David Booth has 19 goals this season, three shy of his total from last season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Perhaps it’s memory loss due to accumulated sleep deprivation from watching west coast games, but it sure seems like there’s more than the usual sum of out-of-the-blue productive NHLers this season; players you wouldn’t recognize at a party without the assistance of those sticky red-and-white badges proclaiming…
HELLO MY NAME IS… David Krejci, center for the Boston Bruins. I’m a big reason The Hockey News staff look like idiots for prognosticating my team wouldn’t make the playoffs in their pre-season predictions. I’m a 22-year-old native of the Czech Republic who’s on pace for 90 points this season after a career high of 27 in 56 games in 2007-08.
Though I do have a nose for the net with 17 goals, I’m drawing comparisons to Adam Oates for my vision and playmaking skills.
Oh, and my contract runs out this summer, so drinks are on me. I’m about to become a very rich man.
HELLO MY NAME IS… Brian Elliott, goaltender for the Ottawa Senators. Going 3-1-1 since being recalled from the American League Jan. 9, I’m the only reason fans in Canada’s capital hold any semblance of hope for a post-All-Star Game playoff push.
I was born in Newmarket, Ont., but took the college hockey route. In four years at Wisconsin, I never had a goals-against average more than 2.14 or a save percentage less than .912.
I may have been drafted 291st overall in 2003, but my 2.18 GAA and .924 SP this season show I’m finally ready to be No. 1.
HELLO MY NAME IS… Ryane Clowe, right winger for the San Jose Sharks. I’ve struggled to stay healthy during my first three seasons in the NHL, but I’m feeling tip-top now and I’ve got a nice round 19 goals and 19 assists in 45 outings. Did I mention I really love the power play? Eleven of my goals came with the man advantage; that’s fourth in the league.
I’m already 26, drafted in the sixth round in 2001, so you could say I’m a bit of a late bloomer. But us east-coasters – I’m from St. John’s, Nfld. – do tend to take things a little slower.
And, yes, that is how I spell “Ryane.”
HELLO MY NAME IS… David Booth, left winger for the Florida Panthers. Surely you’ve heard of me, right? I’m putting up points in more than 80 percent of my games and have my team on the precipice of its first playoff berth since 1999-00 – take that Olli.
I can’t believe my name doesn’t ring a bell. I scored 22 times last season! Anyway, after four years playing for the Spartans in my home state of Michigan, I’ve used my speed and propensity to shoot the puck to transition well to the NHL. Now I’m leading the Cats in scoring and I’m a contender for the “Cy Young” Award.
Did you hear Krejci’s paying for drinks?
Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Thursdays.
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