Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks: It's been a roller-coaster ride for the Ducks through the first quarter of the season, but, as of writing this, the Ducks were in the top eight in the Western Conference and Ryan has been doing his bit with six goals in his past six games. He's regularly logging more than 23 minutes of ice time a night and has taken over the team lead in goals with 13. His plus-10 rating is best among Ducks forwards.
Andrew Raycroft, Dallas Stars: Yes, Kari Lehtonen is "the man" in Dallas, but having an able backup is often the difference between making the playoffs and not. Right now the much-traveled Raycroft is giving the Pacific Division-leading Stars top-flight relief goaltending. Raycroft has won three of his past four starts, including stopping 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 victory over Washington on Thursday night. He has stopped 89 of 91 in his past three wins, and one expects he will continue to get work with performances like that.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: Nine games without a goal ties Ovechkin's longest stretch without denting the twine since becoming an NHLer. He went nine games in 2008-09 without a goal, too. Now, the Caps' captain is still collecting points with eight assists over that period, and the Capitals remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, but his lack of goal production is troubling in a relative sort of way. It's worth noting that in 2009, Ovechkin rebounded to win the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as league MVP.
Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa Senators: A lot of heat on Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston, but what about the Sens' big signing of the offseason, Sergei Gonchar? Well, not much going on there. Gonchar, so important to the Pittsburgh Penguins' success in the past four years, has not scored in 10 straight games and has added two lonely assists over that period as the Senators' descent in the Eastern Conference standings continues unabated. Between Gonchar and Alex Kovalev -- with two goals in his past 12 games -- that's a whole lot of money going down the drain. Kind of like the Sens' season.