In honour of the Colorado Avalanche demoting Mark Olver to the AHL after two assists in 14 minutes of playing time over four games, here are the players averaging the most points per minute early in the NHL season.
There are some ways to look at these numbers and see potential benefits for particular players.
First, if it's a first-line player like Brad Richards or Steven Stamkos, just keep on keeping on. They're going to play significant minutes, so there is ample opportunity to put up points.
Then, we come to guys in new locations and some evidence (however little) that it might be working. Nathan Horton, Matt Cullen and Clarke MacArthur are all making a positive impact in their new uniforms. Brendan Morrison and Andrew Ladd are scoring for their new clubs as well.
What about the grinders who are overachieving? Sure, it's nice to see Dominic Moore and Marty Reasoner chipping in offensively, but let's not get too carried away expecting their early offensive surges to continue.
They've been around long enough to establish a certain level of expected production. Perhaps the same argument can be used for Cullen, but he has often played more of a power play role than typical checking forwards.
Where this measure might be most important, however, is for that player who may be able to earn a top six forward role on their team and need to produce offensively to keep that coveted position.
Rookies like Mark Letestu and Derek Stepan, as well as Islanders journeyman P.A. Parenteau are intriguing with their early-season scoring exploits, as are sleepers Teddy Purcell and (perhaps deep sleeper) Matt D'Agostini.
It's early, so these numbers may not amount to much even a week from now, but if a player is putting up points when given the chance, there exists the possibility that he'll get more opportunities to continue doing the same. Coaches are funny that way.
(Oh, and don't read anything into Derek Boogaard
. He got one assist thanks to a standard breakout pass in the Rangers' zone to noted sniper Brian Boyle
. That, combined with fewer than four minutes per game of ice time, landed him on the list.)
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.