Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/18/13 at 02:26 PM ET
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
... here’s a look at the some of the players who have made a strong impression through the first 20 or so games of 2013-14, setting themselves up as the early favorites to take home the hardware next June.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks: Night in, night out, Toews is playing better two-way hockey than anyone in the league. You can see the incremental improvements in so many areas of his game–his skating, his ability to protect the puck, his strength along the boards and down low–and you can sense in all of it how driven he is to carry the Blackhawks to another Stanley Cup. This is a Hall of Fame-caliber player entering his prime, and he’s been a treat to watch.
Also in the mix:
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: It looked like he’d run away with it early on until he was dragged down by a seven-game goal drought. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him pull away from the pack at any moment.
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks: The best player on the league’s best team. He has that hunger in his eyes every time he hits the ice–motivated by Sochi, perhaps?
Alex Steen, St. Louis Blues: Tough award for a dark horse to win, but there’s no denying his impact in the early going. His dogged puck pursuit and strong defense are creating the opportunities that have him seen him outscore every player in the league.
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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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