• You have probably heard by now, but if you haven't, Ryane Clowe is good. With Jonathan Cheechoo injured and struggling to score goals (four), and Milan Michalek in a similar goal-scoring funk (three goals), Clowe has powered his way to a team-leading nine goals for the Sharks. As if that wasn't good enough news there is this; Clowe has scored all nine of goals in his last 10 games.
• If you want hot, there is no one on the planet who is hotter than Canucks keeper Roberto Luongo,who has quite the start to the season. Besides being the first goalie named captain since Bill Durnan in 1947, Luongo has been masterful with a league-best five shutouts on the season. As great as that sounds, he's actually been even better with four of the shutouts coming in his last six starts and three of those shutouts coming in his last three games (he is up to 201:08 minutes without allowing a goal). As unbelievable as that stretch is, he is nowhere near the NHL shutout record. Brian Boucher, currently of the Sharks, recorded five-straight shutouts while a member of the Coyotes in 2003-04 (he allowed just one goal in the sixth game). His record shutout streak spans 332:01. Ironically, Boucher bettered the former record of almost 310 minutes held by, you guessed it, Bill Durnan (set in 1949).
• Speaking of Boucher, he has seen more time in net as Evgeni Nabokov attempts to overcome a left leg injury (he could be back later this week). Boucher is 3-1 with a 1.00 GAA thanks to two shutouts this season, and in nine games since he became a Shark last year Boucher has allowed more than two goals only twice.
• Alexander Ovechkin finally scored a goal in his last game to break a career worst spell of nine games without a goal. After averaging 54 goals his first three seasons we feel pretty confident he will better his current pace of about 20 goals. Pity the goalies who feel his wrath.
• Zdeno Chara he has just four points in 14 games not to mention just two in his last 11 contests. He had shoulder surgery in the off-season, but it's still a shock to see him struggle so badly after averaging 47 points his first two seasons in Beantown. Almost as disappointing is his total of just 12 PIM, with just six in his last 12 games, after 7-straight 100-PIM seasons.
• Marty Turco is off to the worst start of his career with a 4-6-2 record, .858 save percentage and a 3.93 GAA. In 12 starts this season he has allowed five or more goals five times, and seven times he has had a single game save percentage of worse than .825. That's about as ugly as it could possibly get for a guy who owns a 2.20 GAA and .911 save percentage in his career.
• Ethan Moreau is off to a solid start on offense with four goals and nine points in 15 games for the Oilers (he also has 27 PIM). As a result of his solid play he has been elevated to the top line in Edmonton, where he will skate with Ales Hemsky and SamGagner. Moreau is a must add in deeps leagues at the moment while the value of Dustin Penner dips with the news that he will skate with the third line.
• Lighting defender Steve Eminger has been elevated to the Bolts' first power-play unit, due in part, because of his right handed shot from the point. Plus, with Matt Carle no longer in town, the Lightning need a defender to step up and run the point. If you're looking to take a shot on the backend, Eminger could be your guy, though it should be pointed out that he has scored just five points in his last 34 games dating back to the start of last season (his career best point total is 18 from '05-06 when he was a member of the Caps).
• Sticking in Tampa, rookie Steve Stamkos has failed to impress for much of the early season, and as a result he is expected to start losing his power-play time to Radim Vrbata. Stamkos has just four points in 14 games for the season, with two points in the power-play, once again proving that just because you are a talented player doesn't mean you can simply step on the ice and have success as a youngster. While Vrbata's value takes a boost with this news, anything at this point would likely cause the Czech born wingers' value to go up considering that has hasn't scored a goal, and has just one assist, in eight games this season, just a year after he scored 27 times and produced 56 points for the Coyotes,
• Brent Johnson continues to push offseason acquisition Jose Theodore for playing time. While Theodore continues to flop around the crease barely stopping most shots (3.44 GAA, .877 save percentage), Johnson owns a 2.10 GAA and .931 save percentage in his seven appearances. In fact, he has won his last three starts and owns a 1.72 GAA in his four November starts. It might only be a matter of time before he supplants Theodore, so if you haven't already, scramble to the waiver-wire and grab Johnson if he is still there.
• The Oilers continue to hold with three goalies on their roster. The original plan seemed to be for the team to go with Mathieu Garon as the starter, for the organization to showcase Dwayne Roloson for a trade, and then to go with rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers as the backup. Well, a month into the season and that position might need to be revisited. Garon has the worst numbers of the group (.881 save percentage, 3.68 GAA) after a hot start, and the ancient Roloson, who is 39, has been pretty darn solid (.915 save percentage, 2.78 GAA). Regardless, the real star has been JDD who is 3-0 with a 1.71 GAA and a .951 save percentage. Being that the Oilers cannot return him to the minors without exposing him to waivers, it would appear one of the two veterans has to be moved. Even if that doesn't happen immediately, JDD certainly appears to have thrust himself into the lead for starts for the Oil and he should be rostered in all leagues at the moment.
• Brandon Prust of the Flames leads the NHL with 61 PIM thanks to just three minors and nine majors (along with one misconduct).
• Never one to miss a party, Sean Avery of the Stars is second with 58 PIM, though his numbers are pretty much the reverse of Prust (nine minors, only two majors plus three misconducts).
• Mike Brown of the Canucks has only appeared in eight games but he has dropped the gloves four times. Speaking of dropping the gloves, Riley Cote is second in the league with seven majors and he has only seen the ice for 11 games.
• Two teams are converting more than a quarter of their power-play chances, and they are the Red Wings (30.9 percent) and the Blues (27.1 percent).
• The Thrashers have allowed a league worst 18 power-play goals leading to the second worst PK percentage in the league at 74.6 percent. The only team with a worse percentage is Toronto (72.6 percent). At the other end of the spectrum, the Wild (92.5 percent) and Blackhawks (90.6 percent) are the only teams operating their penalty kill at better than a ninety percent clip.
• Five teams play four games this week: Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington. Some names you might want to keep in mind from these quads would include the following.
Kings -- Erik Ersberg
The Kings keep saying that Jason LaBarbera is their starter in net, but Ersberg has started 3-straight games and should be between the pipes on Tuesday night as well. In five appearances on the year he is sporting a 1.95 GAA.
Canadiens -- Tomas Plekanec
Tomas has scored three goals and dished out four assists in his last three games, so even though everyone who has him on their roster is likely playing him, just do yourself a favor and double check that he is active.
Flyers -- Matt Carle
In his first game in Philadelphia Carle registered 25:10 minutes of ice time, which included 2:53 of time on the power-play and over three minutes on the penalty kill. With ice-time like that it's only a matter of time before he starts producing points.
Lightning -- Jussi Jokinen
With Ryan Malone playing poorly (three points in 14 games) and now dealing with a lower body injury Jokinen, who has scored three goals in four games, should see an increase in ice-time.
Capitals -- Tom Poti
Poti scored only two times last year but he already has two goals this season and five points in nine games. Toss is a plus-6 rating, and you have a player who is fairing well even if his upside is limited.
• Seven teams play only two games this week: Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota and Vancouver.
Don't know if you caught it or not, but the St. Louis Blues have a novel approach to reaching their fans and showing how much they care. The club announced that every Saturday home game the rest of the way will have one lucky Blues' fan selected at random to have their home mortgage paid for four months! How is that for a return on a $20 ticket?