Ice Chips: Blues Not So Blue Edition
How great is it to have hockey back? You don’t realize how long and pointless the summer felt until you’re watching a few games a night. And then, you realize you stopped living the second Detroit hoisted that Cup. Or maybe I just don’t get enough sunlight.
Over in St. Louis, they have some hot fantasy action going on. Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya, and Brad Boyes each have points in their first six games. Tkachuk has seven goals and no assists, Kariya has one goal and nine assists, while Boyes has a more balanced five goals and four assists. And by the way, St. Louis has only lost twice in that stretch, which is equally impressive.
Boston’s Marc Savard, always a point-producing machine, is back to his old self after going pointless in his first two games. Since that bumpy start, he’s put up nine points (five goals and four assists) in just four games.
Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, after an excruciating slow start last season, is also hot, with nine points (seven goals and two assists) in his first six games.
Now that we have the good news out of the way, how about the bad news?
Over in Dallas, goalie Marty Turco is struggling. His save percentage is just .848 and goals against is a whopping 4.03. Do you think the Stars are starting to regret trading away goalie Mike Smith (now with Tampa Bay), who leads the league with a .943 save percentage?
Smith is the rare bright light for a Tampa team that doesn’t seem to be working at all. Perhaps most disappointing is rookie Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t gotten a point in his first six NHL games. And things don’t look good for the first overall draft pick. He’s not getting any minutes from coach Barry Melrose, and it’s kind of hard to learn the NHL game by watching.
Wasn’t this supposed to be the breakout year for Corey Perry in Anaheim? Well, Tuesday he managed just his second assist in seven games, to go along with a whopping zero goals. That -4 rating isn’t helping him from winding up on a couple of waiver wires in the early going, either.
The Week Ahead
- Friday, Atlanta plays Detroit in the seemingless endless parade of games, I like to call “Marian Hossa Plays an Ex-Team.” Eventually, it will be called “The NHL Regular Season Schedule.”
- Saturday, Ottawa plays the Leafs. And Ottawa gives thanks the NHL isn’t really considering a second NHL franchise for Toronto. Because the Senators’ self-esteem really couldn’t take that.
- Monday, the Rangers play the Islanders. Expect a lot of pushing and shoving. Hope that no one on the Isles breaks a hip.