We are back for week 3 of the Heatmap helping you to locate who is hot, and who is not. By now teams have played a few more games as the season gets underway, and the performance of some players is reflected in their team’s results.
Steven Stamkos – Stamkos is leading the league with 15 points in 8 games, picking up right where he left off at the end of last season. He had a 4 point game last week including a hat trick, helping the Lightning climb to the top of the Southeast Division. Stamkos has developed great chemistry with winger Martin St. Louis, while Steve Downie rounds out the line. Downie could be an attractive option if you are looking to pickup someone for your pool.
Rene Bourque – Held to just 1 point in his first 4 games Bourque sat out for a couple games with a head injury. This past week he exploded with a 4 point game including a hat trick and followed up with another 2 goal performance. It seems he has recovered quickly, and is back on track. After a 27 goal performance last year, he is out to prove that he can be a regular contributor.
Ryan Getzlaf – The Ducks got of to a slow start to the season, but have since managed to pick up a few wins. In their 4th game, Getzlaf broke out for 4 points, and now has 11 points in his last 6 games. With a lack of depth on the back end the team has struggled, but look for more points from the Getzlaf and Perry as the duo get back in their groove.
Henrik Zetterberg – Zetterberg has 8 points in his last 3 games, while helping Detroit to a 3 game win streak. Playing regularly with Datsyuk, This combo is sure to continue their production. The line is rounded out with veteran Tomas Holmstrom, who should also see some success as a result.
John-Michael Liles – After a surprising performance last season The Avalanche showed that they have a good young team. Defenseman John-Michael Liles has 10 points in 8 games to start the new season, including 1 point in each of his 8 games. Leading his team with an average of 22:30 per game, Liles is the power play quarterback, and could be a solid pickup for your pool if he is still available.
Taylor Hall – In his first 6 NHL games Hall only has one assist, and is a -3. There were whispers that he could be sent down, but Coach Tom Renney confirmed that there is no way Hall would be sent back to juniors. After being bumped down to the 3rd line, fellow rookies Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi are each seeing more ice time Than Hall. Starting the season with 2 wins, the Oilers now sit at the bottom of the league after a 4 game losing streak
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – San Jose is coming of a 4-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic has no points in 7 games with a -4 ratting. Vlasic is expected to play a larger role after the retirement of Jason Blake over the summer, but has struggled thus far. Meanwhile, The Sharks have yet to win a game at home.
Jiri Hudler – . Hudler has returned to the NHL after playing in the KHL last year. Coach Mike Babcock projected that Hudler could be a welcome addition the Red Wings and projected that he would produce well this season. With 2 assist in his first 7 games back and a team low -6, it seems he is taking some time to transition. Despite his struggles, the Red Wings are on a 3 game win streak. Hudler should be able to turn things around and could be a good sleeper pick in the future
Nik Antropov – After the departure of Ilya Kovalchuck last season, the Atlanta Thrashers expected their players to step up and play better as a team. Nik Antropov responded well last season finishing with 67 points. This year he is slow to start and it is apparent that he is still recovering from off season hip surgery. Antropov has only 1 assist in 7 games and a-3 ratting. Meanwhile, the Thrashers have lost 3 straight.
Nicklas Backstrom – After posting 101 points last season, Backstrom has struggled out of the gate. He has been held pointless in the Capitals last 3 games, and is -4 over that span. While defenseman Mike Green was out for 3 games, the Capitals potent powerplay was less effective. Backstrom is not likely to stay cold for long as he will continue to see plenty of ice time with Alexander Ovechkin, and Mike Green has also returned to action.