James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Sampling the Hitchcock Blues

Monday, November 07, 2011


SURPRISE SCORERS


Naturally, we’re still at the “don’t overreact this is just a small sample” stage of the season, but there are still a few guys who shined a spotlight on their surprising scoring so far.

 

David Legwand and Milan Michalek already have 14 points while Kris Versteeg is fitting in just fine in Florida, with 13 points in 13 games. Most of us realized that Marc-Andre Bergeron and Alexander Edler possess offensive talent, but 15 points already? That’s pretty stunning.

 

Defensemen usually don’t score at around a point-per-game rate in this era, so it’s natural to assume that both Edler and Bergeron will regress. That being said, both are blueliners who should be catalysts on teams loaded with offensive talent, so they should remain valuable to your lineup.

 

To be perfectly honest, Legwand isn’t likely to keep this up. Still, this head start might give him a chance to threaten his career-high of 63 points from 2006-07, when he generated an outstanding 17.6 shooting percentage (not that far off from his current 18.5 rate).

 

That leaves us with perhaps the two most intriguing cases: Michalek and Versteeg. Both have tantalized onlookers with their talents but haven’t been able to put it together for a great season. Each has seemingly been discarded through trades; Versteeg bounced around the league since the Chicago Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup while Michalek seemed to evaporate into the Ottawa sky upon being traded from San Jose.

 

Each player should have ample opportunities to keep things going. Michalek is finally taking advantage of his chances to be a go-to guy on a thin Ottawa Senators team while Versteeg is finding a home with the Florida Panthers. Ultimately, it's highly unlikely that both players will remain near the top of the heap, but you should absolutely give them a look if you're short on offense right now.

 


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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than two years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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