Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slap Shots: Hockey Thru 2 Weeks

There are some surprises through the first 2 weeks of the new NHL season, from teams off to good starts to teams/players not performing up to their contracts.

Surprise team:

Atlanta (winless) - This team has way too much talent to struggle offensively as they have in Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov and Marian Hossa(injured, groin). Once Hossa comes back and proves he is 100 %, watch out. There is a young player in Darren Haydar, a perennial top 5 scorer in the AHL to watch.

Players (minus):

Scott Gomez/Chris Drury/B. Shanahan/Jaromir Jagr: 3 combined goals. The Rangers might have made a big mistake in throwing all that money at Drury and Gomez in the off-season. Gomez has never been a big goal scorer, and never will. He will score 10-15 a season. Drury is a player who will score 25-30, but will he ever create chemistry with Jagr? There are many possible ego issues there.

Jason Blake, TOR - no goals and only 1 assist, and a long fight against cancer upcoming. Will Toronto GM John Ferguson, Jr. ever live this signing down if he can't recover, although they say he can play through it. A small player, we will see how his game holds up throughout the treatments. All of us in the hockey world pass our prayers and well-wishes to him and his family in his battle.

Top 5 hot players of the week:

Paul Stastny, COL 10 pts and 5 goals building on a successful rookie season
Dany Heatley/Jason Spezza/Daniel Alfredsson, OTT - all 3 in top 5 of NHL in scoring
Martin Gerber, OTT - 5 wins in 6 games while Ray Emery rehabs from surgery

Top 3 slow starts
Slava Kozlov, 1-1-2 in 5 games
Marian Hossa, 1 goal in 2 games, hurt his groin
Brian Gionta, 1-1-2 in 5 games

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