Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Despite the title, you won’t find any fire and brimstone in the following passage. Nor will you have to fear any evil or wrath of God. Instead, you will only find me preaching about a young up and coming super talent and how closely he resembles his legendary father. Yes, I will climb up on my soapbox and sing praises of the young and bow in humility to a legend.

Even though it is still very early in the season, when you take a look at the stats leader-board for individual skaters at this point you find one constant name in the top ten of five different categories. You can see him in the #1 spot in goals, in a tie for #7 in assists, tied for #1 in points, a nine way tie for #2 in +/- and a four way tie for #1 in shooting percentage. I am of course, talking about Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche. If anyone expected this kid to level off after his 28 goal 50 assist 78 point season last year, you are sadly mistaken. There doesn’t seem to be any “slump” in this kid and we may have yet to see just how good he can be. If the start of this season is any indication, he is primed to show the world that he belongs among the NHL elite.

The comparisons to his legendary father Peter have been well documented, but if you weren’t lucky enough to have witnessed Peter dominate (I thank my lucky stars I got to see him many times beat the ever living snot out of the Bruins and Whalers for years) all you have to do is picture Paul in a Nordiques or Devils jersey and you can get an idea. Okay so good old dad was a bit more dominating in his first six seasons, but remember he also played in an era where goaltending was weak (the same era Gretzky tore up the league, not that it would have made a difference to either of them). Production aside, when you watch Paul play it is his smarts and creative ability coupled with his strength and drive to the net that reminds one of Peter. They are very similar in size (Peter 6’ 1” 200lbs. and Paul 6’ 0” 205lbs.) and as fluent of skaters as you will ever see. Peter joined the NHL at age 24 and Paul had his first full season at 21. When you take a look at dad’s production at age 20 (25-27-52) playing in Czechoslovakia and weigh that against Paul’s totals from last year, it leaves you with a sense that greatness is still to come from Paul. Considering Peter exploded at age 24 (39-70-109) one can only imagine how much better Paul will be in a couple of years.

I’m sure that Paul takes the comparisons to his father in humble fashion and most likely talks “pops” up as the greater player, but one thing that he won’t want to mirror his dad in is the lack of a championship ring. As long as Paul keeps playing the way he is (and the Avs keep building and adding pieces to the puzzle), that Stanley Cup ring may just be in his future.

Can I get an Amen? Amen!

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