Heading To Christmas, What Do We See in the NHL?

Alex LangillContributor IDecember 18, 2008

As Christmas comes, it's interesting to look at the changes that have happened since the beginning of this season compared to last.

For instance, Sundin, who didn't waive his no-trade clause, is now a Vancouver Canuck.

Funny how last year going to a new team could have given the team in his heart (the Leafs) probably some benefit.

This is a sad story but hey, Vancouver's smiling. They have more than Sedins and Luongo to rely on.

The scoring race is quite different than what people expected. At the moment, the top 10 only have two top-10 scorers from last year—Iginla and Ovechkin.

The NHL has a fresh new scoring class that includes Thomas Vanek (as the leader), and Jeff Carter, who at 30 games is seven goals short of what he scored last year in 82. He has Briere's injury to thank for that, I assume.

Let's look at more players. Phil Kessel in 30 games has tied what he had in '07-08. Zach Parise whose name you may end up hearing more than Brodeur and Elias when it comes to NJ.

Also, the top five scorers right now are all 24 years old and younger. That's right, members of our elite have been drinking in the states for fewer than three years—which is 10 years less than most of the fans! Ha!

Looking more at the scoring race, it's populated by Sharp and Setoguchi, two guys barely anyone ever heard of a couple years ago.

Malkin, Crosby, and Ovechkin have been tearing up the league as usual, as projected for the last four or five years. Down the list, we see another first-overall draft pick, Patrick Kane, who is being dubbed the best American in the NHL today. Also we see Iginla once again, but he's been one of the best for basically all the 2000s. Simon Gagne is up there, but someone's got to be assisting on Carter's goals.

Let's talk goalies now. with Brodeur and Luongo injured, which Canadians are kicking ass these days? It seems the Americans are taking the reigns here with Tim Thomas, Ryan Miller, and Craig Anderson—who seems to be upstaging Vokoun.

We go on to Canadians and we see Mike Smith, who with a .924 save percentage has racked a whopping five wins in 23 games, while Osgood in 19 games has 11 wins with a brutal .876 save percentage. Detroit's trying with Conklin but maybe one day we will see Halak across the border from Windsor.

Speaking of Montreal, Price is making a stance in Montreal with only eightlosses in 21 games, and a beautiful .920 save percentage. All while we watch Canadian ex-hero Turco drift off with more losses than wins and an embarrassing .884 save percentage.

That's a little update on what's happening these days in hockey.