3.17.2007

Doing what I do best

And that is keeping my hockey coverage mostly on the positive side. I won't talk about how disappointing the Rangers, Leafs, and Flyers have been. I'm going to stay on the bright side. How about some power-play specialists.

- Teemu Selanne. Despite being nearly 37, the 'Finnish Flash' has been a modern Gordie Howe. Selanne was brought to the Ducks last year thinking that he would be a 20-goal scorer and a veteran leader. Instead, Selanne has scored at least 40 goals in each of the past two seasons. This year, he has 43 goals, and 23 of them have come on the power-play. He also has 19 power-play assists, proving he isn't just about scoring.

- Dion Phaneuf. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, Phanuef has slightly faded into the background after being touted as one of the 'big three' rookies last year. Despite his small(er) coverage, Phaneuf is still one of the Flames' best defenseman. After scoring 20 goals and 49 points last year, he could reach that again. He has 17 goals, including 14 on the power-play, compared to last year's 20 goals with 16 on the PP. He also has 13 PP assists out of 27, for a total of 44 points and 27 power-play points.

- Sheldon Souray. Another D-man with a big shot, Souray is second in the league for power-play goals. The Canadiens defenseman is set to be a UFA this summer, and tons of teams will be after him. His overall stats, 25 goals and 59 points, are outstanding, but the defenseman is especially key on the power-play. He has 17 PP goals, and 26 PP assists for 43 PP points.

- Sidney Crosby. Honestly, it would be a crime to not include Sid the Kid in this category. Despite his low power-play goals total (10), he has instead given players such as Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Mark Recchi, Michel Oullet, and Jordan Staal plenty of power-play opportunities. He has 42 power-play assists to lead the league. His PP points total of 52 also leads the league.
That's all that I will list for now, more to come later.
NOTES:
- Guess who is in second place on the NJ Devils in scoring. Brian Gionta? Scott Gomez? Maybe youngster Zach Parise? None of the above. Strong defensive veteran Jamie Langenbrunner has now posted a career high 56 points, has played in all 71 games, and counting. Consider that before the Devils acquired him from the Dallas Stars, Langenbrunner was a 35-45 point scorer who had one year of 20 goals and 50 points. Since joining the Devils, however, Langenbrunner has had no lower than 26 points in an injury filled year. Other than that year, he has had around 54 points a season, and has been one of the stronger defensive forwards on the team.
- Sure, you talk about guys like P. J. Axelsson and Petteri Nummelin as being the most underrated, but where is all the attention David Vyborny needs to get? Vyborny is well on his way to his third season as leading scorer of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he came in second the year that Rick Nash had his Rocket Richard season. He has averaged around 40-45 points in his career, and appears to be the main setup man for Nash.
That's all today!

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