Dustin Byfuglien: Leads all skaters in average ice time, at 28:36. Byfuglien always plays big minutes, but the situation with Jacob Trouba has forced him to play even more. (Ditto for Tyler Myers, though he was held out of Sunday’s loss to the Sabres with a lower-body injury.) Second in average TOI is the Kings’ Drew Doughty, at 27:44, and you have to wonder if that could edge higher with the injury to his partner, Brayden McNabb. Much will depend on how Tom Gilbert fares on the right side of the second pairing. Gilbert logged a season-high 21:07 last night in Chicago, where the Kings lost, 3-0. Veteran Matt Greene played just 11:37 on the third pairing.
Cam Talbot: Leads all goalies in time on ice (528:20). Talbot has started all nine games for the Oilers, and with a .936 save percentage has been a major factor in their 7-2-0 start. It does, however, beg the question of when backup Jonas Gustavsson will get the nod. Edmonton plays back-to-back Saturday and Sunday in Brooklyn and Detroit, respectively, so maybe then.
Rasmus Ristolainen: The 22-year-old leads all NHL defensemen with six power-play assists. The Sabres rank sixth overall with the man advantage, which has been key in two of their three victories. Next on the list is New Jersey’s Damon Severson with four PP assists, followed by multiple d-men with three. Erik Karlsson led this category last season (25), but he’s only managed one PP helper in his first eight games.
Alex Edler: Leads all players with 31 blocked shots. This stat often says just as much about the team as it does the player, and Edler’s Vancouver Canucks have certainly spent a lot of time in their own end this season. Calgary’s Mark Giordano is second with 27, while shot-blocking specialist, Edmonton’s Kris Russell, is tied for third with San Jose’s Brent Burns; they’ve each got 26.
Shea Weber: Leads in plus-minus at plus-12. This stat isn’t cited as much as it used to be, and for good reasons. But it does show how well things are going for Weber and the 8-0-1 Habs. P.K. Subban, meanwhile, is at minus-7 for Nashville, which coincides with the Predators’ poor start. The league’s worst rating, minus-8, is held by six players, including three members of the stumbling Tampa Bay Lightning (Ondrej Palat, Jason Garrison, and Tyler Johnson.)