A glance at the AHL’s opening weekend

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While Alex Ovechkin touts the merits of the KHL, the NHL player and prospect-loaded American Hockey League kicked off its regular season this weekend.

Let’s take a look at some of the players who’ve gotten off to hot starts so far, beginning with skaters (you can find more stats here and even more detailed ones here).

Top points

Cory Conacher – five points (2 G, 3A) in two games
Sven Baertschi – four points (2 G, 2A) in two games
Nino Niederreiter – four points (2 G, 2A) in two games
Thomas Pock – four points (1G, 3A) in three games

Conacher also had six penalty minutes, so he was all-around busy. In case you’re wondering, Conacher is an undersized, undrafted prospect in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Brayden Schenn (highlight-reel goal included), Brock Nelson and James Sheppard are some of the most interesting skaters weighing in at three points. T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic and Jake Muzzin are among the blueliner points leaders tied at three points (all assists) in two contests.

Goalie bits

Plenty of goalies are putting up nice numbers so far, but let’s focus on some of the bigger-name prospects.

  • Eddie Lack hopes to back up Corey Schneider if Roberto Luongo ever actually gets traded. He’s among four netminders who pitched a shutout this weekend.
  • Calvin Pickard had a busy two games, stopping 69 out of 72 shots to lead the weekend in saves. His one win was a shutout.
  • Kevin Poulin went 2-0, but his numbers (3.01 GAA, .903 save percentage) leave something to be desired.
  • OK, he’s not a prospect, but Curtis McElhinney might remain NHL-relevant if he can stay hot. He went 2-0 with a .964 save percentage, one shutout and a 1.00 GAA in two games.

Anyway, that’s a quick look at what’s going on in what is likely the most competitive active North American hockey league.