Others who have been at the top have begun to fade. By the end of the year most of the good players return to form and the October sensations fade away. So far this year we once again have a long list of overachievers, underachievers and superstars in the making. Here’s who’s hot and who’s not out of the gates.
I have no choice but to begin with Phil Kessel. We all know he’s a great player but 21 points already is unbelievable. Don’t expect the pace to keep up, but it’s a career season in the making for certain. This rings true for most of the league’s top scorers thus far. It’s hard to put up points every night, but there are a few guys amongst the top 20 that are sitting where they are expected. Giroux, Kopitar, Backstrom, Skinner and the Sedin twins all belong at the top. I have to say that Jaromir Jagr’s 12 points in 12 games comes as a bit of a surprise to me but you can’t argue with pure talent.
Moving down the list there are plenty of names that stand out. Point per game paces from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Seguin. Edler. Letang, Campbell, Wideman and rookie Luke Adam are all very impressive. Dion Phaneuf is looking like he did in 07-08 and has been a key to the Leafs’ success as well. Sheldon Souray has really made a comeback in style, too. Eight points in eleven games, +8 and 27 PIM made him a real stud in fantasy pools this October.
There are a few keepers that have really been playing great. Congratulations to Jonathan Quick and his three straight shutouts. That is the first time a Los Angeles King goaltender has done that. Kari Lehtonen has eight wins so far and the stats that prove he earned them. Nikolai Khabibulin has showed us all he’s still got what it takes play in the NHL as a starting goaltender and Edmonton has benefited from his great play. In St. Louis Brian Elliot has been a surprise to me and deserves the time he’s played in the crease.
While many players have excelled so far this season there are plenty that need to pick up their skates. Alexander Semin has posted only six points and is -2. Parise’s comeback has been weak, but he could be rusty still. It’s not always easy to get your legs moving after being out for so long. Eric Staal is in my opinion one of the the biggest underachievers so far. Five points in 12 games is bad, but he is also -12 which is even worse. Carolina has been good despite a terrible showing from Staal, and Skinner is making him look even worse.
Backes, Visnovsky, Roy, Stewart, Subban, Leino, Zidlicky, Hamonic, Robidas, the list goes on. Some of Staal’s rivals include Tyler Ennis who has nopoints, Zetterberg, 4 points and a -6 and David Krejci with only 1 point and a -6. As for goaltending Bryzgalov and Luongo sit in the hot seat but Lou is always weak to begin the year. Both have the benefit of teams that can still win a game despite a bad night in the net. I’m sure we’ll see all these guys get into the game in the coming months. Oh yeah and Crosby is non-existant, what’s up with that?
…and that is the last word.