Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/12/13 at 02:16 PM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And so, without further ado, some first-quarter superlatives and, well, whatever the opposite of a superlative might be:
Dominating Performance By A Non-Star Player
David Clarkson, New Jersey Devils
Clarkson might have played in the shadows of Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur as the Devils went to the Stanley Cup finals in June, but he's proved he's no flash in the pan through the first quarter. He has nine goals, tied for second in the NHL as of Monday night, to pace the surprising Devils, who roared to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with an 8-1-3 record.
Honorable mentions: Tobias Enstrom, Winnipeg Jets; Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
Disappointing Performance By A Bona Fide Star Player
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Lots of potential candidates in this category with the offensively challenged Kings, who began the week tied for last in the Western Conference, but Doughty's start is reflective of the entire team's inability to get out of the gate. After shouldering his way into Conn Smythe Trophy discussion during the Kings' run to the Cup in June (netminder Jonathan Quick ultimately earned MVP honors) Doughty appears to be slumbering, with zero goals, four assists and a whopper minus-10, dead last in the NHL. Now we know plus/minus isn't necessarily a reflection of a players' level of play, and we know Doughty shook off a slow start last season to be a dominant player, but for a guy many predicted would be a Norris Trophy candidate, it hasn't been a pretty start.
Honorable mentions: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators; Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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