The second full week of the 2008-09 NHL season has come and gone. Let’s take a look at what has occurred in the Western Conference, plus a little foresight into what could happen down the road.
– 23 of the leagues top 50 point getters were from the Western Conference, so it’s beginning to even out between the two Conferences.
– Four of the top ten players that garnered the most time on ice were defensemen from the Western Conference.
– Paul Stastny is leading the Western Conference in faceoff wins with 74.
– Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Mikko Koivu led the Western Conference by tallying seven points this past week.
– Shane Doan is leading the Western Conference with 26 hits.
– Keith Tkachuk is leading the league in power-play goals with four.
– Rick Nash leads the Western Conference with 28 shots on goal.
– Brad Boyes has scored two shoot-out goals.
– Rick Nash and Antti Miettinen both have two game-winning goals each.
– Manny Legace has two shoot-out wins, while only stopping 66.7 percent of the shots he faced.
– Minnesota and the Kings are the only Western Conference teams to have a 100 percent penalty kill.
– Edmonton is the best in the Western Conference in five-on-five scoring ratio with a rating of 1.60. Phoenix is the worst with a rating of 0.54.
– Detroit is averaging a league-low of 7.6 minutes in penalties per game. Anaheim is average a Western Conference high of 24.3. Calgary and Phoenix aren’t far behind with 24.0.
Around the Wild West
Now let’s look at a team-by-team analysis starting with the Central Division. The biggest news coming out of Chicago was the surprise firing of coach Denis Savard. He was replaced with Joel Quenneville, who has coached St. Louis and Colorado in the past five seasons. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane both finished with seven points this week and look a lot more offensively focused now that Quenneville is behind the bench. Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell continue to dominate the blue-line for the Blackhawks as they both are averaging almost 27 minutes of ice-time per contest. Both players will need to help generate more offense as they have only fired a combined 21 shots on the opposing goalies between the two. Brent Sopel dipped again and is now at a horrible minus six.
Kristian Huselius found his offensive groove with five points in three contests this week. Rick Nash is continuing to get plenty of ice-time as he is averaging just over 22 and a half minutes of ice-time per contest and is leading the Western Conference in shots on goal. Derek Dorsett is giving Jared Boll a run for his money as he now has 34 penalty minutes in four contests for the Blue Jackets, while averaging just 8:34 of ice-time per contest. Mike Peca is suspended for five games for abusing the officials.
The big news out of Detroit is the groin injury suffered by Henrik Zetterberg that sidelined him for most of the past week. The earliest he’ll ret