This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.
Around the Rink
We are likely to see some round number milestones hit during this NHL season. Rick Nash will hit 400 goals, and Marian Gaborik might as well. Jarome Iginla still looks spry enough that 600 shouldn't be an issue. Marian Hossa will cross the vaunted 500 goal mark, and so will Alex Ovechkin. That's the name that sticks out. Guys like Iginla and Hossa, and even Gaborik to a degree, are at the end of their careers. Ovechkin just turned 30 last month. He is the foremost goal scorer of his generation, and maybe to a degree where he is still underrated.
The thing that makes Ovechkin so impressive is the era he's played in. He joined the league, like a few of these other players mentioned, in a less goal happy era of the NHL. Teemu Selanne may have racked up a crazy amount of goals, and the eternal force that is Jaromir Jagr is still adding to a total that may have hit 800 already if he hadn't jumped over to the KHL for a few years. However, they came into a very different league. A league where a rookie like Selanne could score 76 goals, and tie for the league lead in that category.
Ovechkin's contemporaries may struggle to reach 500, by and large, and none of them seem likely to reach 600, let alone 700, which is a theoretical possibility for Ovechkin. Somebody could do it, sure, and names like Steven Stamkos may get bandied about. However, for now, Ovechkin is leading the pack by a wide margin. We all know he's a great player, and a future Hall of Famer. He's also the Jaromir Jagr of his generation. It just so happens he's still playing at the same time as Jagr, because Jagr will be around when we're all dead.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Senators (Craig Anderson) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:00 PM
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 8:00 PM
Bruins (Tuukka Rask) at Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov), 10:00 PM
Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Ducks (Frederik Andersen), 10:30 PM
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News For Teams Playing Wednesday
Buddy Robinson, RW (foot) – Out indefinitely
Seth Griffith, RW (knee) – Skating, return date unknown
Brad Marchand, LW (concussion) – Traveling with team, may play
Joe Morrow, D (illness) – Did not practice Tuesday
Dennis Seidenberg, D (back) – Out six weeks
Jesse Winchester, LW (concussion) – On injured reserve
Tyler Gaudet, C (upper-body) – Out indefinitely
Dylan Reese, D (Achilles) – Out indefinitely
Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL – Pacioretty's two goals Tuesday against Pittsburgh give him four on the season, to go with two assists as well. Six points in four games is a strong start to the season. Perhaps that isn't terribly surprising considering Pacioretty's track record, but early in the year, when small sample related panic can set in, and when stars can get off to slow starts, Pacioretty seems to already be in fine form.
Michael Hutchinson, G, WPG – Hutchinson has only played in two games so far, but he's won both of them, thanks, in no small part, to the fact he only let in one goal in both games. On Tuesday, that meant stopping 40 shots from the New York Rangers. Hutchinson is competing with Ondrej Pavelec for playing time, but the secret that most fantasy owners already probably know is that Pavelec isn't very good. If Hutchinson keeps this up, he could wrest control of the starting job for the Jets.
Jake Muzzin, D, LAK – Muzzin is currently pointless on the season, and in all three games he has played thus far he's posted a minus-2 rating. While Muzzin doesn't have the track record, or reputation, of his teammate Drew Doughty, he was expected by many to be a solid option on the blueline. So far, he has done nothing but hurt fantasy owners. Eventually, he'll get on the board, but for now be wary.
Mark Giordano, D, CGY – Giordano is another blueliner without a single point, and he's also a minus-4 and only has seven shots on goal. Unlike Muzzin, a lot was expected from Giordano, considering that he was a favorite for the Norris before getting injured last season. However, it is that fact that should lead you to not be too worried about him. He's playing a ton of minutes, and the points will come in time.
Rasmus Ristolainen, D, BUF – Now, if you are worried about your plus/minus, a Buffalo defenseman is probably not a good pickup at the moment. However, Ristolainen is only 20, and he already has 115 games and 26 points to his name. He's also got a crazy bad career plus/minus, but that was for a Sabres team trying to lose. So far this year, he's zeroed out, but he's also taken 10 shots on goal and is playing almost 25 minutes a game. He's a talented young defenseman getting the chance to learn on the fly, and that should lead to at least a nice accumulation of numbers, if nothing else.