I could say short notes, or I could say multiple long subjects. Doesn't matter, here goes.
- Dallas has quietly become the best defense in the league. Sergei Zubov, Phillipe Boucher, Darryl Sydor, and Stephane Robidas are all offensively inclined, while Jaroslav Modry and Trevor Daley are some of the teams best defensive players. The total defense includes Sergei Zubov, Phillipe Boucher, Darryl Sydor, Stephane Robidas, Jaroslav Modry, Trevor Daley, Jon Klemm, Niklas Grossman, and recent waiver pick-up Nolan Boumgartner. Can you say, New Jersey rivaled?
- Kristian Huselius is quickly living up to his potential as a leading scorer. He is currently ranked 4th on the Flames in scoring, behind only the Flames first forward line. He has reached career highs in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, power-play goals, short-handed goals, and shot %. He has been key for the Flames in dire situations, especially helping the Flames get a 7-2-2 stretch when Jarome Iginla was injured.
- At the beginning of this year, everyone thought Garth Snow would make the Islanders a total flop. I'll admit that I thought at least the first season would be disastrous. But Snow has turned around the Isles from a flop to fantastic. He has made several key deals, sending underachieving players Alexei Zhitnik and Mike York to Philadelphia for young guy Freddy Meyer and penalty-killing veteran randy Robitaille. Both trades freed up cap space while adding key players, but Snow wasn't done there. He dealt Russia-based prospect Denis Grebeshkov, expected to be a successful NHLer, to Edmonton for offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, in a way saying, I want to win now. And his Isles aren't idle, either. On a good winning streak as of today, they are tied for eighth in the NHL, over defending cup champs Carolina.
- Speaking of Zhitnik, he is so underachieving that he is now on his 3rd team this year. The Flyers dealt him to Atlanta for Braydon Coburn. This trade is perfect for each team, as Zhitnik has good playoff experience in the past with Buffalo, and Coburn is sure to be another great defenseman in the future. Philly wants the future, and Atlanta should make the playoffs this year.
- Sidney Crosby not only leads the NHL in scoring, but he is also the youngest to do so, and has a Gretzky-like lead in scoring, as the next highest player is Vincent Lecavlier, and Crosby has a 13-point lead on him. Last year, Joe Thornton beat Jaromir Jagr by 2 points. Crosby has also equaled the totals of Martin St. Louis' Art Ross winning year before the lockout.
- Here is another perfect trade. Curtis Joseph/Manny Legace- This would be a good trade because both players are coming off great years, each have performed well this year, but they are on losing teams. Legace was recently re-signed by the Blues, but Joseph is up for grabs once a good offer is made.
- Another player in the Huselius mold would be Ales Hemsky. Hemsky is another relatively young player who has high expectations as a top scorer. The only difference between Hemsky and Huselius is that last year was Hemsky's only real good year, but Huselius has been consistent in his point totals. Hemsky was rated as a 60-point scorer, but he has only ever reached that total last year. It is still possible this year, but it wouldn't be as impressive. Huselius was rated as a 50-point scorer, and while he has only reached that total this year, he was almost always in the 40-point range otherwise. Hemsky is at 49 points, but with only 9 goals, it hasn't helped the Oilers much. Huselius is at 60 points, and his 28 goals are a career high and he should pass 35 if he stays healthy.
That's it for today, I might post tomorrow.