Around The Rink: No lead is safe


Is there a more exciting team in the NHL right now than the Carolina Hurricanes? We think not. Is there a better player in the league right now than Eric Staal? Uh, we think not. And one can only imagine the Senators, Penguins, Flyers and Bruins have a similar impression.
He helped lead the 'Canes to comeback victories against all four conference foes this week, tallying four goals and six assists, including his first NHL hat trick. Staal leads the league in scoring with 22 points. And oh yeah, he turned 21 on Saturday. If he continues to produce these efforts, an invitation to join the Canadian Olympic team is as certain as a Carolina playoff berth.


Now that he's got his first two appearances in Denver out of the way, one wonders whether the Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi will finally get back to being the belligerent power forward who was the scourge of defenders and goaltenders alike three seasons ago. Not surprisingly, Bertuzzi was booed lustily throughout both games this week, both won by the Avalanche.
Vancouver coach Marc Crawford thought Bertuzzi was better, more comfortable, in the second game. Perhaps now that he's revisited the scene of the attack on Steve Moore, he'll be able to focus more fully on making life miserable for opponents. The Canucks sure hope so.