This week's edition of Backchecking is going to examine the newcomers and surprises when it comes to power play ice time. We all know that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are on the Red Wings power play, right? Sure. But, who would have guessed that Radek Bonk is still getting PP time in Nashville?
A team-by-team look..
Without a lot of proven scorers on the roster, Travis Moen (1:18) and Ryan Carter (1:15) are both getting time on the second unit.
Tobias Enstrom is on the second unit, behind new arrivals Mathieu Schneider and Ron Hainsey. Up front, Ilya Kovalchuk may be the only safe pick, but these are the early leaders: Todd White (4:58), Bryan Little (3:47), Jason Williams (3:43), Erik Christensen (3:36) and Vyacheslav Kozlov (3:12). Conspicuous by his absence is Eric Perrin, the second-leading returning scorer.
Promising young players David Krejci (2:32) and Milan Lucic (1:35) are getting some time, while rookie Blake Wheeler (:48) gets occasional action.
Defenceman Andrej Sekera (3:43) leads the Sabres in total ice time, while Clarke MacArthur (2:32) is getting decent time. On the other hand, Drew Stafford (1:31) and Dan Paille (0:00) aren't seeing a lot of action.
Back from Russia, Mark Giordano (3:52) is getting quality minutes with the Flames. Adam Pardy (2:32) is too, even though he had just 18 points in 67 AHL games last year. Matthew Lombardi (2:17), Rene Bourque (2:16) and Dustin Boyd (1:43) all see some secondary time.
Given the Hurricanes' injuries, it's not altogether surprising that Tuomo Ruutu (3:47) and Sergei Samsonov (3:00) are getting a lot of PP time. It's a little surprising that Ruutu leads all Hurricanes forwards in power play ice time.
A whole host of young guys are getting power play time, including Kris Versteeg (2:43), Dustin Byfuglien (2:39), Dave Bolland (1:59) and Andrew Ladd (1:56), though there is none for Jack Skille. Veteran D-man Brent Sopel is also down the depth chart when it comes to the PP.
Veterans Darcy Tucker (2:35) and Ruslan Salei (2:31) get secondary minutes, as does Wojtek Wolski (1:48).
On defence, the Blue Jackets don't have any surefire producers so Christian Backman (4:03), Kris Russell (3:53), Fedor Tyutin (3:13), and Rostislav Klesla (2:21) are all getting a chance to show what they can do, as are rookies Derick Brassard (3:20) and Jakub Voracek (2:25). Perhaps it's too soon for 18-year-old Nikita Filatov, who hasn't seen PP time yet.
Wingers Loui Eriksson (3:11), Fabian Brunnstrom (3:00) and Sean Avery (1:53) are all getting chances while second-year defenceman Matt Niskanen is only getting 1:35 per game, leaving him fourth among Stars defencemen, behind Stephane Robidas, Philippe Boucher and Trevor Daley.
The problem with so many quality players? There are only 33 seconds of power play time per game for Valtteri Filppula, 19 seconds for Dan Cleary and 12 seconds for Brad Stuart.
While Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Souray are the stars on the power play point, Denis Grebeshkov (2:36) is working his way into the mix. Strangely, Dustin Penner has only seen about 35 seconds of power play time per game.
Both of the additions in the Olli Jokinen deal -- Keith Ballard (3:45) and Nick Boynton (2:11) -- are working the PP as are forwards Rostislav Olesz (3:10) and Brett McLean (2:32), both of whom would fly under the radar.
Expected to anchor the power play, Tom Preissing (4:30) is the tops for the Kings, but rookie Drew Doughty (3:25) is seeing a lot of time. Up front, Michal Handzus (2:57) is getting a chance to rebound from a down year last year while rookie Oscar Moller (2:47) is getting a chance.
Marek Zidlicky's early-season injury gave Marc-Andre Bergeron (4:34) a good opportunity, while the Wild have two-way forwards Antti Miettinen (4:06) and Eric Belanger (2:50) getting PP time. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Benoit Pouliot (2:43) is seeing more power play action than James Sheppard (1:09).
Patrice Brisebois (2:49) still sees time on the power play, and the Christopher Higgins injury gives Guillaume Latendresse (2:14) an early chance.
Mysteriously, Radek Bonk (3:35) gets PP time. Ville Koistinen (3:07) does, when he's in the lineup, and the secondary units are comprised of rookies Ryan Jones (3:01) and Patric Hornqvist (1:11) in addition to Rich Peverley (2:25) and, believe it or not, Jordin Tootoo (1:51).
The usual suspects are getting the most time, though Finnish rookie defenceman Anssi Salmela (3:02) has seen limited time when he's in the lineup. Veteran checker Bobby Holik (1:57), tough guy David Clarkson (1:44) and defenceman Andy Greene (1:24) all see some action as well.
Given the role of caretaker while the Isles develop their young players, Doug Weight (5:20) tops the list, while Trent Hunter (4:18), Frans Nielsen (3:24), Jon Sim (3:03) and Jeff Tambellini (1:40) are among the forwards getting PP time. Notably missing? Kyle Okposo, who is getting just 34 seconds per game on the power play. On the point, behind Mark Streit, Jack Hillen (3:23), Thomas Pock (2:13) and Bruno Gervais (2:01) are all virtual unknowns getting PP time.
Gritty second-year centre Brandon Dubinsky (2:37) and his tag-team partner, Aaron Voros (2:01), are getting time on the second unit and Nigel Dawes (1:23) sees a little time when he's not a healthy scratch.
Filip Kuba (5:52) and Alexandre Picard (4:42) man the point on the first power play unit, while Christoph Schubert (1:55), Nick Foligno (1:49) and Antoine Vermette (1:43) get some time. Brian Lee (1:01) got a taste before getting sent down to the AHL.
18-year-old rookie Luca Sbisa (2:38) actually has received a hair more time than Braydon Coburn (2:37).
Naturally, a lot of rookies see power play time as Kyle Turris (2:39), Mikkel Boedker (2:31) and Kevin Porter (2:31) are all getting minutes. Daniel Carcillo (2:15) and Keith Yandle (1:47) also get PP time.
As expected, Alex Goligoski (5:19) and Kristopher Letang (3:08) are handling the power play point. Jordan Staal (3:12) and Tyler Kennedy (2:10) are among those getting secondary time, as does Ruslan Fedotenko (2:31), while Pascal Dupuis does not.
Even with veterans Rob Blake and Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (3:05) is getting PP time. Ryane Clowe (3:02) is getting power play time, while Devin Setoguchi gets just 1:23.
Rookies Alex Pietrangelo (2:45), Steve Wagner (1:52) and Roman Polak (1:42) are getting time on the point, while young forwards David Perron (1:56), David Backes (1:56) and Patrik Berglund (1:49) are seeing limited duty since veterans Paul Kariya, Keith Tkachuk and Brad Boyes are monopolizing time with the man advantage.
Coming off shoulder surgery, Paul Ranger (4:27) is among the PP ice time leaders, and Matthew Carle (3:42), Lukas Krajicek (2:31) and Janne Niskala (2:16) have all seen time on the point. In a strange twist, Steven Stamkos (1:08) is seeing precious little PP time.
Scoreless rookie Mikhail Grabovski (3:42) is tops on the team in PP time and newcomer Niklas Hagman (3:36) is getting more than he's been used to his NHL career. Anton Stralman (3:21) and Mike Van Ryn (2:40) get second-line minutes.
Nikolai Kulemin (2:40), Matt Stajan (2:18), Jiri Tlusty (1:03) and John Mitchell (1:01) are all getting more power play time thn Alexander Steen (0:37).
Alexander Edler (4:03) is tops among Canucks defencemen in PP time and Steve Bernier (3:50) has been seeing a lot of power play time with the Sedins. Taylor Pyatt (3:02), Mason Raymond (3:00) and Ryan Kesler (1:52) get time with the second unit, as will Kyle Wellwood while Pavol Demitra is injured.
Centre/Defenceman Sergei Fedorov (3:51) is a power play regular, while checkers Brooks Laich (3:05) and Chris Clark (2:30) get time with the second unit. Tomas Fleischmann (2:49) also gets some time.
Some notable scratches this week:
Ville Koistinen, D, Nashville; Radim Vrbata, RW, Tampa Bay; Jason Blake, RW, Toronto; Carlo Colaiacovo, D, Toronto; Ian White, D, Toronto; Eric Fehr, RW, Washington
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com