Each week we take a look at three players that are on fire, the best sound bite from the previous week, our must-see highlight of the weekend, and which upcoming game NHL fans should circle on their calendar.
Three to See
1. Alex Chiasson, Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars’ 23-year-old rookie Alex Chiasson is off to quite the start in his NHL career.
In just nine NHL games, Chiasson already has eight goals. In two games this season, Chiasson has two goals, one of them a game-winner against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
This week, Chiasson and the Stars will take on the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
2. Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs
Going into this season, everyone in the hockey world knew that there would be a battle for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ crease between James Reimer and newcomer Jonathan Bernier.
Three games into the season, it appears that Bernier is winning that battle. In two games, Bernier has two wins (one in relief on Saturday night over the Ottawa Senators) and has posted a 0.64 goals against average and a .979 save percentage.
It will be interesting to see which goaltender Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle goes with in games against the Minnesota Wild, Carolina Hurricanes, and Chicago Blackhawks.
3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals all-world scorer Alex Ovechkin has come into this season by picking up where he left off last year.
Through his team’s first three games, Ovechkin has four goals and two assists for six points. Three of his four goals have come on the power play and not only that, but he has also already fired 24 shots on goal.
This week, Ovechkin and the Capitals will take on the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Streak of the Week
Believe it or not, the streak of the week belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
This past week, the Leafs won their first three games of the regular season. With wins over the likes of the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators, the team finds themselves atop the Atlantic Division.
Obviously, there is still a ton of hockey left to be played but if you are a fan of the blue and white, you have to be happy with the team’s quick start.
“What (Bruce) Boudreau said was all lies,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said in response to Anaheim Ducks’ head coach Bruce Boudreau’s claim that Roy was yapping at his players. “I’m certainly not going to get too involved in this one, but when you talk about classless – when you’re lying, this is classless. This is the league policy and I understand it now, but at the same time I will always defend my players. Things happen. This is the way I dealt with this one. Would I deal with it differently next time? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.”
An Original Six rivalry was renewed this weekend when the Detroit Red Wings took on the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on Saturday night.
For the first time since the Original Six era, the two teams are in the same division and will be supplying hockey fans with big hits, saves, goals, and everything a hockey fan could want for many years to come.
The Bruins won the first meeting by a score of 4-1 thanks to a surging power play and solid goaltending from Tuukka Rask.
Save the Date
Tuesday, October 8, 2013: New Jersey Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks
This tilt will mark the first time that the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks meet since the trade that changed both club’s goaltending situations.
Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo is the outright starter for his team. After wondering or not if he would be in Vancouver this season, the trading of Schneider put Luongo back in the driver’s seat of the Canucks’ crease.
On the other coast, the Devils’ now have both Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur. It is not clear yet just how many games both will play but there is no doubt that Schneider is the future when it comes to the Devils’ crease.
– In his first game as an NHL head coach for the Avalanche, Patrick Roy was fined $10,000 for his outburst against the Ducks and their head coach Bruce Boudreau. Roy was known for doing stuff like this in juniors so we doubt that is the last of it in the NHL.
– It is going to be a long year in Buffalo for the Sabres. The teams dropped their first three games of the season and in those three games, have been outscored 7-2.
– While the Pittsburgh Penguins are 2-0 this season, it is hard to believe that Evgeni Malkin has yet to score a goal. One has to figure that will change this week in games against the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
– In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues look like they are contenders this season. The team is 2-0, has scored 11 goals, has allowed just two goals and has a healthy Jaroslav Halak in goal. It cannot get much better than that if you are a Blues’ fan.