Puck Sight Oct 31

There’s trouble and discention in the ranks of the Dallas Stars… Team USA has some new candidates to consider… Some rookies have impressed this season… and more diving into the stats stories of the week.Ken Hitchcok certainly has a way with people. Benoit Hogue was a healthy scratch on Sunday when the Stars were in New York to play the Islanders. Hogue, who still lives in the area in the offseason, had near 40 guests in the stands to watch him play… it was his birthday. Hogue wants out of Dallas.

Jyrki Lumme has returned to Finland to spend some time with his family who refused to move back to the States after the events of September. The initial media reports on the subject stated that this was an amicable agreement and Lumme was granted a leave of absence. this morning, the story has changed to Lumme being suspended by the team without pay. Aparently Lumme has responded with trade demands to either the Toronto Maple Leafs or to his former team, the Vancouver Canucks. This is an unusual move from a veteran. Most veterans who demand trades say they would prefer going to a stanley cup contender, which clearly, neither the Leafs nor Canucks resemble.

There’s only three forward spots available in Team USA’s roster. Shouldn’t one of them now have Mark Parrish’s name pencilled into it? The league’s goal scoring leader is absolutely on fire, scoring at a goal per game pace through the first month of the season. Another former dark horse who has gained some attention is Boston’s Brian Rolston who has 12 points in as many games thus far. What about Brian Boucher? He’s been much better than St. Louis’ Brent Johnson and might earn a spot as the third stringer behind Dunham and Richter.

Some high profile rookies flounder their first couple of seasons in the NHL while others seem to make an impact right away. I think you can put Atlanta’s Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk into the latter category. Even under the immense pressure of being “franchise players”, the pair have been solid and playing more than impressively. Another to add to the list is Florida’s Kristian Huselius. His two goals last night give him 7 on the year and 9 points.

One goal, that’s all he’s got so far. How long until Paul Kariya says “enough is enough, get me the hell out of Anaheim!”? The mightiest Mighty Duck can’t do it alone, for his sake I hope someone rescues him before too long.

Talk about a balanced offence, Buffalo has ten players who lead with either 5 or 6 points. It ain’t much, but it IS balanced.

Much is being made of the fact that Jarome Iginla’s name isn’t on the NHL Allstar game ballots. Problem is, the ballots are originally made before the season starts, and nobody…NOBODY expected Iginla to lead the league in points. It’s the first time a Flame has been the league’s highest scorer in over 20 years!

Columbus needs to do something soon or else it will be a long winter in Ohio. One of their two leading scorers is Lyle Odelein. Ron Tugnutt has just 1 win in 7 games. The BJ’s have lost 5 straight and have only 1 win in their first 12 games on the year.

Felix Potvin has only 3 wins in the 12 games he’s appeared in. Last night he gave up 4 goals on 21 shots before being replace by Jamie Storr after two periods. The Kings lost their 4th in a row, this time in Chicago 5-1.

On the upswing, the New Jersey Devils have won 5 straight and appear to have turned things around afterall. Martin Brodeur has lowered his GAA to 2.75 when earlier it had peaked at 4.50!

A similar story in Toronto, Curtis Joseph, aided by two shutouts, has regained control of his stats. He now boasts a 2.48 GAA.

Did my eyes deceive me or did I see Flyer rookie, Pavel Brendl, score on Caps’ goalie, Olaf Kolzig, with a lazy backhand from near center? The worst goal in recent memory came last night in Philly’s shutout win against Washington.

How much bad luck can a team have? Pittsburgh thinks they have it rough with injuries, Montreal has continued their annual man-games lost parade once again. How much can be expected from the Habs now when they’re relying on their third string goaltender? Last night Montreal played their fifth stringer! Olivier Michaud became the youngest Canadiens goaltender in history yesterday when he played the third period. The 18 year old stopped all 14 shots he faced. The Canadiens had to call him up from his junior team because their fourth stringer, Vadim Tarasov, is nursing a groin injury.

Vancouver has needed someone to stand up and attempt to fill the holes left by the injury to Andrew Cassels and by Bertuzzi’s suspension. Luckily for them, Brendan Morrison has done just that and leads the team is scoring. Unfortunately, the Canucks have the worst goaltending in the league with a collective save percentage of .872

Guy Flaming