Here's a quick rundown of the statistical leaders in the major categories, some surprises near the top, and some players not living up to the hype. I'm avoiding players who have been derailed by injuries:
1. Alexander Ovechkin (WSH) — 31
2. Jeff Carter (PHI) — 30
3. Zach Parise (NJ), Thomas Vanek (BUF) — 28
Hurricanes leader: Eric Staal (20)
Biggest surprise — Parise: While Parise has scored more than 30 the past two years, his 28 goals are just four shy of his career high from last season.
Hurricanes surprise: Chad LaRose (10; 11 last season)
Mike Fisher (OTT) — 5 (23 last season)
Sam Gagner (EDM) — 4 (13 last season)
Steven Stamkos (TB) — 6 (N/A)
Antoine Vermette (OTT) — 5 (24 last season)
Biggest disappointment — Gagner: While Fisher and Vermette have had terrible years, they're second-tier players on a Senators team that's spiraled to the bottom of the standings. Stamkos has struggled, but the bar has been set too high by previous straight-to-the-NHL youngsters. Gagner, on the other hand, was supposed to be a key cog in Edmonton's return to the playoffs. While the Oilers have been hot of late, Gagner was expected to do much more.
Hurricanes disappointment: Patrick Eaves (1)
1. Evgeni Malkin (PIT) — 51
2. Sidney Crosby (PIT) — 43
3. Joe Thornton (SJ) — 43
Hurricanes leader: Ray Whitney (24)
Biggest surprise — David Krejci (35): Krejci has been a huge part of the Bruins success this year.
Hurricanes surprise: Dennis Seidenberg (15; 15 last season)
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (MIN) — 15 (50 last season)
Michael Nylander (WSH) — 18 (26 in 40 games last season)
Jason Spezza (OTT) — 19 (58 last season)
Biggest disappointment — Bouchard: The Minnesota Wild's struggles go well beyond Bouchard's inability to dish the puck like he did last year, but his troubles have certainly contributed to the team currently being outside the playoff picture. One has to wonder if his success was that tied to Marian Gaborik. You could see Spezza — and the Sens — going down the wrong road last year, while Nylander was shopped all preseason and is playing like a player who's not wanted in Washington — and his big salary isn't.
Hurricanes disappointment: Staal (15; 44 last season)
1. Malkin — 70
2. Crosby — 60
3. Ovechkin — 59
Hurricanes leader: Whitney (39)
Biggest surprise — Krejci: The second-year player already has 52 points after getting 21 in 56 games last year.
Alexei Kovalev (MON) — 33 (84 last season)
Tomas Plekanec (MON) — 20 (69 last season)
Spezza — 37 (92 last season)
Biggest disappointment — Plekanec: The Habs were counting on Plekanec to be an elite point producer for them this season. Instead, his paltry 20 points have him on pace for about half the 69 he accumulated last year. Kovalev and Spezza, while still productive, have been underachievers.
Hurricanes disappoinment: Rod Brind'Amour (27; 51 in 59 games last season)
1. Miikka Kiprusoff (CGY) — 28
2. Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) — 25
3. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) — 24
Hurricanes leader: Cam Ward (18)
Biggest surprise — Scott Clemmensen, NJ (19): Not only has Clemmensen won 19 games after starting the season in the minors, but he's done the unthinkable and kept the Devils in first in the Atlantic Division without the services of Martin Brodeur. That was once unthinkable.
1. Joey MacDonald (NYI) — 21
2. Peter Budaj (COL) — 19
3. Vesa Toskala (TOR) — 17
Hurricanes leader: Ward (14)
Biggest surprise — Marty Turco, DAL (16): Here's a stunning number: Turco lost only 21 all year last year. His 16 losses this season are good for a tie for fourth in the league right now, and his struggles early on dropped the Stars into a hole of which they likely won't be able to dig out.
Anyone around the league you're disappointed with? Let us know.