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Raphael Diaz (right) and Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.
While normally having Raphael Diaz lead your team in scoring would be a likely sign of a coming apocalypse ("Diaz?" Could very well be Mayan), it’s important to remember December 21 came and went last year without a hitch.
It was also admittedly hard to gauge Diaz’s game as a whole last season as he was injured for a fair bit of it, playing just 59 games. However, there were times when he did appear to have great offensive instincts, as his time spent in Switzerland would further indicate (seven goals, 22 assists in 32 games with the National League A’s EV Zug during the lockout).
One must point out, though, that his five assists are little proof of his prowess in the opposition’s zone. It has just been three games. After five games in 2008-09, then-New York Ranger Aaron Voros led the league in points with seven, after all.
Still, Diaz’s level of production, whether it stays constant the entire season or not, is a definite positive just like the fact that Montreal is currently averaging over three goals per game.
Andrei Markov? Four goals, more than in 2010-11 and 2011-12 combined (one).
Max Pacioretty? The recent appendicitis patient has four assists, evidencing there’s more to his game than just potting goals (although a few here and there would be welcome once he gets healthy).
Brian Gionta? Three points already, showing few signs of rust after playing just 31 games last year.
Bottom line? The guys that are supposed to be putting up points are, along with several pleasant surprises. I mean, Josh Gorges of all people, who has never scored more than four goals in a season, is on pace for 12… during a half-season.
Now, that, at the very least, should bring a smile to your face…or send you running, canned goods in tow, to your private bunker.